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iPad Mini 1 from 8.4.1 to 9.3.5 ?


macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 11, 2013
I have an iPad Mini 1 still running 8.4.1. It's in excellent shape, and battery life is good. It's mainly used for media consumption (Kindle book reading), Amazon Prime/other video streaming, and podcasts. I've thought about updating it to IOS 9.3.5 (the max it will go), so I can add Apple News, and updated my podcast app.

Some claim a serious performance hit. I already have the Settings tweaked on 8.4.1 to maximize responsiveness, and will do the same once upgraded to 9.3.5.

Youtube is filled with horror stores, but what are your real-world experiences?

NOTE: If you plan to comment that it should be dumpstered and replaced with a Mini 4 or newer iPad, that's a fine perspective and your opinion. However I enjoy nursing extra life out of old tech, and unless you plan on funding the Mini 4 purchase for me, while I appreciate your opinion, please keep it to yourself as it is irrelevant to the question being asked. Thank you :)


macrumors Sandy Bridge
Oct 17, 2011
Best to probably stay with what you have and not take a chance on it.


macrumors 65816
Apr 8, 2015
I have no idea how does iOS 8 work. But definitely don't do it. iOS 9 rendered it unusable for anything other than basic tasks. It is unbearably slow, apps crash frequently, all the usual things that iOS updates caused on 32-bit devices.
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macrumors 68030
Nov 6, 2014
Do. Not. Update.

iOS 9 ruined my iPad Mini 1 when I had it. I recommend you stay where you’re at. App support sucks but if you have all the apps you want and need, not a big deal.


macrumors newbie
Aug 4, 2019
I agree and disagree with you.

Yes, basics tasks are covered by Apple default apps (iBooks/Mail/Notes). They work perfectly well on my iPad mini 1 and I still use it with external keyboard. Nice combo.

But if you want to, for example, get access to third-party apps, there is a problem. These companies have limited resources to provide full experience to old devices. It is better for them to drop support of old devices. But Apple can provide support and backward compatibility to all devices and their services. I bet that iOS 7 Notes app can access iCloud and can be synced with iOS 12 device. More than that, I bet that FaceTime can connect two devices - iOS 7 and iOS 12.

As you said, yes, it is better to keep device in current state. It is trade-off - new updates give you some "new" user experience but it is better to buy new iPad mini with 5 versions above.
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