A couple of days ago, Apple released the second update to its iOS 6.1 operating system, a piece of software that the company released at the end of January and which represented its first major update to iOS 6 which was released alongside the iPhone 5 back at the end of September. After spending several days with an iPhone 5 equipped with the latest update, it’s now time to take a final look at how iOS 6.1.2 performs on Apple’s most current iPhone, the iPhone 5.
In late January, after weeks of waiting, iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners were graced with their first major update to the iOS 6 operating system that Apple debuted in June at WWDC and released several months later in the fall of 2012. While there had been incremental bug fixes in between, as is customary for Apple, iOS 6.1 represented the first update that actually brought along some new features.
However, as many owners also learned, the update also brought along several menacing bugs that made lives miserable for those that installed the update.
iPhone 4S owners who installed the update were kindly greeted with 3G connectivity issue that Apple quickly fixed with its first iOS 6.1 update, iOS 6.1.1, which was an update that the company had to rush out in order to quell the issue. This 3G bug was not the only major issue that arrived with iOS 6.1 though.
In addition to it, owners of the iPhone and iPad were also greeted with an Exchange issue within the calendar that caused increased network activity leading to abnormal battery drain. Those who have an Exchange email on their iPhone, a group that includes workers at small and large businesses, likely encountered the issue.
Like it did with the 3G connectivity issues, Apple move quickly to solve the Exchange bug. On Tuesday, the company issued the second update to iOS 6.1 since January in the form of iOS 6.1.2.
And while the update was aimed at solving the Exchange issue, as many iPhone and iPad owners know, these updates can sometimes bring about instability or other issues.
We already offered our first impressions of the iOS 6.1.2 update on the iPhone 5 and now, it’s time to take a final look at the iOS 6.1.2 update on the iPhone 5 and whether or not it’s worth installing.
iOS 6.1.2 Battery Life Remains Solid…
As I’ve said in many of my reviews, battery life issues often don’t rear their ugly head until a couple of days after installing the software. Back when I had an iPhone 3GS, this was a common occurrence. Install the update, everything would be as good as gravy on the first day and then it would progressively fall apart in the day after.
All the way up until I installed iOS 6.1, I hadn’t noticed any battery drain issues with my iPhone 5. Battery life has been, for the most part, solid for a 4G LTE smartphone. My good luck seemed to run out a few weeks after installing that update however though the issue wasn’t related to Exchange because I don’t use Exchange on my iPhone 5.
For whatever reason, my battery started draining faster than normal. I tried my own iPhone 5 battery life tips to no avail and so, like many others, I began longing for iOS 6.1.2.
The update of course arrived earlier this week and I decided to install it immediately to see if things would change. Per usual, the battery life seemed solid out of the gates but I still wasn’t convinced it would hold.
And while I still am not convinced that something might pop up in the weeks ahead, so far, everything is sound and the battery life seems like it’s back to normal.
I’ve also heard from several friends, who use Exchange, who say that their device is doing much better now that iOS 6.1.2 is on board. That doesn’t mean that everyone’s problems have been solved however.
…Users Still Complaining About It Though
A quick perusal of the Apple support forums indicate that many iPhone owners, including iPhone 5 owners, are having battery life issues with iOS 6.1.2. Complaints always occur after updates, even ones that are supposed to fix battery life, so this is not unusual.
Given what I’ve heard about the Exchange issue being fixed and seeing my battery improve with my own eyes, I have reason to believe that those who are indeed experiencing issues with iOS 6.1.2 are in need of some more personal help that an iOS update can’t bring.
I recommend checking out those iPhone 5 battery life tips. Two things that seem to work are turning the phone off or, using a factory reset if all avenues are exhausted.
Random Reboots Are Gone…
I first started using iOS 6 with the iPhone 5 back in September when I became a user of both. And it was several weeks after that that I started experiencing random reboots on my iPhone.
My device would crash, for no reason at all, and take me to the boot screen where it would then load up and bring me to the lock screen. The whole process took about 7-10 seconds and was becoming extremely annoying.
With the arrival of iOS 6.1, I stopped seeing the issue. Whether that was because of iOS 6.1 itself or an update to an app containing nefarious bugs, I do not know.
What I do know is that I haven’t experienced a random reboot on my iPhone 5 since January.
…Users Still Complaining About It Though
That doesn’t mean that the issue still isn’t still around though. There are still users out there who are experiencing the issue, as is evidenced in this thread. My recommendation is to update to the latest version of iOS 6 and also make sure that your applications are all up to date.
Exchange Bug Fixed…
From what I’ve seen and heard, the Exchange bug within the calendar has been fixed. Again, I can’t confirm this myself because I don’t use Exchange on my iPhone 5 but all signs are pointing to iOS 6.1.2 being a proper fix for the issues that have been plaguing owners seemingly since late January.
…There Are Still Issues Though
That doesn’t mean that there still aren’t issues that Apple needs to fix. In fact, the lock screen security bug that arrived with iOS 6.1 is still alive and well. That bug, while maybe not as nasty as the battery drain due to it being difficult to perform, still needs to be fixed and fortunately, Apple will be doing just that in the next iOS 6.1 update.
No Major Issues
Thus far, I haven’t been able to find any major issues with my iPhone 5. My 4G LTE is working normally as is my Wi-Fi connection. All of iOS 6.1′s features are also performing up to standard as are my applications. The sluggishness of Google’s Chrome browser, which I experienced in iOS 6.1, seems to have dissipated as well.
Safe to Install
Due to the solid battery life, strong connections, bug fixes and performance, those iPhone 5 owners who are already on iOS 6.1 are safe to install the latest the iOS 6.1.2 update.
Those that might still be on iOS 6.0.1 or iOS 6.0.2 should wait for iOS 6.1.3 as it will be arriving with a fix for the security issue that is currently residing on iOS 6.1 powered devices.
Also, those looking to install iOS 6.1.2 and then jailbreak using Evasi0n are in the clear as the latest version of the jailbreak tool supports iOS 6.1.2.
Honestly, I can’t remember a more bungled update than iOS 6.1 though I am sure my memory fails me. The fact that Apple had to issue not one, but two quick incremental updates to patch up issues is uncharacteristic. And while I’m not exactly worried just yet, I hope these failures act as a wake up call for future updates.
What’s Next for the iPhone 5?
Clearly, the next update that will be arriving for the iPhone 5 will be iOS 6.1.3 and its security flaw fix as well as those new features for Apple Maps in Japan. Beyond that update though, it’s tough to say whether or not we’ll see another major update before the arrival of iOS 7.
Apple is likely going to be showing off the software at WWDC 2013 and unlike last year, there is a possibility that Apple could release both the new iPhone, and thus the new operating system, at some point this summer.