iOS 6.1.3 on iPhone 5 Review

Earlier this week, Apple rolled out its latest update to its iOS 6 operating system, iOS 6.1.3, which arrived for owners of all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models running iOS 6. The update promised to tackle some lingering issues from iOS 6.1 and while it didn’t explicitly confirm anything else, iPhone and iPad owners had hoped that it might correct many of their other issues. We took a first look at iOS 6.1.3 on the iPhone 5 earlier this week and now, after spending some quality time with it, it’s time for some final thoughts.

Read: iOS 6.1.3 on iPad Review.

Back at the end of January, Apple rolled out the long-awaited .1 update to its iOS 6 operating system which rolled out with the iPhone 5 at the end of September. And while Apple had graced owners with several smaller bug fix updates, iOS 6.1 represented the first update that brought along some new functionality.

Should you install iOS 6.1.3? Read on to find out.

Should you install iOS 6.1.3? Read on to find out.

The update wasn’t a substantial upgrade from iOS 6 but it did bring a few likeable features including the ability to buy movie tickets through Siri, a new prominent Report a Bug button in Apple Maps and of course, our personal favorite, the new lock screen music controls which are a vast improvement over those found in iOS 6 and below.

Like many software updates though, iOS 6 brought some trouble along with it. The first issue, which was squashed with iOS 6.1.1, was a 3G connectivity issue with the iPhone 4S. Apple quickly addressed it with the first update to iOS 6.1 which rolled out specifically for iPhone 4S owners.

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However, not just iPhone 4S owners were afflicted. A calendar bug in Exchange caused severe battery drain on iPhone’s and iPad’s, regardless of version, and some intrepid iPhone owners also found not one, but two lock screen security issues that allowed owners to bypass the lock screen and access information in Contacts and see Photos.

Apple moved quickly to tackle the battery drain issue with the release of iOS 6.1.2. But as we told you, that update didn’t seem to fix everyone’s battery life problems and it certainly didn’t fix the security bugs. That left many owners looking forward to iOS 6.1.3, which, arrived earlier this week owners of the iPhone 5 on down.

We already offered our first impressions of the update and now, after spending many hours using Apple’s latest and greatest software, it’s time to offer some final thoughts on what could be the last update to iOS 6.

The lock screen issues seem to have vanished with iOS 6.1.3.

The lock screen issues seem to have vanished with iOS 6.1.3.

So Far, So Good

Like many of you, I am often a bit apprehensive about installing iOS updates, or any software updates for that matter, because of what they might do to my device. Unlike many of you, it’s my job to install the software so I can inform you whether or not it’s safe to install. And so far, I really have no complaints about iOS 6.1.3

I haven’t found any any new bugs after combing around the software for the past few days and the lock screen security problems seem to have dissipated, just as the change log said they would. And that is generally reason enough to recommend installing the software.

However, after all the issues that arose after iOS 6.1, which definitely might have been one of the buggiest iOS releases in recent memory, I think it’s best if I go a little more in depth than that and take a look at some of the more significant features of the iPhone 5 and how iOS 6.1.3 has or hasn’t impact them.

iOS 6.1.3 Battery Life

As I mentioned after I first installed iOS 6.1.3, my battery life on my iPhone 5 has never been greatly affected by any of Apple’s updates to iOS 6. I am not a user of Exchange and was not affected by the issues that came with iOS 6.1. I had friends and co-workers that were, but my iPhone 5 was safe from the issues.

That said, I haven’t heard about any issues from any of those who reported problems both after iOS 6.1 and iOS 6.1.2. In addition, the Apple support forums have been relatively void of battery life complaints, something that is actually pretty rare after iOS updates. So while that doesn’t confirm that everyone single iPhone 5 battery is doing well, I think it’s safe to say that the major issues have been reeled in.

iPhone-battery

Super fast iPhone charging may soon be possible.

As for my battery life, after installing iOS 6.1.3, it is maybe about the same as it ever has been, maybe even a tick better actually. Additionally, the past few nights, my iPhone 5 seems to have been able to hold a better charge in standby.

At the very least, there are no major battery life issues on my iPhone 5 running iOS 6.1.3.

iOS 6.1.3 Performance

One of the things that often prevents iPhone owners from installing the latest iOS update are performance issues. However, because the iPhone 5 is the latest and greatest iPhone and not the iPhone 3GS, so far, performance in iOS 6.1.3 has been up to par.

4G LTE Connectivity is Good

After installing iOS 6.1.2, I complained that I had had trouble with Wi-Fi to 4G LTE hand offs, something that was extremely frustrating considering how often I am moving in and out of places. I haven’t run into the same type of issues with iOS 6.1.3, at least not yet.

As for my 4G LTE connectivity, my connection to AT&T’s network has been strong and extremely fast and as I’ve pointed out many times before, it’s sometimes as far as my home Wi-Fi network.

Wi-Fi Connection is Strong

In the past, I also complained about Wi-Fi connectivity issues. However, those are a thing of the past and have been for quite some time. Now, instead of having slow Wi-Fi connectivity die or having my connection die, my Wi-Fi connection is extremely strong.

Of course, I realize that not everyone has been able to get past the iPhone 5’s Wi-Fi issues, though I suspect that it’s home routers and modems at work and not some sort of problem on Apple’s end.

Those experiencing issues should check out this lengthy Wi-Fi thread wherein there are many fixes for those who might be experiencing troubles with Wi-Fi connectivity.

UI is Smooth, For the Most Part

Those concerned about performance issues on the iPhone 5, particularly with the user interface, should not hesitate to install iOS 6.1.3. The software has not had any bad reactions with the UI and so far, I’m able to move about the home screen without any sort of sluggishness.

Apps are opening when I tap them, the camera is smooth, and I haven’t seen any of the random reboots that were plaguing my device before the update to iOS 6.1.

iMessage Sluggishness

iMessage has been giving me headaches.

iMessage has given headaches.

One thing that I have experienced, and have been for some time, is sluggishness when it comes to iMessage. Specifically, my iPhone 5 slows down almost to a crawl when I have both my MacBook Air open with iMessage running and my iPhone 5 open. The slow down occurs generally when it’s messages coming in from a group chat.

Several times, my iPhone 5 has locked up and I haven’t been able to do anything for upwards of 15 seconds. The frequency of this issue has increased over time and unfortunately, iOS 6.1.3 hasn’t fixed it. It doesn’t happen every single time I get a message, but it’s become a bit of an annoyance.

Is anyone else having this issue?

Farewell Evasi0n, For Now

I’ve always kind of had an inkling to jailbreak my iPhone 5 but now, I likely won’t have that chance, at least not until iOS 7. That’s because the Evasi0n iOS 6.1 jailbreak was killed off by iOS 6.1.3.

How to evasi0n iOS 6.1 Jailbreak - iPhone 5 - 6

Don’t update to iOS 6.1.3 if you want to jailbreak the iPhone 5.

That means that owners who wish to jailbreak should stay away from iOS 6.1.3 and instead, stay on iOS 6.1.2. It’s possible that we could see a jailbreak with iOS 7 but at this point, that remains to be seen.

Guess it’ll have to wait for another day.

ios_7

The next update for the iPhone 5 could be iOS 7.

iOS 7 is Likely Next for the iPhone 5

It’s possible that iOS 6.1.3 was the last update to iOS 6. iOS 5 never got a iOS 5.1.4 update and given the meagerness of the iOS 6.1.3 update and the fact that most if not all the bugs have seemingly been taken care, iOS 6.1.3 may be it. At the very least, Apple is likely out of big updates for iOS 6.

The next big update for the iPhone 5 is likely going to be iOS 7 which will more than likely debut at WWDC in the summer, just as it had done for the past two years.

From the sound of things, it could be that iOS 7 delivers major changes to not only the iPhone 5S, but the iPhone 5 and many of the other devices that are currently running iOS 6.

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Let’s just hope it was less bugged than iOS 6.1 was.

Comments

  1. Jeff Cotrupe says

    Great stuff, Adam. I’m not sure if Verizon finally woke up or if 6.1.3 fixed the “Mobile Hotspot working only as USB hotspot” issue, but after a month of Vzw disservice suddenly my iPhone 5 is discoverable as a WiFi source.

  2. ABS says

    Update 6.1.3 on an iPhone 4S causes numerous apps to kept in a “ghost” format on your computer and they cannot be restored to the iPhone. Apple still has work to do.

  3. Steven says

    I have never had battery life issues on my iPhone 5 until installing 6.1.3
    My phone has been running very hot since installing and battery has dropped from 100% to 26% over 3 hours (no calls, Wifi, Internet or Bluetooth used). I do use Exchange but not sure where the issue lies. Waiting for the next update.

    • Ella says

      I’m also having a battery life issue ever since the updates to ios 6.1.3. Now mine lasts only about 4 hours after a full recharge. I’m googling to see if there’s a way to fix this problem but nothing helped so far. Just frustrated…Hope apple comes out with updates to fix this asap.

  4. good fellow says

    my phone is 3G. downloaded this and created a lot of bugs in my i-phone. connectivity is lost and my emails cannot refresh since yesterday. help.

  5. Misty says

    I have the iPhone 4 and have had to charge my phone four times a day for battery drain. I lost all of my apps because my phone crashed with the update and when I restored iCloud didn’t restore them. This update sucks.

  6. Christopher Ado says

    As for the iMessage problem, try deleting all of your messages and restarting the app. That helps me a lot when things get sluggish. Long convos haves tendency to slow things down a bit.

  7. Ami Levartovsky says

    I clicked on YES for UPDATE to 6.1.3 and lost the use of my phone 4 for 16 hours.
    It froze during update (over and over again), and only after numerous reboots (simple and Hard reboots), re-installing iTunes and selecting “Restore to Factory Setting” I got the basic functions.
    it took another 3 hours to restore the apps, pix and contacts.
    So far no luck restoring the podcasts – still working on it…

  8. waldovanderwaal says

    Hey Adam, you left out the link to the ‘lengthy thread’ referring to WiFi issues. My iPhone5 won’t connect to most hotspots. Works fine at home (I use Apple routers), but at airports and hotels? No dice. And I’ve tried a LOT of things so far – would be very interested in the thread you refer to.

  9. Sam says

    6.1.3 has caused huge battery life problems on my 4S and my wife’s 4. Went from 100% to 25% overnight, with no usage, all apps shut down.

  10. DJ says

    Immediately after the 6.1.3 update installed and the iPhone 4S re-booted, battery drain with the most conservative battery usage options enabled and no actual usage (text, internet, phone, etc.) has been 10-15% every 30 minutes. Doing nothing with the phone, the battery is dead in a little over 3 hours. Until this update, the battery life was exemplary.

  11. Deb Barry says

    The new iphone 5 is a total dissappoint with battery life. Apple needs to improve battery with their next update. It sucks. Can’t go half a day without recharging.

  12. DJ says

    And as an added bonus, now I can’t access email through the 4S. Is Apple trying to push customers away? At one point in time they may have been able to get away with this; not anymore. Pull your heads out Apple, and learn a lesson from Nike.

  13. Norm M says

    I never updated my iphone 5, so I am at IOS 6.0.1. I have never had the connectivity issue, no app issues, never crashes. With all apps off, it will go for many days without a charge. If using a GPS using app it will go dead in hours, but I think that has been an expected norm with GPS use. I read all these update horror stories and am coming under the belief if it ain’t broke don’t fix it or upgrade.. I really don’t see anything to gain by updating at this point. Or am I missing something.

    • Steven Palmer says

      I agree. I have never done a iOS update on my phone either and have yet to experience any types of problems. I enjoy the same things you said above that you enjoy with your iPhone 5. People are too fast to jump at an upgrade without waiting a few days or weeks to read other reviews. Take caution to jump at updates without reading reviews!!!

      • Marc says

        I second that. I’m still 6.1.2 with no issues and great battery life. I’m going to wait for version 7 to come out before I decide to upgrade.

  14. DJ says

    I was able to return battery function to near pre-6.1.3 status by focusing on email issue. Deleted all email accounts and apps, then added email accounts back in. Have not added apps back yet, but do not suspect that was the issue. New issue with email accounts: no matter what I do, Gmail accounts cannot be added.

    • Steven Palmer says

      Exchange is no longer supported by gmail. They are only honoring accounts that are already on your device. Therefore, If you delete it and then re-download it does not qualify for “an existing account” on your device. Now what you have to do is download the actual Gmail app, which I will say is actually very nice and is push notification as well without being tied into your active Microsoft exchange account. So download the actual Gmail app you’ll see it’s actually very nice

  15. Gabriel says

    Hi Adam! Thanks for the review. Do you know some issue related to the antenna? People often call me and are redirected to the voicemail when my phone is turned on and desplays full bars of the carrier…

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