iOS 6.1.4 on iPhone 5 Review: Impressions and Performance

In a bit of a surprise, Apple released yet another update to its iOS 6.1 software in the form of the iOS 6.1.4 update which arrived earlier today for iPhone 5 owners and iPhone 5 owners only. And after spending a few hours with the latest piece of Apple software, it’s time to offer some first impressions about how it performs on Apple’s most current smartphone.

iOS 6.1 has been one of the more busy iOS updates in recent memory as it has accumulated not one, not two, not three, but four incremental updates since its release back in January. Unfortunately, those updates have not come for very good reasons.

To put it lightly, iOS 6.1 has seen its fair share of issues, starting with its initial release back in January of this year. In January, iOS 6.1 rolled out to owners of the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and almost immediately, owners started noticing a host of issues, particularly with battery life and connectivity. Rather quickly, Apple rolled out iOS 6.1.1 which was for iPhone 4 users and iPhone 4 users only.

Read: iOS 6.1.3 Issues Plaguing iPhone, iPad Users.

iOS 6.1.4 has replaced iOS 6.1.3 as the most current version of iOS.

iOS 6.1.4 has replaced iOS 6.1.3 as the most current version of iOS.

The update tackled a 3G connectivity issue that users began facing after installing the iOS 6.1 update and its new features (and bugs). Of course, the problems didn’t end there. Owners of iPhones and iPads of various names began complaining about severe battery drain. This tends to happen after every update but this time, the issues were widespread thanks to an Exchange bug that had phones contacting servers over and over again, draining battery.

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By that time, iPhone owners also had found two lock screen security issues that allowed owners to bypass the lock screen and access information in Contacts and see Photos.

Apple then rolled out iOS 6.1.2 to squash the the Exchange bug and several weeks later, issued iOS 6.1.3 which tackled the security issues that had been plaguing iPhone owners.

However, as we reported, the issues did not stop with the release of iOS 6.1.3. We’ve still heard from a number of iPhone and iPad owners experiencing problems with iOS 6.1.3 and who have been hoping, ever since, for an update to iOS 6.1.4 to solve their problems.

Today, that potential savior arrived in the form of iOS 6.1.4. However, the update is unfortunately only for the iPhone 5 which means that those experiencing issues on other devices are going to have to wait for a potential remedy.

That said, we’ve spent some time with iOS 6.1.4 today and here now are our first impressions of the software’s performance and stability on Apple’s current iPhone, the iPhone 5.

Smooth Update Process

The iOS 6.1.4 update arrived today for the iPhone 5.

The iOS 6.1.4 update arrived today for the iPhone 5.

As with iOS 6.1.3, the update process with iOS 6.1.4 was extremely smooth when installing it Over-the-Air. Whereas previous updates have caused some issues, this 11.5MB update not only downloaded swiftly but also installed relatively fast as well. Again this isn’t always the case with iOS updates installed OTA or otherwise.

Users can expect only a few minutes of downloading and installing before the software replaces iOS 6.1.3 as the iPhone 5′s operating system. Thus far, all of our files are intact.

Speakerphone Seems the Same

iOS 6.1.4 only came with one feature advertised, an “Updated audio profile for Speakerphone.” Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the update hasn’t fixed other issues or brought along new issues with it. A good example of this is the fact that iOS 6.1 fixed the random reboot issues that our iPhone 5 was having, but didn’t advertise the fix in the changelog.

We aren’t sure exactly what the update fixed with the speakerphone however as the update did not go through a beta phase and we haven’t been able to discover any noticeable differences with the speakerphone. So, we aren’t exactly sure what Apple did here.

In fact, the change has some iPhone 5 owners wondering why it was even included at all. At this point, again, we’re not sure.

Wi-Fi Is Functioning

iPhone 5 owners, since its launch back in September, have been dealing with issues with their Wi-Fi connectivity. The issues have persisted through to iOS 6.1 and owners have been complaining about issues even with the incremental updates to iOS 6.1.1, iOS 6.1.2, and iOS 6.1.3.

The issues revolve around Wi-FI connectivity not holding a connection, being weak, and the Wi-Fi toggle being gray for no apparent reason. While we dealt with the first two issues in iOS 6, we haven’t experienced any of these issues in iOS 6.1 or beyond.

As we have suggested several times in the past, there is a lengthy thread that deals with the many issues that iPhone 5 owners have seen and it’s worth taking a look at, especially if the issues persist after installing iOS 6.1.4.

We haven’t heard from any owners complaining about their connection yet but it’s too soon to declare the long-standing Wi-Fi issues as dead.

Battery Life Is Stable, For Now

Battery life remains solid in iOS 6.1.4.

Battery life remains solid in iOS 6.1.4.

The iPhone 5 that we have in our possession does not use Exchange and therefore, our battery life has been stable throughout iOS 6.1′s lifespan. It was fine after iOS 6.1, after iOS 6.1.2, iOS 6.1.3 and now, after installing iOS 6.1.4, we can safely say that the battery life is as stable, and as good, as it ever has been on the iPhone 5.

After using it extensively over the past few hours, we haven’t noticed a considerably drop in battery life, and it has not shown any signs of extreme battery drain while sitting idle.

As we have pointed out in reviews previously, iOS is strange in that issues that didn’t appear on day one, can appear out of the blue several days or weeks down the road. With the iOS 5.1 update on the iPhone 3GS for example, what started off fine, ended up badly as battery drain started to become a serious issue in the weeks after installing the update.

Will that happen to the iPhone 5? We doubt it.

Exchange Issues?

As we pointed out several weeks ago, the Exchange issues that plagued iOS 6.1 users persisted even after updating the iPhone 5 to iOS 6.1.2 and iOS 6.1.3. Because we don’t use the server, it’s impossible to confirm whether the issues are fixed or not.

Read: iOS 6.1.3 Battery Life a Problem for iPhone Users (Video).

We can say this though. We haven’t seen anyone complaining about them and we haven’t heard from our sources who were having issues with it after iOS 6.1.3 so it may be that they were finally taken care of either on the server side before iOS 6.1.3 or with iOS 6.1.4.

iMessage Problems

iMessage issues haven't cropped up yet, but that doesn't mean they won't.

iMessage issues haven’t cropped up yet, but that doesn’t mean they won’t.

One issue that we’ve been having lately is with iMessage, the messaging service that iPhone 5 owners use to communicate with other iDevice users. Specifically, over the past few months, the service has deteriorated to the point that our iPhone 5 has been locking up for extended periods of time or freezing in short bursts.

Particularly, it happens when sending or receiving an MMS while the app is open on a running laptop. It has happened without the laptop present as well, but it’s more prevalent when it’s open.

Additionally, we’ve had iMessages continually buzzing as new when on a phone call. For instance, when the iPhone 5 was in use yesterday on a call, the phone continually buzzed with messages that were hours old.

So far, we haven’t run into trouble with iOS 6.1.4 but this is a sporadic issue so it’s impossible to say whether an 11MB update fixed the issue or if we will have to wait. So far, no other solutions have presented themselves.

No Other Big Issues

Thus far, we haven’t discovered any big issues with iOS 6.1.4. Battery life is efficient, Wi-Fi works, the phone isn’t randomly rebooting, texts work fine, calls are as clear as they have been. Typically, bugs don’t show themselves until a few days after as they are generally hard to track down but we are fairly certain that there are no big issues on board iOS 6.1.4.

Should You Install iOS 6.1.4?

At this point, we feel comfortable recommending iOS 6.1.4 to iPhone 5 owners. Is it a necessary update? No, because it’s fix is a bit of an unknown and we can’t be certain whether it has squashed some of the smaller, isolated issues that uses have been facing. What we can say though is this.

Those that wish to jailbreak their iPhone 5 should not install this update or iOS 6.1.3.

Those that wish to jailbreak their iPhone 5 should not install this update or iOS 6.1.3.

For those experiencing issues on iOS 6.1.3, it probably wouldn’t hurt to try installing iOS 6.1.4 to see if it takes care of any problems. It’s not a risky update by any means and the discussion boards, that are usually rife with activity, are silent. So it might be worth a shot.

Those who are jailbroken or are thinking about jailbreaking with iOS 6.1.2 should not install this update and should avoid it at all costs. Those that don’t wish to do so should be safe to go ahead and get it up and running on the iPhone 5.

Comments

  1. Don says

    I believe the update is to fix an audio/speakerphone issue that many with the iphone 5 have been having. I had it myself. Audio/speakerphone just stopped one day, for no reason. I had to get a replacement phone. 2 Weeks later, it happened to a friend of mine and the Apple store told him it is an issue that people have been having, that the audio speakerphone was just getting shorted out. So I believe this update is to try and fix this issue

  2. Colin says

    Installed .1.4 and so far so good. For my battery, it’s gone done 3% I’m the last 2h 15mins. Am happy with .1.4 this far

  3. Max says

    Updated and now my phone stopped being able to access and view youtube app and videos, even restarted and hard reset phone… Not working. May have to revert to the old 6.1.3

  4. Abhi says

    we use Mobile Iron as our MDM platform. Few users have already complained since taking this upgrade that their experiencing mail flow (Active Sync) issues.

  5. Steve says

    The 6.1.4 update fixed a random message that would pop up any time the alarm clock time was edited and saved.

  6. Alvaro says

    Installed 6.4.1 update , vibration profiles dont work as they should , all vibrate continuous the same (heartbeat, S.O.S)

  7. Mike says

    After installing iOS 6.1.4, the Wi-Fi toggle button became grey, and can’t be touched. Also the bluetooth function cant be turned ON, nor OFF. It just keep loading and loading and loading. Anyone has any ideas to solve this please?

  8. Kim S says

    I upgraded to iOS 6.1.4, and the first thing I noticed is that I suddenly started having trouble entering my password, then when I viewed Feedly, the 1st character on the left is chopped off or nearly off. When I read my email, the bottom menu bar (where the delete is), has to be tapped 3 times to get it to be fully viewable and in the right place. I am not seeing anyone else having this trouble, but I am.

  9. Charlie says

    When charger plugged in the touchscreen behaves erratically. Jerky scrolling and triggering of links to other pages. YouTube and wifi seem ok. Behavior normal on unplugging charger.

  10. David V says

    After install ios 6.14 my speaker output on my mp3 connection is noticeably weaker. How do you convert back to ios 6.1.3?

  11. Cathy Montplaisir says

    I installed the update yesterday. Unfortunately, my bluetooth earpiece began cutting in and out. I powered down my phone and restarted, but still had the same issue. Today I tried reconnecting my earpiece, but it’s now undiscoverable. I tried using an older bluetooth earpiece. The earpiece was discoverable but I couldn’t get any sound. I then tried using the Apple headphones but the sound would only come of out my speaker. Not a happy camper…

  12. John says

    Aftet my phone updated i hace had problems with sending texts from home. I get an error message. I also have a airrave to boost my signal and i am connected to it.

  13. Mike says

    IOS 6.1.4 Killed my sync with MS Exchange, never had a problem before, Now I can not get it to work.

    • Francois Hart says

      Hi. I have a brand new iPhone 5 running IOS 6.1.4. It does not sync at all with MS Exchange 2010. We have an iPhone 4S with IOS 6.1.3 that sync fine with the same MS Exchange server. Have you find a solution with 6.1.4?

  14. ruslana says

    Ever since I updated to 6.1.4 (Iphone 5) I’ve had internet connectivity issues – sometimes it’s 3G and sometimes it’s the wifi. Each time the problem is only solved by rebooting my device. I’m going to try and roll back to 6.1.3.

  15. Sirk says

    My battery life is horrible since the latest ios update. It was on standby for 4 hours after the last full charge and after only one hour of usage the battery was down to 75%! Unacceptable!

  16. Rajiv says

    Apple is doing this so people are forced to buy the IPhone 5. I m still on IOS 6.1.3 and its wrking gr8… We were warned at workplace not to upgrade to IOS 6.1.4 as it has major problems.

  17. Elena says

    Tell me please: I installed the latest update iOS 6.1.4 iPhone 5 and the battery on my phone has become a very fast discharge, charging enough for a day at the minimum of its use … what to do … I’m tired of charging it every day

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