iPad 3 on iOS 7.0.2 Review: Impressions and Performance

Yesterday, Apple rolled out its second update to its new iOS 7 operating system in the form of iOS 7.0.2, a small update aimed at tackling a pretty large problem. The update arrived for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and here, we take a close look at how the iOS 7.0.2 update performs on Apple’s iPad third-generation, also known as the iPad 3.

Last week, Apple finally delivered the big changes it talked about when it took the stage in June at WWDC and announced a brand new iOS update, an iOS update that the company dubbed iOS 7. Instead of an incremental iOS update like the others before it, updates that focused on adding new features to the company’s iconic operating system, iOS 7 delivered new features on top of a brand new look.

With the departure of Scott Forstall, Jony Ive and his design team took over and redesigned the look of iOS, giving the icons a new look and the UI a flatter, more colorful design. The company called it the biggest update to iOS since the introduction of the first iPhone and it’s hard to argue with that statement, iOS 7 is a pretty big change.

Read: iOS 7.0.2 on iPhone 5 Review.

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On September 18th, as promised, Apple delivered iOS 7 to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners around the world setting off a frenzy of downloads and download issues. After the dust settled, millions of users around the world were no longer running iOS 6, but iOS 7.

After just about every iOS update, owners complain about an assortment of issues, many of them small. However, iOS 7 users did discover one big bug lurking inside iOS 7, a major security flaw that put Apple engineers to work.

Yesterday, a little more than a week after the iOS 7 update touched down, Apple released iOS 7.0.2, an update that followed the iOS 7.0.1 update for iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

Like the iPhone 5 iOS 7.0.2 update, the update to the iPad 3 isn’t a big one, checking in at less than 21MB in size. However, there will still be iOS 7 users who are curious about the update, specifically, whether it’s worth installing. Remember, iOS updates can often break things or add new bugs.

For those who are maybe holding back, or just want some reassurance, we have dove into the iOS 7.0.2 update for the iPad 3 and here, we offer our impressions of its performance.

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Flawless iOS 7.0.2 Install

Those who install iOS 7.0.2 are not going to run into the same horrendous installation issues that arose last week with the iOS 7 release. Typically, Apple’s servers only melt on the first iOS release date and any updates that arrive after are usually smooth sailing. Such is the case with the latest iOS 7 update, iOS 7.0.2.

A much smoother install process this time around.

A much smoother install process this time around.

On the iPad 3, the installation process took about 10 minutes. The update is small, around 20MB, but the overall process can still take a little bit of time. That said, we still suggest iPad owners make a backup of their data before installing the update as there is always the potential that something could get fouled up. Our experience, however, was flawless.

Security Issue Fixed

Lock screen security issues have been a problem for Apple for quite some time. iOS 6, for instance, was plagued with them. So it wasn’t surprising to learn that iOS 7 also had a nasty security flaw that affected not only iPhone owners but iPad owners as well.

To utilize the flaw, all someone would have to do in iOS 7 is head to the lock screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and launch the clock app. At that point, users would need to press the power button at the top of the iPhone would bring up the option to power off the device.

Then, by pressing cancel rather than sliding to power off, thieves could tap the home button twice to bring up the iOS 7 multitasking interface. It’s from there that prying eyes could, and still can on iOS 7, access personal files like the camera roll. All of that can be seen in the video below.

Fortunately, Apple doesn’t sit around on its hands. Instead, the company got to work and released iOS 7.0.2, whose change log includes two features, a Greek keyboard and a fix for this security issue.

We haven’t been able to replicate the flaw on the iPad 3 after installing iOS 7.0.2, so, it looks like whatever Apple did, worked. So now all we have to do is wait for the next security flaw to emerge as there will inevitably be another one at some point down the road. There always is.

iOS 7.0.2 Battery Life

Often times, iOS updates, even the smaller ones, can bring some battery life problems to iPhone and iPad owners. We saw it with the iOS 6.1 update, the iOS 6.1.2 update and the iOS 6.1.3 update as well. This is one of the big issues that prospective upgraders look at before installing an iOS update and fortunately, it looks like iOS 7.0.2 doesn’t bring any nasty battery drain to the table.

Battery life remains fantastic in iOS 7.0.2.

Battery life remains fantastic in iOS 7.0.2.

Battery life after iOS 7 remained stable, on par with iOS 6 or maybe even a little better, and in iOS 7.0.2, we are getting similar battery life. No drain to be had, even in standby.

As always, we highly recommend taking a look at our iOS 7 battery life tips as there might be an easy fix for any battery life issues that iPad owners encounter within iOS 7.

Wi-Fi Remains Solid

iOS 7 users have told us that Wi-Fi is an issue in iOS 7, however, we have yet to experience any problems with connectivity on either the iPhone 5 or the iPad 3.

Instead, the Wi-Fi connection has been speedy and stable, even when connecting to a network for the first time. Luckily, the iOS 7.0.2 update hasn’t broken anything and Wi-Fi remains as solid as it was last week.

Those who are experiencing issues should stop by the Apple discussion forums as there are several threads that address the Wi-Fi issues within iOS.

Apps Working Fine

Initially, we ran into some issues with Netflix wherein the application wasn’t stable and videos would often crash. With its latest update, the application seems to be much better. We haven’t run into any crashes and the app is working as it did prior to the release of iOS 7. However, from what we’re hearing, many users are still encountering issues with the app, something that should lead to a fix further down the road.

We also haven’t run into any other major app issues on the iPad as games including Angry Birds, Machinarium and World of Goo are all working like they did prior to the upgrade.

iOS 7 Is Still Laggy

That said, iOS 7 still has quite a big of lag in iOS 7.0.2. When we first installed iOS 7, things like the new multitasking, shifting the orientation from portrait to landscape and back and opening up folders weren’t snappy and were clunky. This lag remains in iOS 7.0.2 as all three of these still offer up slow down, slow down that can be significant on occasion.

We are still encountering lag issues in iOS 7.0.2.

We are still encountering lag issues in iOS 7.0.2.

We still want to blame the fact that the iOS 7 iPad update didn’t spend as much time in the beta period as the iPhone update. Remember, we had heard that the iOS 7 update for iPad was still a little bit unsettled ahead of its release.

So we’re holding out hope that Apple is still working out the kinks and is working to optimize the software for its older devices. Perhaps, an iOS 7.1 update will fix things.

FaceTime Audio Issues Persist

We also complained about some issues with FaceTime Audio, one of the new features in iOS 7. The feature, which allows users to chat via audio through FaceTime when connected to Wi-Fi or a cellular network, is still having issues when a device transfers from Wi-Fi to LTE and back. The person who is switching between connections often cuts out and speech becomes disjointed.

When the service is used on a stable Wi-Fi connection, the person on the other end has sounded much better than even an actual phone call. This service is new and we imagine that Apple will work to improve it in the future.

No Major Bugs, It Seems

iOS 7 has arrived for the iPad 3.

iOS 7.0.2 has arrived for the iPad 3.

We still haven’t found any major bugs lurking inside our iOS 7.0.2 update. There are, however, plenty of people ranting and raving about iOS 7 bugs on Apple’s discussion forum, many of them having to do with battery life, connectivity and more. Thus far, we haven’t encountered any of them and for us, the experience on iOS 7 and iOS 7.0.2 has been a relatively stable one.

Remember, mileage will vary when it comes to iOS updates because people use their phones and tablets in different ways. They also use different gear to support them, including old routers, which can often lead to issues.

Should You Install iOS 7.0.2?

Those who are already on iOS 7 should certainly install iOS 7.0.2. Not only does it fix the security issue but we haven’t discovered any major bugs inside the new update. Battery life seems fine, connectivity is good, and applications are functioning as usual.

The biggest downside to iOS 7 is the lag that’s in the UI but we’re hopeful that Apple fixes that in an upcoming update for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. It’s not a deal breaker though and overall, the good of iOS 7 has far outweighed the bad.