iOS 7.0.3 on iPhone 5: Impressions and Performance

While most of Apple’s spotlight was shone upon the new iPad mini 2, iPad Air, MacBook Pro and OS X Mavericks, the company also rolled out a big time iOS 7 update today in the form of iOS 7.0.3, an incremental update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners. The update is the biggest update to iOS 7 since its release last month and for the past few hours, we’ve been digging into the iOS 7.0.3 update on the iPhone 5.

Today’s launch event was supposed to be a big deal for Apple users across the globe and it was. The company announced two brand new iPads, confirmed a free OS X Mavericks upgrade for Mac users, offered up Mac Pro release date and pricing details and finally showed off its new MacBook Pro. There had been rumors of an iOS 7.0.3 or iOS 7.1 update but the event ended without any talk about iOS 7 updates, causing many iPhone and iPad owners disappointment.

Apple had promised an iOS 7 update by the end of the month, an update aimed at tackling several major issues plaguing its mobile users. In particular, a widespread iMessage issue that forced many iPhone owners to switch to text messages. And with the event over, it looked like Apple would wait until later in the month to roll out its new software. Apple isn’t known to make promises it can’t keep.

A short time after the event, Apple quietly rolled out iOS 7.0.3, a brand new update to the iOS 7 operating system and one that we consider to be the biggest since the arrival of iOS 7 itself. The update, which is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, promises fixes for a number of issues including the iMessage problem that has been going on for several weeks now.

We’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s latest and greatest and here, we want to share our thoughts and impressions about the iOS 7.0.3 update for the iPhone 5.

Installation Issues

When iOS 7 first rolled out, I, like many iPhone 5 owners, encountered some nasty installation issues that prevented me from installing iOS 7 right away. I ran into some iOS 7.0.3 installation issues right off the bat, but instead of a lengthy headache, they only produced a temporary one.

When I fired up my iPhone 5 to install the iOS 7.0.3 update, it didn’t show up, even though several of my colleagues and friends were able to download the update Over-the-Air, no problem. For reasons that are still unexplained, my iPhone 5 and iPad 3 never saw an OTA prompt. iOS 7.0.2 was listed as the most current version of iOS 7.

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I tried a couple of things, shutting the device down, toggling Wi-Fi, and more. Still didn’t work. So, I was forced to use iTunes, an application that doesn’t even reside on my app tray. Sure enough, iTunes showed me an iOS 7.0.3 update available to download. The installation process was a little longer than the iOS 7.0.2 update and overall, from start to finish, it only took about 10 minutes to finish. Combined with the OTA problems, it took about 30 minutes.

Overall Performance

iOS-7.0.3-Update-ReleasedOnce iOS 7.0.3 was installed, I was able to dig into the largest update yet to the iOS 7 operating system. And fortunately, I am glad to report that the overall performance is looking remarkably good. The overall operating system seems much faster than iOS 7.0.2 and iOS 7 and that could be because Apple has improved the transitions and animations. It feels more fluid.

I’m not going to get too excited just yet though. iOS software typically take some time to settle down and show its true colors, for better or worse, so it could be that my experience gets worse in the next few days. I am hopeful that it won’t.

Battery Life

At this point, battery life seems to be fine. I’m not experiencing any abnormalities when using the phone over Wi-Fi or LTE and for the time being, it looks like the status quo. Again, this is something that could certainly change as the days go on but at this point, I am not experiencing anything unusual. I should point out that I haven’t seen any major battery drain issues with iOS 7 so I can’t say if the update fixed the issues that owners were evidently experiencing with the previus updates.

Bugs

iOS 7.0.3 is a massive bug fixer, shoring up everything from the lock screen flaw to improvements to Siri’s voice quality to a fix for the quality of VoiceOver input. It’s iOS 7’s first big bug fix. However, even bug fixes can bring bugs with them and there is a chance that iOS 7.0.3 issues could arise over the next few weeks. At the moment though, I haven’t found anything catastrophic on board.

Software is rarely flawless so I’m sure I’ll stumble into something down the road but at this point, there is nothing that has hindered by experience or prevented me from performing my usual routine. Instead, things have seemingly improved.

Connectivity

I haven’t experienced any Wi-Fi or 4G LTE issues with iOS 7 or iOS 7.0.2 so I can’t speak to whether or not this update fixes some of the issues that owners have been having with Wi-Fi. What I can say though is that connectivity on my iPhone 5 remains strong, whether it’s a Wi-Fi network or if it’s AT&T’s 4G LTE network. Both are working fine after the update.

iMessage Problem Solved

While the iMessage issue didn’t plague all iPhone owners, it was far more widespread than I originally though. At first, I thought it was just my connection playing tricks on me, but then I learned that it was a serious issues affecting a ton of iPhone owners after the iOS 7 and iOS 7.0.2 updates. My experience with the issue, I was unable to send iMessages to friends but was able to receive them, started after iOS 7.0.2.

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For the past few days, I was using the temporary fix wherein I had to reset my Network Settings every single time the issue happened. I had to do this no fewer than five times. First world problems but problems nonetheless. After installing iOS 7.0.3, I haven’t experienced the issue and I’ve sent out many, many iMessages to friends, co-workers and family today.

FaceTime Audio Improves

One of my other grips with iOS 7 has been the performance of FaceTime Audio. Performance has been extremely up and down, to the point where I had all but given up on the service until Apple rolled out some fixes. There weren’t any fixes listed in the changelog for iOS 7.0.3, however, when I fired it up earlier, there was a noticeable difference in quality.

FaceTime Audio iOS 7 Guide 2

I am, unfortunately, still running into a hand off issue. When I switch from Wi-Fi to LTE, there are hangups and when I manually turn Wi-Fi off when on a FaceTime Audio call, I lose the person on the other end, every single time, without fail. The sound quality is much better but there are still some issues that Apple really needs to work out before I can count on the service.

iCloud Keychain

This is a feature that I have been waiting for since Apple announced iOS 7 in June and finally, iOS 7.0.3 has delivered it to my iPhone 5. I’ve only been able to use it for a short while but I can confirm that it works as advertised. It’s also going to force me to change from Chrome to Safari, but I am OK with that. For me, the addition of iCloud Keychain alone would have been enough to upgrade to iOS 7.0.3. The fact that it has a bunch of fixes as well is just the cherry on top.

Apps Working Fine

Often times, applications stop performing after an iOS update. While I don’t have a million apps on my iPhone 5, I can say that I haven’t run into any major issues with the big name applications like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Spotify. All four of those are performing admirably. If an app is broken, developers typically move quickly to fix but thus far, we aren’t hearing about any disasters. Things seem to be quiet.

Should You Install iOS 7.0.3?

At this point, it’s tough not to recommend iOS 7.0.3 to iPhone 5 users. Overall, the software is snappy and while it may just be in my head, it feels faster than Apple’s previous updates. Core applications all work, iCloud Keychain is as fantastic as Apple made it out to be, and the major bug that was plaguing my iPhone has been squashed.

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Because the jailbreak authorities have deemed iOS 7.0.3 safe to install, likely because exploits are intact, it appears safe for just about anyone to download and install.

Comments

  1. Selvin says

    Well I did it and I don’t know bit it feels and looks different and lighting fast and this is only da i5 it’s worth it

  2. Rob says

    The FaceTime audio hangups could be to do with your setting to allow or disallow FaceTime data usage.

  3. greg says

    I went from IOS 6.1.3 to 7.0 to 7.0.2,. Couldn’t stand IOS 7xx. Tried to go back to IOS 6,
    and was unable to(thanks apple). I finally came up with a solution. I bought a refurbed
    iPhone with IOS 6 on it. Buys me some time. Probably the last iPhone I’ll ever own.
    When Jobs died apple died.

  4. Ali says

    My i phone 5 is not working after upgrading to ios 7.0.3 and battery is not charging at all it shows battery in red and not picking the charge from the laptop or the electricity power :S ,
    here what i did :
    – an update message came that 7.0.3 available so i click on update from the phone
    – it start to update and suddenly it show the white screen with the apple sign
    – connected to i tunes but its not detecting at all that there is a phone connected
    – try to update i tunes and restart the laptop , restart the phone by clicking the both button !!!!!!!!!!!

    till now im without phone and its just keep blinking , the battery is red ! and then the apple comes again and so on ….

    if you have solution please advice me my email is over here

  5. Hugo says

    Just downloaded the update……. Aaaaaaaaaand same problem, texts still not being sent, not receiving calls, 4g problems…. And while I type this a bit of a lag…. If your gonna fix something, fix the important problems!

  6. Gregory says

    Updated to 7.0.3 – tried to recharge my iphone5 -everything was fine until I saw 99% and not more! Unplugged and used the phone for half an hour over wifi-90%. Typing this text is a nightmare-the keypad lags as hell. Wtf?? Apple! Had no problems, now I’m havin’ a headache!!

    • Stacey says

      I’m having the same problem everything is now playing up
      Phone turns itself off, text is a joke, battery life goes Really quick

  7. Prateek says

    We’ll the lag problems have still not been resolved . This six. Waiting for the major update of ios 7.1

  8. Angrykid23 says

    Updated tonight and now phone locked out been on to apple store tried everything still won’t work 4hrs later not impressed was working fine until update !
    Tried connecting through iTunes still does not work now nobody can contact me WILL NEVER BUY AN APPLE IPHONE AGAIN samsung all the way now when I get my replacement going straight on eBay FU***NG S**E.

    • Justin says

      All you have to do is go to Apple, they’d clear out replace your device in like 15 mins… Your own stupidity for wasting your time.

  9. 1985narly says

    IPhone 5s. Updated to 7.0.3. Fixed accelerometer issues completely (sensor gate problems). No lag in keyboard. IMessage works perfectly. Texts go through. So, for me this update was a blessing.

  10. Tim Meads says

    My 5S is working worse since the upgrade to 7.0.3. Messages take forever to send instead of instantly going. Sometimes they fail. My wifi connections to my routers flake out now even after resetting the AP’s. I get messages HOURS later from folks on other networks. This is pathetic.

  11. Bryan says

    Updated my 5C, it appears iMessage works fine now. Seems pretty “zippy” now going from program to program, deleting emails, etc. Update worked great for me.

  12. sophea kh says

    iPhone user in Cambodia changed to use Samsung because on iPhone in iOS 7 can not jailbreak if can not jailbreak they can not install font and keyboard khmer so they hopeless…
    please please please the new version of iPhone have khmer font and keyboard…because a lots of people in Cambodia now changed to Samsung and now Samsung is better so….

  13. bobbie says

    downloaded 7.0.3 on my iphone 5c. I cannot download new apps. Current apps that need to be updated are in limbo – won’t upgrade nor can I delete them…they are ‘waiting’ then says unable to download at this time. I cannot find an answer anywhere. I’ve turned the phone off and back on. Any advice?

  14. Mia says

    iOS 7.0.3 sucks ass, since downloading it my phone keeps giving me a message reading SIM card failure. I’ve tried everything and it continues to show the message after about 5-10 mins. Wtf apple?!

  15. Matt says

    updated my 5s to ios 7.03 , and can no longer send sms messages to some contacts , poor effort

  16. Elaine Simpson says

    I make the mistake of updating my iPhone 4S to 7.03 and now the battery is running down very rapidly and the wifi connection has gone. The only good news is iMessages are now being delivered. I have tried every fix recommended for wifi including returning to factory settings but nothing works. Despair!

  17. Singer says

    Glad I read these comments…keeping iOS 6 for as long as possible…sounds like a nightmare…

  18. Trevor says

    With each ios7 update my battery has drained exponentially. It’s horrendous. And I have turned off everything I’ve been told to turn off to save battery but still drains like crazy. What’s worse it’s shuts down before 20%. But now with 7.0.3 its shutting down at 37%!? I recharge it and switches on with 42% battery. Wtf Apple updates? Totally ruined my battery when my iphone5 battery was already shitty to begin with now I’m using a mobile phone that’s always connected to a power socket, which is the only way I can use or else it just dies on me if I do use it and just drains even if I don’t touch it

  19. Mike says

    Someone plz help me I downloaded iOS 7.0.3 and I can’t send iMessages it’s irritating I did the hard shut down I’ve tried my network settings it’s really upsetting plz help plz plz plz plz

  20. Brenda says

    Tried DFU trick above. Did not work. My daughter’s ready to have a fit because as soon as the phone’s unplugged from the computer, the charge drops from 80 to 18. Ugh

  21. Pierre says

    Ever since IOS 7.0.3 my 4S is having Wi-Fi issues; disconnecting from Wi-FI and/or just not reading any Wi-Fi signal at all… And now, I just cannot activate the Wi-Fi at all; just cannot slide the freakin’ thing to “on” anymore!!!

  22. Michael says

    I installed the iOS7.3 a few days ago, just tonight around 5PM PT San Diego, CA, the sound is completely gone. I’ve rebooted it, reset it, nothing works to get the sound back on:-(

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