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iOS 7.0.3 on iPad 3: Impressions and Performance

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Yesterday, Apple not only rolled out new Macs, OS X Mavericks and two brand new iPads dubbed iPad mini and iPad Air, the company also delivered a brand new iOS 7 update in iOS 7.0.3 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The update is a massive bug fix update but it also delivered some new functionality including iCloud Keychain. Here, we take a look at how the iOS 7.0.3 stacks up on the iPad third-generation, or, iPad 3.

As expected, Apple had a wealth of products to show off at yesterday’s iPad event in San Francisco. Rumors leading up to the event suggested that Apple would deliver an OS X Mavericks price and release date, release date and price for the new Mac Pro, new MacBook Pros running new processors, and two new iPad models to replace the iPad 4 and iPad mini. There were also rumors that suggested that Apple would unveil an iOS 7.1 update.

All of those rumors panned out, except one. iOS 7.1 was not announced at the event nor did it roll out after the event was over. Instead, the event came and went without any iOS 7 update announcements leaving iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners stunned. Earlier in the month, Apple had promised a major bug fix update for two issues and it had promised the roll out by the end of October.

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Fortunately, Apple simply decided to roll out an update without an announcement. Shortly after the event, Apple pushed out iOS 7.0.3, a massive bug fix update aimed at curtailing the amount of bugs on board its iOS 7 and iOS 7.0.2 software. After the release of those updates, users complained about everything from an iMessage bug to battery drain issues to Wi-Fi problems to filters being inactive on iPads inside the classroom. iOS 7.0.3 won’t fix all of the issues on board iOS 7 but it certainly does fix more than a few.

With many users hesitant about installing new software, here, we take a look at how the iOS 7.0.3 update impacted our experience on last year’s iPad, the iPad 3.

Installation Issues

The iOS 7.0.2 update rolled out without a hitch. iOS 7.0.3 did not. While many users were able to download the latest iOS 7 update Over-the-Air, I, like many others, was unable to. Instead, I was forced to update the iPhone 5 and the iPad 3 using the old iTunes method, a process that took a little longer than an OTA upgrade.

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I’m still not entirely sure what went wrong yesterday but I’m hearing that OTA upgrades are now available to those that didn’t see it emerge yesterday. Apple is typically very good about the installation process with incremental iOS updates so it was surprising to run into issues when trying to get iOS 7.0.3 on board. I imagine that the kink will be worked out ahead of iOS 7.0.4 or iOS 7.1, whichever is next.

Overall Performance

One of the biggest issues that I had with iOS 7 and iOS 7.0.2 was the lag that was on board the iPad 3. Moving from home screen to home screen, using the new multitasking, opening a folder, all of those tasks lagged. Now, I’m not talking about the lag that users often see on laptops and PCs. No, what I mean here are choppy, slow, disjointed animations where the device felt like its constantly skipping around.

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My hope was that iOS 7.0.3 would address these issues and for the most part, it has. The overall speed of iOS 7.0.3 feels faster than it did in iOS 7.0.2 and I haven’t experienced the same choppiness when multitasking or scrolling through home screens. The animations appear to have been optimized. However, I still get some visual lag when opening up folders. Again, it’s not something that happens every time and it’s not something that makes me want to throw the iPad against the wall, but it’s there and it’s a pest.

iOS updates tend to smooth out over time so it’s possible that I could see things improve as time goes on. Right now though, I’m still experienced hints of sluggishness.

Battery Life

I’ve been hearing all sorts of complaints from iPad owners, mainly iPad 2 owners, when it comes to battery life. Many owners on iPhone and iPad have been experiencing battery drain after installing iOS 7 and iOS 7.0.2. Whether iOS 7.0.3 fixed those issues or not is unclear to me because I haven’t ever experienced significant battery drain on my iPad 3.

After having iOS 7.0.3 installed for almost 24 hours now, my iPad 3 has retained the same battery life that it has always had. Long lasting battery life that lasts all day and holds a charge when in standby mode. So at the very least, I can confirm that there are no significant battery drain issues that I am aware of and things are working out well, at least for the time being.

Bugs

iOS 7.0.3 fixed an assortment of bugs, bugs that I didn’t encounter on my iPad 3, and from the looks of things, it hasn’t brought any catastrophic bugs along with it either. Often, iOS updates will fix bugs, but also bring other issues aboard the iPhone and iPad. I haven’t experienced anything horrible yet but bugs often take some time to reveal themselves.

At the moment though, everything seems to be working correctly and the promised bug fixes have seemingly done their job as I can’t replicate any of the issues contained in the change log.

Connectivity

I don’t have a 4G LTE iPad 3 so I can’t speak for LTE data speeds but my Wi-Fi is as fast as ever. I know loads of iPad owners have been experiencing Wi-Fi issues but I haven’t seen any since Apple rolled out an iOS 6.1 update. Speeds are fast, consistent, and that’s over both known and unknown Wi-Fi networks.

Apps Working Fine

iOS users worried about broken applications should stop. Apps inside iOS 7.0.3 on the iPad 3 are running fine. I have an assortment of games on board including GTA 3, Machinarium, World of Goo and more and all of them seem to be working fine. No problems. As for core applications like Camera, Control Center, Facebook, Twitter and more, they all appear to be working flawlessly as well.

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As I’ve said, it often takes time before issues rear their ugly head so it could be that I am complaining just a couple of days from now. For now though, I am safe from issues with the on board software.

iCloud Keychain Works as Advertised

As I pointed out in my impressions of the iPhone 5 iOS 7.0.3 update, I have been looking forward to iCloud Keychain for months, ever since it made its debut at WWDC in June. And while it didn’t roll out with the first two updates for the iPad 3, it did roll out with iOS 7.0.3. And thankfully, the service works as advertised.

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Of course, I am going to have to make the switch back from Chrome to Safari to truly make use of it but that’s just a small price to pay. Safari is, after all, much improved in iOS 7.

Should You Install iOS 7.0.3?

At this point, I have no real complaints about the iOS 7.0.3 update. It appears to have done more good than bad and it brings iCloud Keychain to users. Battery life is solid, Wi-Fi is working as good as it did in iOS 7.0.2 and iOS 7 and apps aren’t crashing left and right.

With iOS 7 jailbreak developers giving the go ahead, I can safely recommend iOS 7.0.3 to all iPad 3 owners at the moment. There is always a chance that the update could screw things up but at this point, it’s working perfectly on my iPad 3.

31 Comments

  1. gabriel

    10/23/2013 at 2:28 pm

    thank u Adam.. was looking forward for this review :D

  2. Fiona

    10/23/2013 at 3:01 pm

    Do you know of any issues experienced by iPad 2 users?

  3. J

    10/23/2013 at 3:23 pm

    I have an iPad2 & ever since I installed the update, my iPad will not hold a charge like it used to. I mean come on….it shouldn’t take over 16 hours to charge it to 100%. I tried a hard re-set & let the battery drain completely before charging & NO Luck. I am sorry I installed the update….uggghh! Don’t do it if you don’t have to :-(

  4. Bryce Miller

    10/23/2013 at 3:42 pm

    I have an iphone 5 running 7.0.3. I have suddenly been having issues with battery life. I will be using my phone when all of a sudden, the phone dies. When I turn it back on. It says it needs to be charged before it’ll turn on. But 5 minutes later, it can turn on and the battery is at 55%. DO NOT DOWNLOAD!!

    • Tim

      10/24/2013 at 1:37 pm

      I’m having the same issue, my iPhone 5 was charged at 100% this morning, and then within 4 hours it claims that its dead and shut off. If I push the power button briefly it shows I need to recharge it. If I hold it down for 3 seconds, it powers back on and has 8% battery. If I use any apps, text, or call it shuts off. Under iOS 6 I had battery life for 15-20 hours. Under 7.0.2 it lasted 12 hours. There is a serious issue with iOS7.0.3. My iPhone 5 is only 7 months old. What happened to the reliability of Apple’s operating systems. The glitches I’m having remind me of when I used to own an Android and had serious OS bugs daily. I bought an Apple for bug free software, now I’m back to square one:( At best, this software rollout is beta tested, not production ready.

  5. Shelton Lee (Suwon)

    10/23/2013 at 9:18 pm

    What’s wrong with Apple? I want to buy an iPad, but I thought Apple devices “just works”. I guess I was wrong? Maybe the Youtube tech reviewers are just getting paid or just fanboys or something?

  6. iphone5user

    10/23/2013 at 9:34 pm

    Iphone5 Touch is not responsive

    Many areas of screen where touch is not responding after ios7.0.3 upgrade. and battery drains all of sudden.. no apps running behind , background update disabled

  7. Anishka Jitendrabhai Vaghani

    10/23/2013 at 9:41 pm

    There is more bugs:

    1. When you use the five fingers to go to the home, it display the ugly white bar at the bottom.

    2. The wallpaper changing is so hard! You have to wait for changing the wallpaper.

    3. When you have the password lock, and when you slide to unlock, it lags so much! Try it yourself.

    4. Most popular apps still display the old iOS6 style keyboard!

    Expect these, My iPad 3 is perfect :)

  8. siddhant

    10/24/2013 at 12:27 am

    my ipad 4 is running damn good with ios 7.0.3 that i upgraded yesterday!! i am completly satisfied with this. i recommend all ipad4 users to upgrade to ios 7.0.3!! apple always brings out good things and will continue to do so!!

  9. Daryl Grimm

    10/24/2013 at 4:11 am

    On “set-up” they Check off whether you want other people to reach you at my your phone number. does that mean you’d be getting spam/hawkers calling too?

  10. Todd

    10/24/2013 at 5:29 am

    Battery life
    I have an iPad 2, 64 GB, WiFi. Even though the battery on my Verizon iPhone 4S 64GB drains about 30% *faster* that it used to under iOS 7, my iPad 2 battery performance has been unchanged, aside from the fact that it will say it’s been used for an hour and 20 minutes when I pick it up for the first time after getting home from work, after a full charge from the previous night – that part is new, but it doesn’t seem to drain it more than a single percent. In hands-on use, my iPad 2 still has excellent battery performance, comparable to iOS6.

    Glitchy animations
    iOS 7.0.3 has not resolved any of my choppy animation complaints about iOS 7 on my iPad 2. It still has very choppy screen rotation animations (from the home screens only) and there are noticeable animation glitches/frame hiccups when switching from one app to another via the home screen double-tap app switching method. The performance of apps themselves, is unchanged in iOS 7.0.3 on my iPad 2 – it is the main app launcher screens that have sluggish response and glitchy animations that used to be perfect in iOS 6.

    Parallax & zooming effects – all or nothing
    I guess some people didn’t care for the animations in iOS 7, but I really like them. They just make using the general interface that much more pleasant and enjoyable… when the animations are smooth and glitch-free, anyway (which is rare on my iPad 2). I’m rather annoyed that Apple chose to go with an “all or nothing” approach to the “reduce motion setting”. I don’t like the parallax effects because they are very glitchy on my iPad 2 – the background jumps and glitches, and the effect generally just doesn’t work well (in terms of what it’s supposed to look like, and what it actually looks like). I turned it off in iOS 7 and it minimized some of the animation hiccups. Now in iOS 7.0.3, I have to keep the parallax turned on if I want to see the zooming animations, or else it’s just the blah-looking fade from this screen to that. Oh well.

    They could do better!
    Having played games like Infinity Blade, Real Racing and some other high-octane graphics pushers, I can’t believe the engineers at Apple can’t do relatively simple home screen animations without all the glitches and hiccups. Sure, they’re designing around the new 64-bit A7 processor, but the A5 does just fine with other graphics-intensive applications, so it seems like shoddy programming on Apple’s part.

    I can’t believe they’re still selling the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 when they can’t even make iOS 7 run well on them, performance-wise. Still hoping for better in iOS 7.1, but I ain’t holding my breath.

  11. Becky

    10/24/2013 at 6:27 am

    Just downloaded the new 7.0.3. And I have NOT been happy with any of these changes it’s made on my iPad… I have constant glitches and it’s slow… I get doubles on my fb ever since I downloaded it. I constantly am getting kicked off while looking on the net… I hate the new back grounds…my key board has changed and also for some reason it has deleted some things I had saved..just to many issues to list…who ever is making these horrible changes needs to be removed from their position and get someone in there that knows what their doing… Sorry!

  12. Rizzo

    10/24/2013 at 10:43 am

    I am having drain issues now. my phone has never been this bad.

  13. Asswipe

    10/24/2013 at 6:29 pm

    I updownloaded bbm 7.0.3.92938383828 and the mofo update busted my ford pinto. It now leaks oil out the gas tank and wind shield wipers gots shitted on my seagulls

    • MadMaxx

      10/25/2013 at 7:00 pm

      You are an as swipe!

  14. Manuel Da Silva

    10/24/2013 at 11:37 pm

    F… Apple. My ipone and ipad dont hold a charge since the latest update.

  15. Xavier

    10/25/2013 at 2:26 am

    I think I am going to wait until Apple rolls out iOS 7.1

  16. Lora Griego

    10/25/2013 at 2:52 am

    I just update to fix the bugs now my I pad will not show what your doing like FB or using your key pad facing it turn the other way will not go back….,

  17. dana mata

    10/25/2013 at 4:27 am

    I literally just installed the 7.0.3 on my iPad and it has really messed up the sound on the iPad. it is now very raspy sounding. the 7.0.2 was fine and clearly I should not have messed with it. I am glad I didn’t install the 7.0.3 on my new phone as it may have screwed that up too. any way to reverse this?

    • Tim

      10/26/2013 at 7:48 am

      I don’t have a fix but I have the same problem. The audio is unbearable which sucks since I use my ipad for radio at work and watch a lot of you tube videos at home. Not happy at all :(

  18. John

    10/26/2013 at 3:19 am

    My iphone 5s is working a much better. Siri is more responsive instead of just clocking- No battery issues. Apps not crashing. Imessage working much better. I am starting to wonder if the hardware is different in phones- weird

    • dana mata

      10/26/2013 at 10:28 am

      now this is interesting. for some reason I thought maybe if I turn my iPad off and then on again it will correct the problem. low and behold it did! the sound is now back to “normal” I am once again a happy camper. the better news is I downloaded it to my iPhone 5 and what was a goofy scratchy sounding siri has corrected. my faith is restored. “)
      so tim……..turn it off and then on again after a few minutes. I swear it fixed the problem

  19. Philip

    10/26/2013 at 8:04 pm

    I am have huge problems with 7.0.3. Screen lock rotation has gone crazy it locks some apps and auto rotates others to landscape, even the home page does not rotate properly anymore. just a little be frustrated at the moment.

  20. Apple 7.0.3 CRASHES

    10/27/2013 at 12:42 pm

    I uploded 7.0.3 this morning and now my iPad2 continuously locks up. I have had to do a hard reset every 5 minutes for the past hour.

  21. shazzan01

    10/27/2013 at 3:25 pm

    Ever since I loaded 7.0.3 my battery on my iPhone 4S lasts less than a day whereas pre 7.0.3 it would last a couple of days!

  22. Annette

    10/29/2013 at 4:55 am

    Ever since the upgrade to 7.0.3 on my ipad2 (18 months old) and iphone4 (3 months old) I’ve have the following problems:
    1. While checking email, mail apps freezes – forced to do a reset
    2. Battery power reduces much faster than iOS6 – I’ve only just recharged the ipad2…which took much longer than usual…in the last 5 minutes I have lost 5% battery power with only safari running and only the tab for this website!
    3. No sound for any of my game apps – reset and checking settings has not resolved this
    4. Keyboard often not working when typing – need to open/close app before typing suddenly works again
    5. Touch screens are less responsive – I can be swiping the screen for 5 minutes and it still hasn’t unlocked the screen…and don’t get me started on how that is affecting my ability to answer phone calls!

    While it seems that the newer hardware versions are running okay with iOS 7.0.3 its not the case with older hardware….hmmm memory? I’m not going to buy a new device every time you decide to do a sub-par software upgrade.

    I’d love to go back to the previous iOS because atleast it worked. But when all the apps are now being ‘bug fixed’ and upgraded to the new iOS you don’t leave me much choice. Honestly if white taskbars and fancy motions are the best you can come up with and a buggy iOS what a disappointment.

  23. Aeolia shenberg

    11/02/2013 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks Adam, would you recommend iOS 7.0.3 to all iPad mini users too? I am still on iOS 6.1.3.

  24. Mario

    11/03/2013 at 1:15 am

    Apple is going down for sure… I’m going to buy Microsoft Surface if the things are going that way…

  25. Goo Gul-sux

    11/03/2013 at 3:41 am

    Apple is the new Microsoft.
    Rushed releases, glitchy products and too many controls on how I want to use my device. The battery drain is horrendous – if you use Kindle it will deplete in 3 hours.
    Don’t want to buy Korean, but will def consider Samsung for next tab and phone.

  26. Trudy

    11/05/2013 at 8:57 am

    I am trying to download iOS7 on iPad 4 but it has stalled and the download bar hasn’t moved for 2 days! I’ve tried turning the device off and on andvstarting again but it’s still at the same point saying “downloading” but doing nothing. It seems to have frozen. Imcan’t use iTunes as my laptop is in the repair shop. Any suggestions appreciated!

  27. Alexander Bogatyrev

    11/05/2013 at 4:08 pm

    I want this wallpaper

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