iPad Air iOS 8.1.3 Review: Two Weeks Later

Apple’s lined up at least two more iOS 8 updates in iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 though for now, it’s the iOS 8.1.3 update that is the company’s most current. While there’s a ton of excitement about Apple’s two new releases, we continue to get tons of questions and feedback about the iOS 8.1.3 update. Today, we want to take a close look at the iPad Air iOS 8.1.3 update’s performance at the two week mark.

In the weeks after the iOS 8.0 release, Apple’s bombarded iPhone and iPad users with a series of iOS 8 bug fixers aimed at squashing the problems that iOS 8 brought along with it. iOS 8 problems have been problematic for many iPhone and iPad users and some iOS 8 bugs from the original iOS 8.0 update continue to plague some users.


In response to these issues, Apple’s released six iOS 8 bug fix updates. It’s not about to stop there. At the tail end of last year, the company confirmed an iOS 8.2 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. That update remains unreleased though the few iOS 8.2 release date rumors we have point to an arrival sometime in March.

Apple’s also confirmed an iOS 8.3 update for arrival. The iOS 8.3 update, which was released into the beta program earlier this week, is expected to be released sometime after iOS 8.2 and the Apple Watch. Apple did not tack on a specific release date. And with an iOS 8.2 update planned for March, we could be several weeks away from its iOS 8.3 roll out.

The company is also rumored to have an iOS 8.4 update in the works though it, unlike the others, hasn’t been confirmed by a release into the beta program. It’s not clear if the company will put that update into the beta program at a later date. (We’ve started hearing about iOS 9 though its release is likely far off in the distance.)




While the attention of some iPhone and iPad users has started to shift to these new iOS 8 updates, others are more concerned with the right now, the right now being iOS 8.1.3. iOS 8.1.3 is Apple’s sixth bug fixer and it’s an update that’s been lingering around for two weeks now.

Now that we’re at the two week mark, it felt appropriate to offer some extended comments on the performance of Apple’s current version of iOS 8. Today, we want to take a close look at the iPad Air iOS 8.1.3 update, an update that we’ve been using extensively over the past two weeks. Here’s our iPad Air iOS 8.1.3 review at the two week mark.

iPad Air iOS 8.1.3 Review: Two Weeks Later

When I look at iOS updates, I like to look at five different areas: App performance, battery life, connectivity, bugs, and speed. These, at least to me, are some of the most important features on any iOS device and they are also areas that can change, sometimes drastically, after a minor update like iOS 8.1.3. Here’s how all of those are holding up on the iPad Air.


In all, I have about 70 applications on my first-generation iPad Air. I use about half of them on a regular basis. For the sake of this review, I’ve been using as many of them as I can as much as possible in an effort to weed out problems. So far, I’ve come up empty-handed.


While I’ve stumbled into a few issues on the iPhone, my app experience on the iPad Air first-gen has been flawless. Even Google Chrome, a troublemaker on the iPhone, has been performing well. Netflix, an application that I use a lot on the iPad Air and one that’s exhibited troubling behavior in the past, is doing fine post-update.


Apps like Asana, Slack, Spotify, SoundCloud, Google Maps, Dark Sky, Gmail, Hangouts, Waze, GrubHub, and more all solid with iOS 8.1.3 at the wheel. Not surprising given that apps have mostly been solid after moving to iOS 8 from iOS 7.

If you are noticing problems with an app after moving to iOS 8.1.3 or something else, try updating or reinstalling the app. If that doesn’t work, contact the developer. Most developers encourage feedback from users so that they can improve performance in future updates.

Battery Life

In the past two weeks, I’ve used my iPad Air a ton. I haven’t noticed any battery life issues during that time. The iPad Air still offers an incredible experience and I’m able to pull down a full day, even when I’m playing games or streaming tons of video. I watched a ton of college basketball in bed on Saturday morning and it only dropped a few percentage points. Granted, this was done over Wi-Fi, but the performance is still one of the most attractive things about the iPad Air.


I haven’t seen many iPad Air users complain about iOS 8.1.3 battery life, a sign that the battery is holding up well post-iOS 8.1.3 update. This doesn’t mean that you won’t run into battery life issues but it’s certainly a good sign. Far better than widespread complaining.

If you do happen to run into abnormal battery drain on your first-generation iPad Air, I suggest taking a look at our list of fixes. There’s a very good chance that one of them will help solve whatever is plaguing the tablet. Most of the time, it’s third-party applications and not the iOS operating system itself.


I own the Wi-Fi only version of the iPad Air so I can’t speak to LTE. What I can say though is that Wi-Fi and Bluetooth both remain solid, two weeks after the iOS 8.1.3 update’s release.

It’s a little strange given that I’m seeing issues on the iPhone 6 but I’m not going to complain. I rely on solid Wi-Fi connectivity because I don’t have LTE and iOS 8.1.3 fortunately hasn’t meddled in that experience.


Bugs & Issues

iOS 8, all-around, has been very stable on the original iPad Air. iOS 8.1.3 keeps that trend alive. I haven’t run into any problems, major or minor, after two weeks of use. It has been pretty flawless. Now that’s not to say that there aren’t any bugs lurking on board, I’ve heard about iOS 8.1.3 problems, I just haven’t seen any yet.

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iOS 8.1.3 problems exist on the iPad though most of them appear to be small and isolated. If you have seen issues, you’ll want to be proactive. I suggest taking a look at our list of fixes for common iOS 8 problems to start. From there, I recommend branching out to other forums in search for possible fixes and feedback from fellow iPad Air users.


iOS 8.1.3 is fluid and fast and I haven’t seen any lag or slowdown in the two weeks that I’ve been using it. Apps open quickly, folders open right after I tap them, it’s as good as it has ever been. No complaints after two weeks of use.

Is the iPad Air iOS 8.1.3 Update Worth Installing Now?

If you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems on another version, absolutely. iOS 8.1.3 appears to be very stable and it could potentially fix whatever is wrong with your slate.

If you aren’t dealing with any problems, and you’re already on iOS 8, proceed at your own risk. There’s a very good chance that you’ll come out unscathed but there’s also a chance that iOS 8.1.3 might foul something up. There’s always some risk involved when jumping up to a different version so you’ll have to decide if the bug fixes that are on board iOS 8.1.3 are worth it.