iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.3 Review: Two Weeks Later

With iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 updates for iPhone and iPad confirmed and an iOS 8.4 release rumored for the future, the iOS 8.1.3 update’s days are numbered. For now though, it rules as Apple’s most current iOS 8 update. We continue to get tons of questions and feedback about the iOS 8.1.3 update and today, we want to take a close look at the iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.3 update’s performance at the two week mark.

Apple’s has been busy in the weeks after the iOS 8.0 release in September. In the weeks since the iOS 8 update’s roll out, Apple’s pushed out six bug fix updates aimed at squashing lingering iOS 8 problems. The company’s iOS 8.1 update delivered Apple Pay to iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users but these updates have mainly dealt with iOS 8 issues on the iPhone and iPad.



iOS 8 isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. 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 iOS 8.2 release date rumors point to an arrival in March. That remains unconfirmed.

Apple’s also confirmed an iOS 8.3 update for arrival. The iOS 8.3 update, which was released into the beta program yesterday, 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 an 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. 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 iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.3 update, an update that we’ve been using extensively over the past two weeks. Here’s our iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.3 review at the two week mark.

iPhone 5 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.


I’ve owned the iPhone 5 for more than two years, I bought it when it first came out, so I have a ton of applications. I don’t use all of them regularly but for the sake of this review, I’ve used as many of them as possible as much as possible.


After two weeks of fiddling around with my various applications, I’ve only run into one noticeable issue with my app collection. Google Chrome is crashing, a lot. Now this isn’t native to the iOS 8.1.3 update or even the iPhone 5 but what I will say is that I’ve noticed an increased in frequency over the past few days. I’ve seen the same thing on the iPhone 6. The crashes seem to happen when I have around 10 or more tabs open though I’ve seen it crash with much less.

This isn’t an iOS 8.1.3 problem I don’t think but it’s still worth pointing out, especially to those of you using Google Chrome on the iPhone 5. (And to you Google, if you’re listening.)


Other than Chrome, my apps are all functioning nicely two weeks after the arrival of iOS 8.1.3. Apps like Asana, Slack, Spotify, SoundCloud, Google Maps, Dark Sky, Gmail, Hangouts, Waze, GrubHub, and more. I obviously haven’t tested every single app on the App Store but I have 70+ apps on the iPhone 5 and only Chrome has given me a headache.

If you are experiencing problems with an application after making the move to iOS 8.1.3, try reinstalling the app. If that doesn’t work, contact the developer. Most developers encourage feedback from users so that they can improve performance. Don’t be shy.


Battery Life

The iPhone 5 is now well over two years old and I’m still getting the same battery life that I was getting a year ago. Two years ago. It’s downright impressive and it’s one of the reasons why I continue to use the iPhone 5 as much as I do. I’m still able to get close to a full day out of the iPhone 5 when using a combination of LTE and Wi-Fi.

Thus far, I haven’t seen too much complaining about iOS 8.1.3 battery drain on the iPhone 5. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of people rave about iOS 8.1.3’s battery life on the aging former flagship.

If you do happen to run into abnormal battery drain, I suggest taking a look at our list of fixes. Usually, one of them will help solve whatever is plaguing the device. Most of the time, it’s third-party applications and not the iOS operating system itself.


I’ve been dealing with some connectivity issues on the iPhone 6 but I haven’t seen any on the iPhone 5. Bluetooth and LTE both remain stable after two weeks with iOS 8.1.3 at the helm. Wi-Fi is also very stable, which is strange, given the issues I’m seeing on the iPhone 6. I use them both on the same routers so I’m not sure what’s up with the iPhone 6.


Bugs & Issues

I’ve been using the iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.3 update every day for two weeks and I’ve yet to encounter any major problems with Apple’s new update. It’s very solid right now.

That doesn’t mean that iOS 8.1.3 doesn’t have any problems, it just means that I’m not looking in the right places or that I’m blind. There are tons of nooks and crannies and it’s going to be weeks before I can look through them all.

iOS 8.1.3 problems do exist though as I’ve noted, most of them appear to be smaller 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 and then branching out from there.


Speed is the area where I’ve had the most problems on the iPhone 5. After installing iOS 8.1, my experience become miserable, so bad that I almost ditched the phone forever. There was too much slowdown, too much lag, too much jaggedness. It was a horrible feeling, especially after the good run that I had with iOS 8.0, iOS 8.0.1 and iOS 8.0.2.


After two weeks with the iOS 8.1.3 update, the iPhone 5 still hasn’t returned to iOS 8.0 or iOS 7.1 levels but it’s getting there. Inch by inch, update by update, iOS 8 is getting a little bit faster. iOS 8.1.3 isn’t great, it’s not even good, but it’s certainly much better than iOS 8.1.1 and iOS 8.1. The slowdown isn’t as frequent but there is still a fair amount of lag.

My hope is that iOS 8.2 and iOS 8.3 continue to improve the speed on the iPhone 5 though there’s no way of knowing if that’ll happen or not. I, like many other iPhone 5 users, will just have to wait and see.

Is the iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.3 Update Worth Installing Now?

The iPhone 5 iOS 8.1.3 update delivers improved performance, at least one my model, and those of you dealing with problems on iOS 8.1.2 or below will probably want to give it a go. It’s stable.

If you aren’t dealing with any problems, proceed at your own risk. With an iOS 8.2 release rumored for the second week of March, you won’t have to wait long for another iOS 8 update. Just keep in mind, every single iOS update brings problems to iPhone and iPad users. iOS 8.2 will probably be no different.