iOS 8.2 on iPhone 5: Impressions & Performance

Earlier today, shortly after it confirmed the Apple Watch release date, Apple replaced iOS 8.1.3 with a brand new iOS 8.2 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that delivers the new Apple Watch app, new enhancements and bug fixes. It’s a substantial update for the iPhone and we want take a look at how the iOS 8.2 update is performing on the iPhone 5. This is our early iPhone 5 iOS 8.2 review.

Late last year, Apple released its iOS 8.2 update into its beta program for developers. The release confirmed an upcoming arrival for iOS 8 powered iPhones, iPads and iPod touches though it did not confirm the public iOS 8.2 release date. Apple only announces iOS release dates when it announces them alongside new hardware.


In the months after the initial iOS 8.2 beta release, Apple released several iOS 8.2 betas in an attempt to weed out issues and ensure a smooth transition from iOS 8.1.3. And today, during an event for new hardware (Apple Watch), Apple finally announced the iOS 8.2 release date for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The date? Today.


As expected, the iOS 8.2 update is a big one. Not only does it bring the new Apple Watch application ahead of the Apple Watch release, it also delivers a number of enhancements to the Health application, fixes for the Mail app, and a number of other bug fixes that are meant to alleviate lingering iOS 8 problems. It’s the biggest update since Apple’s iOS 8.1 update.


As many of you know, incremental updates like iOS 8.2 have the potential to have a huge impact on performance. iOS 8.0.1, for example, killed Touch ID and cellular data on the iPhone 6. That’s why we take a look at these smaller updates. We want to provide you with feedback.


After some preparation, I installed Apple’s brand new iOS 8.2 update in an effort to provide you iPhone and iPad users with some initial impressions of Apple’s new software. These impressions don’t serve as a final review but they will help those of you who are straddling the fence about whether to install the company’s latest iOS 8 upgrade.

Here are my early impressions of iOS 8.2 on iPhone 5.

iOS 8.2 Installation

The iOS 8.2 installation process took about 30 minutes on the iPhone 5 over a fast Wi-Fi connection. That’s longer than most iOS updates though it came as no surprise given that the update is well over 300MB in size. Keep in mind, I downloaded the software during peak hours so if you haven’t made the move yet, it could take less time, assuming you install thru iTunes or over a fast connection.

I didn’t run into any installation issues and everything went smoothly. If you do run into installation problems, perform a reset. Hold down the power button and home button at the same time and you should be good to go.


One other thing to note. The iOS 8.2 update brings the Apple Watch application to the iPhone 5. Yes, it is compatible with the Apple Watch. Apple’s new app will show up on your home screen once the installation process is complete and it essentially serves as an ad for the Apple Watch because there is no way, at least at the moment, to delete it.

iOS 8.2 on iPhone 5 Performance

I’ve spent several hours with iOS 8.2 on iPhone 5. Before getting into the early review of performance, I should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person. That is to say, I probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a chance that I use Google Chrome, LTE, or my home screen more than you do. So, consider this a general guide as you try to decide whether iOS 8.2 is worth installing on your iPhone 5.


Apps haven’t been a problem on the iPhone 5. The experience has been excellent on the aging former flagship and I was hopeful that iOS 8.2 would continue this trend, especially after a lengthy stint in Apple’s beta program for developers.

So far, iOS 8.2 and my apps are doing just fine. I know it’s still very new but typically, issues with applications jump out immediately after getting an update on board. I’ve used all of my apps today and I haven’t run into any troublemakers.



Slack, Asana, Instagram, Twitter, Dark Sky, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, YouTube, and Spotify are some of my core applications. All of them are performing well after the move to iOS 8.2. Google Chrome has been crashing a lot on both my iPhone 6 and iPhone 5 so I’m hoping that iOS 8.2 helps. I doubt it but I’m not giving up hope.

If you do see abnormal app activity after installing iOS 8.2 on the iPhone 5, or if you’re seeing problems right now on iOS 8.1.3 or below, my suggestion is to install the latest bug fix updates. If that doesn’t work, try reinstalling the app. If that doesn’t work, contact the developer so that they’re aware of the problem or problems.

iOS 8.2 Battery Life

The iPhone 5 is now well over two years old. I’ve been waiting for the battery to take a massive hit with one of these updates but it simply hasn’t happened. I’m still getting excellent battery life, even with iOS 8.2 on board.

After spending several hours with iOS 8.2 on iPhone 5, I haven’t noticed any abnormal battery drain. That goes for when the device is in use and when it’s in standby. It’s pretty impressive for a phone that is not getting any younger.


Apple’s iOS updates are never supposed to bring battery life problems to iPhones or iPads. In my experience, bad battery life is usually caused by third-party apps or by users themselves.

I’ve outlined a number of strategies to get better battery life on iOS 8.1.3 and the same advice applies to Apple’s iOS 8.2 update. Have a look at those if you install iOS 8.2 and you start noticing issues with your iPhone 5’s battery life. My guess is that many of you won’t but there are always a few rotten apples post-release.

Wi-Fi, Cellular Data & Bluetooth

Wi-Fi, cellular data (AT&T LTE) and Bluetooth are all working normally after the move to iOS 8.2. All three have been working fine on the iPhone 5 in the months since the initial iOS 8.0 release and I’m hopeful that the solid experience continues in the future. There’s no guarantee though.


Connectivity issues can pop up without warning and there’s always a chance that something will pop up in the days after release. Fingers crossed because I know how annoying connectivity issues can be.

Bugs & Issues

While I’ve run into some issues with the iOS 8 update on the iPhone 6, I haven’t run into the same issues on the iPhone 5. So far, iOS 8.2 appears to be a very stable for the iPhone 5 though it’s impossible to label it bug-free at this point. Bugs have a habit of popping up hours, days and even weeks after the initial release so I’m not out of the woods yet.

Smaller iOS issues are extremely hard to catch. Larger issues are easier to spot but they often remain in the shadows in the hours after a release. I’m going to continue to poke around but so far, things are looking good for the iPhone 5. Not that I’m surprised. This is an update that spent several months inside the beta program.


As many of you know, this is an area where I’ve had a ton of trouble. After iOS 8.1, the performance on my iPhone 5 was horrid. I ran into abnormal slowdowns and general sluggishness. Opening a folder was painful and I was forced to condense all of my apps onto one screen because I didn’t like having to battle lag just to scroll between home screens.

iOS 8.1.1, iOS 8.1.2 and iOS 8.1.3 incrementally improved the speed on the iPhone 5. Prior to the iOS 8.2 release, I was hopeful that the beta process would have a positive impact on the iPhone 5 and return it to its pre-iOS 8.1 state. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case.

The iOS 8.2 update isn’t the disaster that iOS 8.1 was but I’m still noticing random lag. It doesn’t zip like it used to. And yes, I have animations turned off. It’s frustrating and it validates my decision to invest in the iPhone 6.

My hope is that iOS 8.2 settles in the hours and days ahead. Performance can change for the better overnight so it will be interesting to see where the device is at the end of this week.

Should You Install iOS 8.2 Today?

Here’s what I’ll say right now. If you’re dealing with bugs on iOS 8.1.3, iOS 8.1.2, iOS 8.1.1, iOS 8.1, iOS 8.0.2, iOS 8.0.1, or iOS 8.0, you might want to install the update today. I haven’t found any major issues and iOS 8.2 brings a ton of enhancements and bug fixes along with it.


If you aren’t having any problems with bugs or performance, you might want to wait a few days for the smoke to settle. That way, you can gather feedback from those that made the jump with me today. I’m just one man with one iPhone 5 model and I guarantee people are going to have different experiences with iOS 8.2. Absorb as much information as you can and then make the jump. Remember, there’s no pressure. Take your time.