5 Things to Know About the iPad Air iOS 8.3 Update

Earlier this month, Apple released its iOS 8.3 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch bringing new features and a number of bug fixes for iOS 8 problems to iOS 8 users. With that in mind, we want to take an updated look at the iPad Air iOS 8.3 update and tell you about five things we think iPad Air users need to know, right now, about their latest update.

In February, Apple released its iOS 8.3 update into its beta program for developers confirming a release for the general public. The iOS 8.3 beta did not confirm a specific iOS 8.3 release date, a move that left iOS 8 users in the dark. Last Wednesday, finally Apple confirmed the iOS 8.3 release date with an iOS 8.3 release for iOS 8 users.


Apple’s iOS 8.3 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, is way bigger than your standard incremental iOS update. It delivers a number of different features to iPhone and iPad users including a new Emoji keyboard, enhancements for Messages, and a ton of bug fixes for iOS 8 problems. It’s a significant release and one that many iOS 8 users have their eyes on in the days after its initial release.

iPad Air 2 iOS 8.3 Review - 1

We’ve been getting tons of questions since Wednesday’s release and many iPad Air users are curious about the new update. That doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. Apple’s two versions of the iPad Air (iPad Air, iPad Air 2) are three of the most popular slates on the planet and iOS 8.3 is a massive update.


With current and prospective iPad Air iOS 8.3 users in mind, we want to take a look at what we think are the five most important things to know now about the iPad Air iOS 8.3 update. This will serve as the bridge between our initial iOS 8.3 impressions and our full iOS 8.3 reviews which will come sometime in the near future.


iPad Air iOS 8.3 Update…Update

I’ve been using the iPad Air iOS 8.3 update for just about a week now. So far, so good.

I haven’t noticed any battery drain when the iPad Air is in use. I also haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary when it’s left in standby mode. That’s huge because I mainly use my iPad at night to watch shows, highlights, and read books.

After a week with iOS 8.3, I’ve yet to encounter any major issues with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. I’ve tested the iPad Air on a number of different routers and Bluetooth headsets and I’ve been able to pair it with all of them. I don’t own the LTE version of the iPad Air so I can’t tell you how LTE connectivity is working out after the upgrade. I’ve heard good things from reliable sources though.



iOS 8.3 is fast and fluid on the original iPad Air and I’ve yet to stumble upon any weird slowdown. It’s running fine. And while this might surprise you, I haven’t run into any bugs, big or small, since iOS 8.3’s release. Smaller issues are generally a lot harder to spot so it’s possible that I’ll catch something in the future. We’ll see.

At this point, given the stability and the fixes and features on board iOS 8.3, it’s not a difficult recommendation. Those of you dealing with issues on iOS 8.2 or below probably want to give iOS 8.3 a shot. It’s a big, stable update and that’s exactly what you want from an incremental iOS upgrade. If you’re still unsure, wait a few days for my full review.

iPad Air 2 iOS 8.3 Impressions

We recently went hands-on with the iPad Air 2 iOS 8.3 update and found it to be an outstanding piece of software. Not surprising given that the iPad Air 2 is only a few months old.

Bluetooth is solid and iOS 8.3 delivers WiFi fixes.

Bluetooth is solid and iOS 8.3 delivers WiFi fixes.



If you own an iPad Air 2, you’ll want to take a peek at our feedback. This is especially important for those of you that haven’t installed the iOS 8.3 update yet.

You Can Still Downgrade to iOS 8.2

If you’re already on iOS 8.2 and you’re curious about iOS 8.3, know that you can trial the iPad Air or iPad Air 2 iOS 8.3 update right now. If you’re wondering how, it’s because there is a loophole that allows you to downgrade back down to iOS 8.2. It’s a fairly straightforward process but it won’t be available forever.

We’ve put together a step-by-step guide that will take you through the downgrade process if you want to try out iOS 8.3 right now. Apple will probably plug the loophole up this week so you’ll definitely want to try it out sooner rather than later.

iOS 8.3 Issues

While we’ve been having solid experiences with the iOS 8.3 update for iPad Air, some iPad Air users have run into trouble in the aftermath of the release.


Apple’s discussion forums are filling up with complaints about iOS 8.3 and we’ve pointed out a number of different iOS 8.3 problems affecting owners of the iPad Air and other iOS 8.3 powered devices.

Most of the iPad Air iOS 8.3 problems that we’re seeing are small, isolated issues impacting just a few users. We haven’t seen anything major pop up just yet, something that is consistent with our iOS 8.3 experience.

iOS 8.3 problems are guaranteed to plague your iPad Air or iPad Air 2 but you’ll want to dig through user feedback before installing the software on your slate, especially if you only own one device.

Fixes for iOS 8.3 Problems

If you’ve already moved to iOS 8.3 and you’re experiencing iOS 8.3 problems on your iPad Air or iPad Air 2, note that there are some ways to get around many of these issues.

We’ve put together a list of potential fixes for some of the more common iOS 8.3 issues and we suggest keeping an eye on Apple’s forums for other possible solutions.

iPad Air Review -  15

Apple’s iOS updates are never perfect. Always remember that you’re always taking a risk when you move to a new piece of iOS software, especially on an older device like the iPhone 5. That’s why we recommend preparing ahead of your iOS 8.3 installation.

Apple hasn’t confirmed any new iOS 8.3 releases and an iOS 8.4 release date currently rumored for the summer. What this means is that you iPad Air users dealing with problems will have to rely on third-party fixes for your iOS 8.3 problems.