iOS 8.1.3 Review: Is It Worth Installing?

A week ago, Apple released its sixth iOS 8 bug fix update in the form of iOS 8.1.3. The iOS 8.1.3 update is a fairly large update that’s aimed at taming lingering iOS 8 problems. Over the past week, we’ve spent some quality time with Apple’s latest upgrade and today, we want to help you answer that ever so important question: Is iOS 8.1.3 worth installing on iPhone or iPad?

Apple’s new iOS 8 operating system delivers a number of big time changes to the software that runs on the company’s iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. As we’ve learned the iOS 8 update also delivered a series of iOS 8 problems. Over the past few months, Apple’s worked hard to squash those iOS 8 problems with a series of bug fix updates.

First, it pushed out iOS 8.0.1. When that failed, Apple pushed out iOS 8.0.2. Days later, the company rolled out the extensive iOS 8.1 update, an update that brought Apple Pay and bug fixes along with it. Soon after that, the company shifted to iOS 8.1.1. Then, at the tail end of last year, Apple rolled out its iOS 8.1.2 update.

Top Apple Products for 2015 - iPhone-6s-iPhone-6s-Plus

Last week, Apple felt the need to push out another iOS 8 update. iOS 8.1.3 rolled out last Tuesday bringing new bug fixes to owners of iPhones and iPads around the world. It’s a fairly large update and like all iOS updates, it has the potential to help, or hurt, the performance on your device. That alone makes it an important update.

We continue to get bombarded with questions about Apple’s iOS 8.1.3 update and the most popular question revolves around whether or not it’s worth a download. Today, we want to help answer that question for you as we run down our experiences on top iPhones and iPads and offer you a definitive answer to one of the most popular iOS questions: Is iOS 8.1.3 worth installing? Let’s find out.

iOS 8.1.3 Review

Over the past week, we’ve spent a ton of time with Apple’s new iOS 8.1.3 update. And while we’re confident in our testing, we should note that mileage is going to vary from device to device, person to person. We probably don’t have the same apps installed and there’s a good chance that we stream more movies, use more LTE, and play more games than you do.

Consider these short reviews a guide to your final decision about whether to update to iOS 8 and iOS 8.1.3. Ultimately, the final decision is going to rest in your hand. Neither we, nor Apple, will ever force you to make an upgrade. These reviews should act as a starting point and we recommend gathering as much feedback as you can before coming to a decision.

iPhone 6

We’ve have dealt with a number of iOS 8 problems on the iPhone 6 though gradually, Apple’s bug fix updates have brought stability to Apple’s flagship 4.7-inch smartphone. iOS 8.1.1 and iOS 8.1.2 solved a few of the more pesky issues and fortunately, the device hasn’t taken a step backward with the arrival of Apple’s iPhone 6 iOS 8.1.3 update.

After spending a week with the iOS 8.1.3 update, we can confirm that performance in all key areas including battery life, Wi-Fi, LTE, Bluetooth, speed, and app experience is solid. We haven’t discovered any critical bugs lurking on the iPhone 6 though one of our models continues to suffer from landscape issues where the device gets stuck when trying to shift back to portrait mode.

iPhone-6 copy

This is exactly what you want out of an incremental update like iOS 8.1.3. The update delivers key bug fixes and it doesn’t seem to be causing major issues. We’ve seen some complaints about the software though the complaints pertain to isolated bugs. This is a stable piece of software for most people, including us.

Right now, we’re recommending the iOS 8.1.3 update to iPhone 6 users dealing with problems on iOS 8.1.2 and below. iOS 8.1.3 has a chance to exterminate at least some of the issues though it may not correct them all. For more information on the iPhone 6’s iOS 8.1.3 update, check out our full length iPhone 6 iOS 8.1.3 review.

iPhone 6 Plus

Apple’s larger iPhone 6, the iPhone 6 Plus, suffered from some of the same problems affecting its smaller counterpart. However, Apple’s fixed a lot of these problems with its six iOS 8 bug fix updates. iOS 8.1.3 continues the trend and we’ve found that it brings an excellent experience to the 5.5-inch version of the iPhone 6.

Right now, the iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.1.3 update is performing extremely well. Battery life is as good as ever, connectivity is fast and stable, and the device hasn’t lost any of its speed. iOS 8.1.3 is fast. We also have yet to run into any major problems that pose a threat to the overall stability of the flagship smartphone. iOS 8.1.3 is treating us well.

iPhone 6 Plus apps work fine on iOS 8.1.3.

iPhone 6 Plus apps work fine on iOS 8.1.3.

Like the iPhone 6 iOS 8.1.3 update, the iPhone 6 Plus iOS 8.1.3 update is recommended to those that are dealing with problems on iOS 8.1.2 or below. For more details on the update, have a look at our full iOS 8.1.3 iPhone 6 Plus review. It will elaborate a bit further on some of the positives that we’ve noticed after getting the iOS 8.1.3 update on board.

iPhone 5s

We’ve also taken a look at the iOS 8.1.3 update on the iPhone 5s, Apple’s flagship from 2013. While the iPhone 6 models have struggled a bit on iOS 8, the iPhone 5s has been doing quite well. Fortunately, we haven’t seen any kind of a drop off after getting the iOS 8.1.3 update on board the 4-inch former flagship.

iOS 8.1.3 doesn’t bring any big time features to the table but what it does bring is continued stability on a phone that’s now more than a year old. Battery life is solid, Wi-Fi is solid, and the phone is still very fast. We have run into one strange Bluetooth problem in the car and we’re still not sure what’s brought about the problem. It’s a minor issue, we’ve seen it before, but it’s annoying nonetheless.

iPhone 5s

If you are using Bluetooth in the car, we suggest poking around for some feedback about your make and model. While we’re seeing issues in our Ford, there’s a good chance that you won’t see any problems when you try to connect the phone to whatever you’re using inside your auto. Gather some feedback before installing if you rely on Bluetooth in your vehicle.

As for everyone else, install the iPhone 5s iOS 8.1.3 update right now if you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems. If you’re not, there’s no need to rush into this new iOS 8 update. For more information on the Bluetooth problems and the iOS 8.1.3 update, take a look at our full length review.

iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 is in the twilight of its life and that’s typically when we start to see older devices crumble. Not the iPhone 5. The iPhone 5 has performed very well in the months after the iOS 8 upgrade save for a drop in speed. Slowly, we’ve started to see improvements in that area and the iOS 8.1.3 had brought added success to the table.

After the iOS 8.1 update, we noticed a decrease in the fluidity of the iPhone 5’s software. The software was slow to the point that it was almost unusable. iOS 8.1.1 and iOS 8.1.2 helped a bit but we’ve seen the biggest improvements after getting the iOS 8.1.3 on board. We wouldn’t call the iPhone 5 “fast” but it’s almost back to where it was before the iOS 8.1 update. It’s usable.


The iPhone 5 excels in the other key areas. Battery life is still very good for a two year old phone. Wi-Fi and LTE are excellent. Bluetooth is working. And we haven’t run into any major problems with the software. As of right now, this is a high quality update for the iPhone 5 and one that we think you should investigate if you’re dealing with problems on an older version of iOS.

For more information about the iOS 8.1.3 iPhone 5 update, check out our full review. If you’re on iOS 8.1.3 already and you’re dealing with iOS 8.1.3 problems, take a look at our fixes.

iPhone 4s

We haven’t gone hands on with the iPhone 4s iOS 8.1.3 update ourselves but we have rounded up initial reactions from iPhone 4s users. From what we’ve seen, the results are mixed. Some users are reporting stability, others say that the iPhone 4s iOS 8.1.3 update is problematic. We suggest taking a look at our roundup for feedback and then poking around forums and discussion boards for more feedback.

Read user iOS 8.1.3 iPhone 4s reviews.

Read user iOS 8.1.3 iPhone 4s reviews.

The iPhone 4s is an old device and new software can sometimes wreck havoc on old devices. Because of this, those of you with the iPhone 4s will need to do more research than your counterparts.

iPad Air

For whatever reason, the iOS 8 experience on the iPad has been more stable than the iOS 8 experience on the iPhone. We just haven’t seen the same array of problems on our iPad models and the iOS 8.1.3 keeps that theme going months after the iOS 8 update’s release.

The iPad Air iOS 8.1.3 update is working out just fine. We haven’t run into any problems and battery life, connectivity, apps, and speed are exactly how they were in iOS 8.1.2: Outstanding. It’s a fantastic update and one that we think iPad Air users will want to look into, especially those who own the 16GB model. iOS 8.1.3 cuts down on the amount of space you need to install iOS updates. That’s going to be huge for an update like iOS 8.2.


Right now, we recommend the iOS 8.1.3 update to iPad Air users that are dealing with iOS 8 problems. iOS 8.1.3 is an extremely stable piece of software for this device and it could squash some of those lingering iOS 8 problems. For more information about this update, take a look at our full length iPad Air iOS 8.1.3 update review.

iPad mini 2

Same goes for the iPad mini 2. We haven’t run into any killer issues and the device continues to perform well in key areas like speed, connectivity, battery life, and app performance. iOS issues do have a tendency to spring up in the weeks after a release but given our solid experience with iOS 8.1.2 and below, we’re optimistic.


If you’re dealing with issues on your iPad mini 2 and you haven’t made the move up to iOS 8.1.3, you really should think about making the move sooner rather than later. This is an update that could very well fix some of your lingering iOS 8 problems. If you need more information, take a look at our iOS 8.1.3 iPad mini 2 review.

iPad 3

Apple’s iPad 3 performs at a high-level with iOS 8.1.3 on board and it has returned to where it was prior to the arrival of Apple’s iOS 8.1 update. This is a very solid update in all areas and it’s one that we highly recommend to those that suffered from performance issues on iOS 8.1, iOS 8.1.1 or iOS 8.1.2. iOS 8.1.3 has a chance to return things to normal.

Most users can install the iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 update.

Most users can install the iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 update.

We recommend this update to most iPad 3 users though we still think you should gather as much feedback as possible before making a move. Start with our iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 review and move on from there. Just remember, unless you’re dealing with issues, you shouldn’t be in any kind of a rush to install Apple’s latest update.

iPad 2

Finally, while we haven’t spent enough time with the iPad 2’s iOS 8.1.3 update to offer a review of our own, we have rounded up impressions from various iPad 2 users. Overall, the update seems to be working out well for many iPad 2 owners though we suggest taking an approach similar to what we recommended for the iPhone 4s.

iPad 2 iOS 8.1.2 Review - 3

Absorb as much feedback as you possibly can before moving to iOS 8.1.3. The iPad 2 is old and you really don’t want to take any chances now. You need to make sure iOS 8.1.3 is worth it and the only way you can do that is by seeking out feedback from fellow iPad 2 users. Our review roundup is a great starting point but you’ll need to dig deeper than that.

Should You Install iOS 8.1.3?

With all of that on the table, we want to answer the burning question: Is iOS 8.1.3 worth installing on the iPhone or iPad?

It’s difficult to answer for every single iPhone and iPad user out there, everyones device is a little bit different, but what we will say is that there are only a few people that need to be extremely cautious about this update. iPhone 5s (Bluetooth problem), iPhone 4s (age) and iPad 2 (age) owners will want to hold out for a little bit to collect feedback from other users. If the coast appears to be clear, proceed with the iOS 8.1.3 update.

What we’ve found on most devices is outstanding performance. Even the iPhone 5, a problem child for several months, appears to benefit from the arrival of iOS 8.1.3. Still, the only people that should really be rushing into this update are those with unfixable iOS 8 problems. If you haven’t seen any issues, don’t rush into this update.

You can go back to iOS 8.1.2 right now but you won’t be able to go back to iOS 8.1.2 forever.