iPhone 5 iOS 8.3 Update: 5 Things You Need to Know

Last week, Apple finally took its iOS 8.3 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch out of its beta program. With that in mind, we want to take another look at the iPhone 5 iOS 8.3 update and tell you about five things we think all iPhone 5 users need to know, right now, about the device’s latest iOS 8 update.

In February, Apple confirmed its iOS 8.3 update with a release into its private developer program for developers. Weeks later, the company released the iOS 8.3 beta to the public allowing iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users around the world to try out the new software ahead of its release date. The public iOS 8.3 beta was the first of its kind and a sign of things to come.

The iOS 8.3 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, is much larger than your standard incremental iOS update. iOS 8.3 brings 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 iPhone users have their eyes on.


We’ve been getting tons of questions since Wednesday’s release and iPhone 5 users in particular are curious about the new update. That doesn’t come as too much of a surprise. The iPhone 5 is still in the hands of a ton of people and many users have seen a drop in performance after making the move to iOS 8.

With current and prospective iPhone 5 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 iPhone 5 iOS 8.3 update. This will serve as the bridge between our initial iOS 8.3 impressions and our full iOS 8.3 review which will come sometime in the near future.

iPhone 5 iOS 8.3 Update…Update

I’ve been using the iPhone 5 iOS 8.3 update every day since its release on Wednesday in an effort to offer feedback to those of you who have already installed the software and those of you that are still straddling the fence. I realize that the decision about whether to upgrade or not is not an easy one, especially for those of you that are currently issue-free on an earlier version of iOS. I’ve been there myself. That said, here’s how the update has been performing.

While I’ve seen a ton of people complain about battery life issues, I still haven’t noticed any abnormal battery drain on the iPhone 5. I’m still getting the same quality battery life I was getting when I first picked up the phone back in the fall of 2012.



Connectivity is also solid. I haven’t noticed any problems with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or LTE in the days since the iOS 8.3 release. And while it might be unbelievable to some of you, I haven’t run into any bugs. The software is extremely stable from a bug standpoint though as I’ve noted many times, bugs have a funny way of revealing themselves days, weeks or even months after an update’s release.

iOS 8.3 is, for the most part, a solid upgrade on my version of the iPhone 5 though there is still one problem that continues to bother me.

One Issue Remains

If you have been following my iOS 8 journey on the iPhone 5, you’d know that I saw a drop in overall speed after the iOS 8.1 update. While iOS 8.1.1, iOS 8.1.2, and iOS 8.2 offered some small improvements, the device has been unable to capture the performance that I was getting prior to the iOS 8.1 release in October of last year.

In my initial iOS 8.3 impressions, I noted that Apple’s latest update failed to improve things right off the bat. And while it was a bit discouraging, I was hopeful that after a few days, the software would even itself out. It sometimes takes a few days for an update to settle in.

Unfortunately, I’m still seeing the same problems days after the iOS 8.3 release. I’m seeing occasional slowdown and lag and simple things like opening up a folder or scrolling through home screens feels jagged, not fluid like it should. It’s frustrating though not as frustrating as it could be. The iPhone 5 is no longer my daily driver. That honor belongs to the iPhone 6.

Unless Apple cooks up some magic with an iOS 8.3.1 update or an iOS 8.4 update, it’s looking like this is going to keep up until the iOS 9 update at least. iOS 9 is rumored to be a massive bug fix update for iOS so I’m hopeful that Apple’s engineers are able to tweak and improve the software on a phone that’s still immensely popular. I’m optimistic.

If you own an iPhone 5 and you’re still on the fence about iOS 8.3, I recommend waiting a few more days, just to see if anything changes for me and other iPhone 5 users.

You Can Still Downgrade to iOS 8.2

Now, this next bit is extremely important for those of you that already moved to iOS 8.2. For the moment, you can install iOS 8.3, see how it runs, and move back to iOS 8.2 if you aren’t getting quality performance.

There is a loophole that currently allows you iPhone 5 users to move back down to iOS 8.2. Apple will probably close it up very soon, once it stops signing off on iOS 8.2. That could happen any day now. 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 knowing that there is a way to get off of it if you don’t like it.

iOS 8.3 Problems

The issues with speed are really the only problems that I’ve experienced so far but it’s clear that my fellow iPhone 5 users have run into an assortment of issues with Apple’s latest software.


Apple’s discussion forums are filling up with complaints about Apple’s new software and we’ve pointed out a number of different iOS 8.3 problems affecting owners of the iPhone 5 and other iOS 8.3 powered devices. They range from battery life problems to smaller, more isolated issues impacting only a few iPhone 5 users.

If you haven’t installed iOS 8.3 on your iPhone 5, you’ll want to dig through user feedback before making your move. As of right now though, I’m not seeing any widespread problems impacting the iPhone 5 specifically.

Fixes for iOS 8.3 Problems

If you are already on iOS 8.3 and you’re experiencing iOS 8.3 problems on your iPhone 5, 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. Apple’s iOS updates are never perfect. 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 the installation.

With no iOS 8.3.1 update in sight and an iOS 8.4 currently rumored for the summer, those of you dealing with problems are going to have to rely on third-party fixes in an attempt to smooth things over.