Earlier this week, Apple rolled out its latest update to its iOS 6 operating system, iOS 6.1.3, which arrived for owners of all iPhone, iPad and iPod touch models running iOS 6. The update promised to tackle some lingering issues from iOS 6.1 and while it didn’t explicitly confirm anything else, iPhone and iPad owners had hoped that it might correct many of their other issues. We took a first look at iOS 6.1.3 on the iPhone 5 earlier this week and now, after spending some quality time with it, it’s time for some final thoughts.
Read: iOS 6.1.3 on iPad Review.
Back at the end of January, Apple rolled out the long-awaited .1 update to its iOS 6 operating system which rolled out with the iPhone 5 at the end of September. And while Apple had graced owners with several smaller bug fix updates, iOS 6.1 represented the first update that brought along some new functionality.
The update wasn’t a substantial upgrade from iOS 6 but it did bring a few likeable features including the ability to buy movie tickets through Siri, a new prominent Report a Bug button in Apple Maps and of course, our personal favorite, the new lock screen music controls which are a vast improvement over those found in iOS 6 and below.
Like many software updates though, iOS 6 brought some trouble along with it. The first issue, which was squashed with iOS 6.1.1, was a 3G connectivity issue with the iPhone 4S. Apple quickly addressed it with the first update to iOS 6.1 which rolled out specifically for iPhone 4S owners.
However, not just iPhone 4S owners were afflicted. A calendar bug in Exchange caused severe battery drain on iPhone’s and iPad’s, regardless of version, and some intrepid iPhone owners also found not one, but two lock screen security issues that allowed owners to bypass the lock screen and access information in Contacts and see Photos.
Apple moved quickly to tackle the battery drain issue with the release of iOS 6.1.2. But as we told you, that update didn’t seem to fix everyone’s battery life problems and it certainly didn’t fix the security bugs. That left many owners looking forward to iOS 6.1.3, which, arrived earlier this week owners of the iPhone 5 on down.
We already offered our first impressions of the update and now, after spending many hours using Apple’s latest and greatest software, it’s time to offer some final thoughts on what could be the last update to iOS 6.
So Far, So Good
Like many of you, I am often a bit apprehensive about installing iOS updates, or any software updates for that matter, because of what they might do to my device. Unlike many of you, it’s my job to install the software so I can inform you whether or not it’s safe to install. And so far, I really have no complaints about iOS 6.1.3
I haven’t found any any new bugs after combing around the software for the past few days and the lock screen security problems seem to have dissipated, just as the change log said they would. And that is generally reason enough to recommend installing the software.
However, after all the issues that arose after iOS 6.1, which definitely might have been one of the buggiest iOS releases in recent memory, I think it’s best if I go a little more in depth than that and take a look at some of the more significant features of the iPhone 5 and how iOS 6.1.3 has or hasn’t impact them.
iOS 6.1.3 Battery Life
As I mentioned after I first installed iOS 6.1.3, my battery life on my iPhone 5 has never been greatly affected by any of Apple’s updates to iOS 6. I am not a user of Exchange and was not affected by the issues that came with iOS 6.1. I had friends and co-workers that were, but my iPhone 5 was safe from the issues.
That said, I haven’t heard about any issues from any of those who reported problems both after iOS 6.1 and iOS 6.1.2. In addition, the Apple support forums have been relatively void of battery life complaints, something that is actually pretty rare after iOS updates. So while that doesn’t confirm that everyone single iPhone 5 battery is doing well, I think it’s safe to say that the major issues have been reeled in.
As for my battery life, after installing iOS 6.1.3, it is maybe about the same as it ever has been, maybe even a tick better actually. Additionally, the past few nights, my iPhone 5 seems to have been able to hold a better charge in standby.
At the very least, there are no major battery life issues on my iPhone 5 running iOS 6.1.3.
iOS 6.1.3 Performance
One of the things that often prevents iPhone owners from installing the latest iOS update are performance issues. However, because the iPhone 5 is the latest and greatest iPhone and not the iPhone 3GS, so far, performance in iOS 6.1.3 has been up to par.
4G LTE Connectivity is Good
After installing iOS 6.1.2, I complained that I had had trouble with Wi-Fi to 4G LTE hand offs, something that was extremely frustrating considering how often I am moving in and out of places. I haven’t run into the same type of issues with iOS 6.1.3, at least not yet.
As for my 4G LTE connectivity, my connection to AT&T’s network has been strong and extremely fast and as I’ve pointed out many times before, it’s sometimes as far as my home Wi-Fi network.
Wi-Fi Connection is Strong
In the past, I also complained about Wi-Fi connectivity issues. However, those are a thing of the past and have been for quite some time. Now, instead of having slow Wi-Fi connectivity die or having my connection die, my Wi-Fi connection is extremely strong.
Of course, I realize that not everyone has been able to get past the iPhone 5’s Wi-Fi issues, though I suspect that it’s home routers and modems at work and not some sort of problem on Apple’s end.
Those experiencing issues should check out this lengthy Wi-Fi thread wherein there are many fixes for those who might be experiencing troubles with Wi-Fi connectivity.
UI is Smooth, For the Most Part
Those concerned about performance issues on the iPhone 5, particularly with the user interface, should not hesitate to install iOS 6.1.3. The software has not had any bad reactions with the UI and so far, I’m able to move about the home screen without any sort of sluggishness.
Apps are opening when I tap them, the camera is smooth, and I haven’t seen any of the random reboots that were plaguing my device before the update to iOS 6.1.
One thing that I have experienced, and have been for some time, is sluggishness when it comes to iMessage. Specifically, my iPhone 5 slows down almost to a crawl when I have both my MacBook Air open with iMessage running and my iPhone 5 open. The slow down occurs generally when it’s messages coming in from a group chat.
Several times, my iPhone 5 has locked up and I haven’t been able to do anything for upwards of 15 seconds. The frequency of this issue has increased over time and unfortunately, iOS 6.1.3 hasn’t fixed it. It doesn’t happen every single time I get a message, but it’s become a bit of an annoyance.
Is anyone else having this issue?
Farewell Evasi0n, For Now
I’ve always kind of had an inkling to jailbreak my iPhone 5 but now, I likely won’t have that chance, at least not until iOS 7. That’s because the Evasi0n iOS 6.1 jailbreak was killed off by iOS 6.1.3.
That means that owners who wish to jailbreak should stay away from iOS 6.1.3 and instead, stay on iOS 6.1.2. It’s possible that we could see a jailbreak with iOS 7 but at this point, that remains to be seen.
Guess it’ll have to wait for another day.
iOS 7 is Likely Next for the iPhone 5
It’s possible that iOS 6.1.3 was the last update to iOS 6. iOS 5 never got a iOS 5.1.4 update and given the meagerness of the iOS 6.1.3 update and the fact that most if not all the bugs have seemingly been taken care, iOS 6.1.3 may be it. At the very least, Apple is likely out of big updates for iOS 6.
The next big update for the iPhone 5 is likely going to be iOS 7 which will more than likely debut at WWDC in the summer, just as it had done for the past two years.
From the sound of things, it could be that iOS 7 delivers major changes to not only the iPhone 5S, but the iPhone 5 and many of the other devices that are currently running iOS 6.
Let’s just hope it was less bugged than iOS 6.1 was.
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