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iOS 8.1.3 on iPhone 6: Impressions & Performance



Apple’s latest iOS 8 update isn’t the iOS 8.2 update that it confirmed at the tail end of last year. Instead, it’s an iOS 8.1.3 update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch that delivers several key bug fixes for iOS 8 problems. With the iOS 8.1.3 release here, we want take a look at how the iOS 8.1.3 update is performing on iPhone 6. This is our early iPhone 6 iOS 8.1.3 review.

At the end of 2014, the first iOS 8.1.3 update rumor emerged. That rumor indicated that Apple was planning to push out an iOS 8.1.3 update ahead of the iOS 8.2 update that it put inside its beta program in November. Over the past few weeks, we started to see iOS 8.1.3 activity pick up in our backend, a sign that Apple was indeed working on a successor to the iOS 8.1.2 update.

Throughout the month of January, we saw more iOS 8.1.3 release details emerge. Those details hinted at an imminent iOS 8.1.3 release date though they did not serve as confirmation. Apple tends to keep its incremental iOS updates hidden out of view until its ready to push them out to the public. Still, there was reason to believe that an iOS 8.1.3 update was on the way.

LifeProof iPhone 6 Case Review - 1

Today, Apple replaced the iOS 8.1.2 update with a new iOS 8.1.3 update. The iOS 8.1.3 update is fairly large and it delivers a series of bug fixes for iOS related problems. As many of you know, small updates like iOS 8.1.3 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 quick preparation, I installed Apple’s brand new iOS 8.1.3 update in an effort to provide 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 the iOS 8.1.3 update for iPhone 6.

iOS 8.1.3 Installation

The iOS 8.1.3 update for the iPhone 6 checks in at well over 200MB in size, a surprise given that it’s a small incremental update focused on fixing bugs and iOS 8 issues. Because of its size, I figured the download and installation process would take a little bit longer than your standard bug fix update. And it did.

I didn’t run into any problems during the iOS 8.1.3 installation process though the update did take around 15 minutes or so to get on board the iPhone 6. Two things to keep in mind here. One, I installed it at the peak hour, right when it came out. That’s when Apple’s servers tend to get hit the hardest. And two, I installed over a speedy Wi-Fi connection.

The process was fairly quick and very painless but I still recommend setting aside some time to perform the iOS 8.1.3 update if and when you choose to install it. You never know what might happen during the process and you’ll want to be in the right frame of mind in case something goes wrong.

iOS 8.1.3 on iPhone 6 Performance

Today, I’ve spent a ton of time with iOS 8.1.3 on iPhone 6. Before getting into the early review and my impressions, 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 8.1.3 is worth installing on your iPhone 6.


App performance will often suffer after the arrival of a new iOS update but so far, I haven’t experienced any issues with Apple’s new iOS 8.1.3 update and my third-party applications. In fact, as I’ve noted many times over, I haven’t been dealing with too many app problems with iOS 8 in general. Things have been fairly smooth since September.

LifeProof iPhone 6 Case Review - 5

I’ve been using all of my core applications over the past few hours, apps like Slack, Asana, Instagram, Twitter, Dark Sky, Google Chrome, Google Hangouts, YouTube, and Spotify. All of them are performing well after the move to iOS 8.1.3. I typically see Google Chrome crash at least once or twice per day though that hasn’t happened yet. Fingers crossed.

If you do see abnormal app activity after installing the iOS 8.1.3 update, or if you’re seeing it right now on iOS 8.1.2 or below, my suggestion is to install the latest bug fix updates. Typically, this helps.

iOS 8.1.3 Battery Life

I always hear tons of complaints about battery life after iOS updates though I rarely see them myself. That might have something to do with the way I prepare for iOS updates. It could also have something to do with the way I use my iPhone 6. I’m not entirely sure. The streak continues with iOS 8.1.3, at least for the moment.

As of right now, I’m getting the same kind of battery life I was getting in iOS 8.1.2. That’s a good thing. I haven’t seen a noticeable dip after using the phone extensively in the hours since the iOS 8.1.3 update’s arrival nor have I seen any drop in my standby battery charge. Everything appears to be normal and I’m fine with that.

iOS updates like iOS 8.1.3 aren’t supposed to bring battery life problems to the iPhone 6. Typically, bad battery life is caused by third-party apps or by users themselves. I’ve outlined a number of strategies to get better battery life inside iOS 8.1.2 and the same advice applies to Apple’s latest iOS 8.1.3 update. Have a look at those if you install iOS 8.1.3 and you start noticing issues with your battery life.

Wi-Fi, Cellular Data & Bluetooth

After a few hours with iOS 8.1.3, I’m happy to report that my Wi-Fi, AT&T LTE data, and Bluetooth are all working out fine. I’ve tested several different routers. I’ve used LTE in several different locations in my area. And I’ve connected my iPhone 6 to an assortment of Bluetooth devices including a pair of Bluetooth speakers. I haven’t had any issues. Yet.

iPhone 6 Plus Accessories - Leather iPhone 6 Plus Case

Issues with Wi-Fi, cellular data and Bluetooth typically don’t jump right off the page. Instead, they will often make themselves known in the days, weeks and sometimes months after an update’s arrival. For instance, I started noticing some issues with my Wi-Fi connection a month after I installed the iOS 8.1.2 update. Those issues dissipated on their own last week before the iOS 8.1.3 update’s arrival.

If you’re having issues with these connections after getting the iOS 8.1.3 update on board, we advise you to take a look at these potential fixes. They might dislodge your issues they might not. iOS fixes aren’t guaranteed to work for everyone so while they might work for a friend or family member, they may not solve your problems specifically. They’re worth a shot though.

Bugs & Issues

So far, I haven’t noticed any iOS 8.1.3 issues or bugs. Larger bugs typically emerge on release day so this is a really good sign. I’ve poked around some other places and I haven’t been able to find any complaints about massive iOS 8.1.3 issues. That could change in the days ahead but for now, the update appears to be fairly stable.

Smaller bugs typically are harder to spot and it’s going to take me some more time to poke around the entire operating system. What I can say is that I haven’t noticed any yet and that iOS 8.1.2 was very stable. Probably the most stable version of iOS 8. iOS 8.1.3 is looking like more of the same from Apple and I hope it remains stable in the hours and days ahead.

If you’re struggling on iOS 8.1.2 or below, and you’re not sure about installing iOS 8.1.3 right now, have a look at our fixes for common iPhone 6 problems. They will probably help.


The iPhone 6 is still very fast with iOS 8.1.3 on board. Animations and transitions are fluid. Folders and apps open lightning quick. And I haven’t seen any abnormal slowdown or sluggishness after installing Apple’s new iOS 8 update. I don’t expect this to change any time soon. iOS 8’s performance on the iPhone 6 has been very solid thus far.

Should You Install iOS 8.1.3 Today?

Here’s my advice. Unless you’re dealing with iOS problems that you can’t fix, take a rain check on the iOS 8.1.3 update. It’s stable on my iPhone 6 but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be stable on your iPhone 6. Give it a day, gather some more feedback, and then make your decision.

iPhone 6s features - IR Port

If you’re dealing with iOS 8 problems, my suggestion is to go ahead and update. iOs 8.1.3 comes with some crucial bug fixes and there’s always a chance that it will fix bugs and problems not listed on the change log.

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