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iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 Review



The iPad 3 is an old iPad that many users still own and rely on every day. The latest iOS 8.1.3 update is available for this older device, and our iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 review covers the performance, potential issues and key areas of this update on this device. The goal is to help you decide if you should install the iOS 8.1.3 update, or if it is finally time to upgrade from iOS 7 to iOS 8.1.3 on the iPad 3.

Apple delivered the iOS 8.1.3 update just over a week ago, bringing several small updates and killing off the option to jailbreak the iPad 3. It is still possible to downgrade from iOS 8.1.3 to iOS 8.1.2, but that loophole will soon close. There is no way to downgrade from iOS 8.1.3 to iOS 7, so any user who updates with that big jump is stuck on iOS 8 forever.

Read: iOS 8.1.3 Release Tips

Overall the iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 review is positive. The older iPad delivers the same level of performance it did on iOS 8.1.2 and apps are functioning just fine. Although my Wife is the primary user of this iPad, I use it regularly to monitor the performance and to see how updates like this run on the iPad 3.

Read our iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 review to decide if you should install.

Read our iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 review to decide if you should install this update.

The iOS 8.1.3 update makes it easier to update to iOS 8 without a computer. The original iOS 8 update and subsequent updates for users upgrading from iOS 7 required a lot of storage space that made it difficult for some users with 16GB iPads to upgrade. Apple cut down on the amount of free space needed with this update, so you may finally decide it is time to upgrade to iOS 8 by using the iOS 8.1.3 update.

Here is our iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 review that will help you decide if you should install this update on the aging iPad.

iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 Review

Before you install the iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 update it is important to remember that not every iPad 3 will deliver the same performance and results. This is due to the apps, usage, services, home networking and accessories that we all use. It is unlikely that you use the same apps as I do on the iPad 3 or have the same home network. For the most part the iOS 8.1.3 update is a good fit for the iPad 3, but your performance may vary.

Read: 101 iPad Tips

You can follow our iOS 8.1.3 upgrade guide that walks you through how to install iOS 8.1.3 and if you decide it is not for you, you can use our iOS 8.1.3 to iOS 8.1.2 downgrade guide.


The iOS 8.1.3 update performs well on the iPad 3.

The iOS 8.1.3 update performs well on the iPad 3.

In the week after installing the iOS 8.1.3 update on the iPad 3 I spent time testing popular apps including Netflix, Facebook, Pinterest, Safari and Gmail. This is not an iPad we use for gaming, so we did not test Clash of Clans or other games on it.

All of our favorite apps worked without any issues. We did not need to log back in to any apps and did not experience any odd  crashes or freezes while using the iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 update. If you do run into any problems, make sure your apps are up to date.

iOS 8.1.3 Battery Life

Th iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 battery life is as good as it was before the update. This iPad can still last a long time on a single charge, hitting 8-9 hours of real world use without worrying about the task. If you do have problems like fast battery draining, you can use this guide to fix bad iOS 8.1.3 battery life.

WiFi, Cellular Data & Bluetooth

Connectivity is one area that updates like this can quickly knock out or deliver bugs and problems that take a lot of time and energy to fix. Thankfully in our experience the iOS 8.1.3 update does not change the WiFi or Bluetooth performance of the iPad 3. This is not a cellular model so we cannot check that.

The WiFi connection works just as it did before the update. This includes connecting to a home network from any room in the house and to a personal hotspot. It can still connect even in the basement where some devices experience issues connecting to the router.

WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity are stellar on the iPad 3.

WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity are stellar on the iPad 3.

Bluetooth connectivity is also good on the iPad 3 after the update. The iPad 3 connects to a Bluetooth keyboard and to a pair of Bluetooth headphones without any problems.

Bugs & Issues

There are some iOS 8.1.3 problems, but they are not present on our iPad 3. The connectivity, battery life and apps all work just like they did on iOS 8.1.2 and on iOS 8.1. There is no iOS 8.1.3 jailbreak, so that is an issue for some users, but it is not something that will impact most iPad 3 owners.


The iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 update did not change the speed of our iPad. Apple sped up the performance with iOS 8.1 in late 2014 and the device still feels as good as it did after that update. It is not as fast as newer iPads, but it is still very usable. You can use these tips to speed up your old iPad on iOS 8.1 and higher.

Is iOS 8.1.3 for iPad 3 Worth Installing?

Most users can install the iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 update.

Most users can install the iPad 3 iOS 8.1.3 update.

If your iPad 3 is already running iOS 8 and you don’t need a jailbreak, you should definitely install the iOS 8.1.3 update. This is a good update that delivers solid performance across the board with no bugs or issues on our review device.

It is still a bigger decision to upgrade from iOS 7 to iOS 8. Performance is still good on the iPad 3, but not many apps require iOS 8 just yet. If you plan to keep the iPad 3 long term you may want to update to iOS 8.1.3 or another version in the coming months. We often see performance drop off on the oldest supported iPad, which is what may happen with iOS 9 later this year.

What’s New in iOS 8

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 Walkthrough - Home Screen

iOS 8 vs iOS 7 Walkthrough - Home Screen

We start our iOS 8 vs iOS 7 walkthrough with the iPhone home screen, which is where you'll start your iOS 8 experience after an update this fall. 

These screens are incredibly important as you see them anytime you turn on the iPhone or need to choose an app to launch. There is no way around using them, so Apple needs to make sure they work just right. 

As you can see in the iOS 8 vs iOS 7 comparison above, there is no change between the home screen in the new iPhone software. Apple changed the status bar and some other small visual changes in iOS 7, but there are no updates for iOS 8.  

We could see Apple change the home screen slightly for iOS 8 for the iPhone 6. The new iPhone will feature a larger 4.7-inch display with a higher resolution. This is something Apple may use to add more icons to the screen. Or they could stick with the current layout, it's tough to tell.  

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. William

    03/07/2015 at 10:13 am

    Thank you for this review! I have a business that runs on my old iPad 3 (an often forgotten model) and was hesitant to update. Glad to read it is running well for you!

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