In early February, Apple confirmed the release of a new iOS 8 update, iOS 8.3. The company didn’t send out a press release or announce the update on stage, rather, it confirmed the arrival through the release of an iOS 8.3 beta for developers.
In the weeks after the release of the first iOS 8.3 beta, Apple released several more beta upgrades including two to the public. The public iOS 8.3 beta represented Apple’s first free iOS beta and we believe it foreshadows the future. With an iOS 9 release rumored for later this year, we should see the company extend its public beta to its next major iOS release.
Three weeks ago, Apple finally took the iOS 8.3 beta out of its two beta programs and released it to iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users all over the world. The update, as expected, brings huge changes to iOS 8 users including enhancements and bug fixes. Among them, a redesigned emoji keyboard that introduces 300+ new emoji characters. It’s a significant update and it will serve as the bridge to Apple’s next iOS 8 update, iOS 8.4.
We’ve been taking a deep dive into the iOS 8.3 update in an effort to provide feedback to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users. Apple likes to tout the benefits of its incremental releases but they often bring problems to iOS users. iOS 8.3 is no different.
With that in mind, we want to revisit the iOS 8.3 update at the three week mark. This quick iOS 8.3 on iPhone 6 review at three weeks will take a look at performance and features and it will hopefully help some of you that are still straddling the iOS 8.3 fence. We continue to get questions about the iOS 8.3 update’s merits so we know that there are still people struggling to come to a decision.
Here’s what you need to know about the iPhone 6 iOS 8.3 update, three weeks after its release.
iOS 8.3 Performance
I’ve been using the iPhone 6 iOS 8.3 update for three weeks now and so far, performance has been outstanding on my version of the iPhone 6. Here’s how the performance breaks down at the three week mark:
I haven’t run into any issues with my 100+ applications. All of them are working fine including Google Chrome, an app that’s given me a ton of trouble in the past. I had to rely on my collection of applications during a trip this past weekend, both for work and fun, and none of them let me down. I honestly can’t remember the last time this happened.
Wi-Fi, LTE, and Bluetooth are fine. I used Wi-Fi a ton when I was traveling and I haven’t run into any issues. I also had to rely on LTE at a music festival and AT&T’s connection held up just fine. I connected my iPhone 6 to a number of different Bluetooth speakers over the weekend and I had no problems. It paired easily.
Battery life is still excellent. I haven’t run into any severe battery drain problems, crucial given how much traveling I’ve done in April.
The iPhone 6 is still extremely fast and fluid. I haven’t encountered any lag at all in the three weeks that I’ve been using Apple’s new update.
Finally, I haven’t run into any noticeable iOS 8.3 problems. In fact, the two problems that I did have (issues with Wi-Fi and a landscape problem) have disappeared completely. iOS 8.3 comes with a massive list of bug fixes and it appears that those bug fixes have actually worked on my device. That’s been absolutely huge.
I’ve seen complaints about iOS 8.3 but neither I, nor any of my colleagues, have run into any major problems with the iOS 8.3 update for the iPhone 6. iOS 8.3, hands down, is the most stable version of iOS 8 that I’ve used on the iPhone 6. Every other version had minor hiccups, this firmware has been essentially perfect since it arrived three weeks ago.
iOS 8.3 Features
iOS updates often come with some enhancements or new features on top of bug fixes. However, those changes aren’t always impactful. Fortunately, the changes that Apple tacked onto the iOS 8.3 update are.
Scroll to use new emojis.
After three weeks, I’ve fully acclimated to the new emoji keyboard and the new emojis. They are now a part of my daily routine. I tried the old emoji keyboard on a friend’s phone and it just can’t compare. The new emoji keyboard is wider, much easier to navigate and one of the big reasons why I’m glad I made the move to iOS 8.3 when I did.
I’ve also seen an uptick in spam messages lately and the new spam filters in the Messages app have made reporting these numbers extremely easy. I honestly didn’t realize how much spam I got until I started reporting the offenders to Apple. Hopefully, reporting them produces results.
Is iOS 8.3 for iPhone 6 Worth Installing Now?
After using the iOS 8.3 update for three weeks and the iPhone 6 since its release back in September I can confidently say that iOS 8.3 delivers the best performance of any iOS 8 update I’ve used. And I’ve used them all.
For me, everything is clicking on all cylinders. And the addition of the new emoji keyboard, new emojis and the new spam filters for messages are just the cherry on top. It’s also worth mentioning that iOS 8.3 delivers a handful of security enhancements, something that’s important if you use your iPhone for virtually everything like I do.
We think that iOS 8.3 is worth installing at this point.
So is iOS 8.3 worth installing? For most of you, the answer is yes. This is an excellent update for the iPhone 6. It’s also a necessary one if you’re buying the Apple Watch. (It comes with the Apple Watch application.)