iOS 6.1.3: Worth Upgrading?

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iOS 6.1.3 upgrade screen

Apple just released iOS 6.1.3 to fix an infamous bug with the lock screen. By performing a series of operations, one could bypass the lock screen and gain access to contacts. Unfortunately, while iOS 6.1.3 fixes this issue, it introduces a new vulnerability. This update also introduces a battery issue that has affected some users.

Videosdebarraquito, the YouTube user who uncovered the last flaw, also found this new issue. With a locked iPhone, one can bypass the lock screen simply by activating Voice Control, voice dialing a number, and ejecting the SIM card with a paperclip once the phone starts dialing. Once the user has thwarted the lock screen, access to photos and videos is possible by creating a new contact. This new vulnerability is worse. It is easier to gain access and allows even greater control over the device. Since I do not have an ejectable SIM card on my Verizon iPhone 4, this is not an issue for me.

Fortunately, for those iPhone users who have an ejectable SIM card there is an immediate fix. One can disable voice dialing (Settings > General > Passcode Lock > turn Voice Dial off). If you have a recent iPhone with Siri, you can use that for voice activated dialing instead. To activate Siri, go to Settings > General > Siri and turn Siri on.

iOS 6.1.3 fixes

Users have reported battery problems after upgrading to iOS 6.1.3. Their iPhone’s battery drains rapidly. I have not experienced battery problems. I upgraded 4 days ago and had 90% charge, and my iPhone has 10% today. Nonetheless, some users are having problems. Some people have claimed they fixed the issue. The Apple Support forum has a thread on this issue, with some possible solutions. Softpedia also has some recommended steps, based on contributions from the Apple Support forum. The steps are simple — just turn off iCloud services, do a hard reset, and turn them back on. This has fixed the problem for most users.

Others suspect that fetching data is the problem. I have my iPhone set to fetch emails manually. “Pushing” has been known to drain the battery. To change from push to fetch, simply go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Fetch New Data. Turn “Push” off and select the appropriate interval to fetch email. Next, at the bottom of the screen, go to Advanced > iCloud. Change iCloud to either “Fetch” or “Manual”. My iCloud settings were set to “Push”, yet I did not notice a difference in battery life. People claim that simply changing from push to fetch has fixed their battery problems. It may be why I never had a problem.

iOS 6.1.3 has some other improvements. Maps has better data for Japan. There are also some other security fixes. Two issues with local users being able to execute unsigned code and determining the address of structures in the kernel have been fixed. An issue with a USB vulnerability, allowing a local user to execute code has also been fixed. Apple also secured a vulnerability in WebKit (affecting Safari and other browsers) which could allow a malicious website to close an app or execute code.

Is it worth upgrading to iOS 6.1.3? It depends on whether you lock your iPhone and if voice dialing is important to you. If you lock your iPhone, don’t have Siri, have an ejectable SIM card and rely on voice dialing, you should probably wait. If you are concerned about battery issues and need emails and iCloud data pushed to your device, you may want to wait. All other users will benefit from upgrading to iOS 6.1.3. I have tested the upgrade, and so far it works well. It is common for un-publicized bugs to be fixed in software updates.

The iOS 6.1.3 upgrade is 17.2 MB. It took me less than 10 minutes to install. This time will vary, depending on the speed of your Internet connection. Remember to plug in your device or have over 50% battery life before you begin the upgrade. Follow this how-to article for upgrading iOS to avoid losing any personal data.

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68 thoughts on “iOS 6.1.3: Worth Upgrading?

  1. 6.1.3 firmware was a whopping 800MB (somewhere in the ballpark). I upgraded due to software issues making my battery unchargeable. No issues as of yet. Only thing is, vibration on my phone is not working. On loud and silent, there’s no vibration, even after altering settings under Sound-Vibration Settings.

    • It was only 17MB for me, as shown on the screenshot. Did you upgrade from 6.1.2 or from an older version? I think you got a cumulative upgrade.

  2. Since the day I upgraded to IOS 6.1.3, I have two problems: 1. Battery life went off so quickly. 2. My Contacts erased a lot of my friends. I am starting to hate this new IOS 6.1.3.

  3. The problem I’ve seen also happen is that it makes the microphone not useable while on the phone. In some cases it’s fine on speaker but other it just won’t work.

  4. I just updated my iphone4 to 6.1.3. so far, I have not liked it. I cannot seem to find my local network, therefore, not allowing me to receive emails, connect to internet nor receive sms, Its so frustrating coz I already reset my phone couple of times and its still doing the same thing, It might give me my network signal for about a minute and will give an error message: Network lost. PLease select for another network by going to settings. ” HELP

  5. From the time i made the upgrade, each time i am on a call, the phone suddenly begins to replay my voice, and i stop hearing the person on the other end… Terribly frustrating, please help. Mine is an iPhone 4. I have never had this issue before. HELP ME PLEASE!!

  6. MY IPAD 2 IS STUCK OF AN ITUNES LOGO AND A USB CABLE PICTURE ON SCREEN FOR ONE DAY…what shoul i do???/pls help…..

    • That’s unfortunate. My advice: do some research before you buy any new phone. I briefly considered getting a Samsung Galaxy S3. I read the reviews on Verizon. About 1/3 of the users returned their Samsung and bought an iPhone 5, due to dropped calls and short battery life. They liked the customizable nature of Android, however, it did not prove to be a reliable device. I checked in on the S4. Even a few weeks after being released, there was only one review. From what I have read, it is not selling well and Samsung’s stock has taken a major hit. I do read good things about the HTC One.

      By research, I mean read reviews written by actual owners of the device. Be weary of tech pundits and the polemical one-sided techies who shill for their platform of choice by marshaling evidence.

      I just finished watching Apple’s WWDC and I am thrilled that my iPhone 4 and iPad 2 will be getting the iOS 7 upgrade. I can’t say that for other brands of smart phones and tablets. Apple is very good about supporting devices for a long time — much longer than any other vendor. I am also invested in the Apple ecosystem. I have a large iTunes collection. I own a Mac and an Apple TV. I used Windows for 20-some years. Windows is awful! I didn’t like my Mac for the first week. I used it like a Windows machine. When I started using it like a Mac, I realized how much easier and faster I got everything done. It has also never crashed. Once in a blue moon, an app will crash. I can count app crashes on one hand, and I have had my Mac for 4 years now. (And yes, quite a few of those fingers would be counting Adobe Flash crashes.)

      Apple isn’t perfect. I too get annoyed at some of the flaws. However, I still think they make the best and most innovative products. Apple is not for all people. If you really like being able to customize your user interface, Android is for you. If you like the best video games, music/video production apps, and an ecosystem of products that work together seamlessly, then Apple is a better choice. iOS can’t have as customizable of an interface as Android. It makes it much harder to do the necessary system integration.

      The funny thing is, people I know who applaud the customizable interface all use Windows, which is less customizable than Mac OS X (which has widgets, by the way). There’s a lot of people who just hate Apple and justify their purchase with a philosophy that they don’t really accept. They’re fine with the good ‘ol Windows interface, when it comes down to it — just as long as it’s not an “overpriced hipster” Apple product. (Actually, the Samsung Galaxy S4 costs $50 more than an iPhone 5!) The funny thing is — most of my software engineering colleagues in the Silicon Valley use Apple products. They’re not hipster lemmings. They’re just tired of Eclipse crashing all the time! Seriously, a large Eclipse project on Windows is a nightmare. It will crash if you even look at it funny… And really, it’s very difficult to develop Ruby on Rails with a Windows machine. It can be done, but it’s not a good way to go.

      I should mention that the iPhone has won J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction survey 9 times in a row. That’s unprecedented. The iPhone is not perfect, but it’s better than the rest.

      But please, do not listen to what I say. Do your homework and make the best decision. It’s a pretty big decision, as you might be stuck with it for a few years. The better carriers will allow you to return your device within a certain time frame if it doesn’t work out. I know people who are very happy with their Android device.

      • Hmmm, apple is like a sect, once you’re in it there’s no turning back.
        I my experience, I have from imac, ipod, ipad, iphone, itouch (different flavors and different versions). and the catch is: wireless devices keep warning me if I do now upgrade to latest updates I will be doomed (in fact I did that more than 20 times only the last two years) I does not make any sense at all!!!
        Nor android neither windows had some many incompatibilities and flaws. Is Apple so slopy that we need one upgrade every month or two to fix its glitches?

  7. –last three days ago, i upgraded my 3gs to ios 6.1.3 but then after a successful upgrade my signal went down and stucked in “no SERVICE or SEARCHING”, it really buzz me up coz it’s almost 2 days.. sometimes it can pick up signals when i am on a high altitude.. but unfortunately not stable.. please help =)

    • I notice that a few people are having problems with their carriers after upgrading to iOS 6.1.3. The best thing to do would be to contact your carrier. These issues seem specific to a few carriers, mostly outside of the U.S., from my research…

  8. hi..i am so pleased and thankful i found this blog before upgrading my iphone 4, which still runs in ios 5.1.1… the comments from others’ experiences from the software are very helpful. now i am sticking to my old version of ios. thank you! 🙂

    • Exactly my thoughts!! But I really wish thy had released a stable. iOS 6 version before going into iOS 7. I am stuck in not being able o install new apps :(:(

      In an year, I will probably not be able to check out any apps at all :(:(

      Was really considering the update as I hate the aesthetics of iOS7 & not doing it now will result in being unable to move to any older version of the OS, after iOS7 is released.

  9. LOL! I know it never helps to know after the fact…but.. you should NEVER get an update from Apple the moment it comes out. They never do the updates correctly and there is always a need to wait to get an update to fix the last (in regards to phones and tablets…never had a problem with computer updates) as far as battery life…it is just as he said. You have to recalibrate it…loads of information on the internet how to….

    • Good advice. I typically will update my iPad first. If that works, I’ll do my iPhone. That said, compared to other companies, Apple is much better with upgrades. I have some horror stories about Windows Server and a few very late nights. One time we were releasing a new version of our web application, and IIS (Microsoft’s web server) just disappeared! It’s funny, because our process was so tight and repeatable.

      But I digress. I plan on writing a how-to article for updating best practices.

      But I must say, so far, I have been pleased with the upgrades. AirPlay is rock solid now. I haven’t had any of these battery issues. The security flaw with the lock screen? I don’t care. My phone doesn’t have an ejectable SIM, but if it did, I am not worried about someone physically taking my phone and getting into photos and contacts.

      I also agree that Mac updates are far better than iOS. OS X is rock solid. iOS is decent, but could use improvements. Apple TV is the worst of the bunch, but it has improved. I know that the iOS team had some issues when Forstall was leading it. He was supposedly a very difficult person. Perhaps under the new leadership, it will get better with iOS 7. Whether you like the new look or not, beyond the UI, there’s a lot to iOS 7!

  10. I bought a refurbished iPad 3 and it shipped with 5.1.1. Should I stay in this software or try the new update and just take the hit. I mean the machine is still under warranty till April 2014. I have jailbroken the 5.1.1 because there are some features that Cydia provides that I use daily.

    • I upgraded my iPad 2 to iOS 6.1.3 and haven’t had a problem. It’s not jailbroken, however. So far, my experience with Apple’s upgrades has been very positive. I hope this article doesn’t dissuade people. I just want to make sure people are informed of the very minor security flaws. Even if someone gets into your device with the exploit (paperclip and eject sim card) they can only access your contacts and photos. It’s a long shot, and if this happens, it’s inconsequential for most people.

      I recommend iOS 6.1.3. I’ve been using it for months and it’s another rock solid Apple release.

      The releases around iOS 5.0 were not very good. iOS was decent, but the corresponding Apple TV updates were terrible. AirPlay would crash occasionally when playing music. Sometimes it would happen 3-4 times in an evening. They fixed it. Perhaps the leadership changes at Apple have made a difference. That said, I would still have to say Apple has the best quality of any technology company, and I’ve used them all — even enterprise stuff like IBM, SUN, BEA, Oracle, etc. And Microsoft? They’re one of the worst…

      • I have to agree with you. I have updated my iPad 2 with every update, though not immediately all the time. At first, I was worried about updating! But now, I’m very glad.

        I have noticed some problems with FaceTime, however. It’ll say I have a bad signal when I’m right next to the router. That may be my WiFi’s fault because it often causes my iPad to lose signal completely. That happened with my laptop, too, which was a Dell laptop.

        My opinion: If you have an iPad, get the upgrade. It’s far less likely to affect your system compared to an iPhone. 😉

        • I replaced my linksys router with an Airport Extreme. Couldn’t be happier. Yeah, it is expensive, but worth every penny. Apple just refreshed the Airport router — it’s smaller and works with the newest standards.

          I would have to reset my linksys router about once a week. My Airport Extreme has been flawless for over two years. Apple also pushes the updates, rather than forcing the user to be proactive, go to the website, fiddle with flakey software, etc.

          I agree — update your iPad first and use it for a few days. If it works, upgrading your iPhone should work out.

    • You can only back up content and settings. Once iOS is upgraded it cannot go back to prior version because Apple no longer signs 5.1.1.

      • Yep. Unless you jailbreak, that is correct. Still, one should backup their settings and other items before upgrading, in case the device hangs or has some data loss. I will be creating a how-to guide for upgrading best practices.

        I haven’t had any problems with iOS releases and I upgrade my iPad the day they are released. If all is OK, I upgrade my iPhone. My upgrade-phobia is cured, but was caused by a few decades of Microsoft Windows usage.

    • I was wrong about that — you can only backup the previous OS version and restore if you jailbreak your device. It is still a good idea to backup before an upgrade. I removed my comment so as not to misinform anyone.

    • Hopefully you backed them up with either iTunes or iCloud. If so, they can be easily restored. If not, they are likely gone.

  11. 6.1.3 caused my wifi to grey out now my iphone 4s is just a regular 3g phone without wifi… and apple have not released any fix for it…. i went to several apple store/service centers and technicians only say we should wait for ios7 and maybe it would fix the problem.

    i will dump my iphone for another brand and i will never buy any apple product again!

    • From my research, it appears there is a damaged connection. Other people have reported this, after upgrading to 6.1.3. The software upgrade does not damage the phone.

      You need to take it to a place that repairs iPhones, where they are familiar with this issue, and they can re-solder the connection (with a heat gun) or replace the wi-fi module.

      Some people fix this temporarily by putting the iPhone in a freezer. I don’t recommend this. It can damage the device in other ways. If you want to try this, you’re on your own. You can find this information online, but I don’t recommend it, so I won’t link to it. But this again proves the fact that it is a bad connection. This could be a flaw in manufacturing or the phone could have been damaged by a shock or exposure to extreme heat or cold.

      Here’s what I think happened and why this happens after the 6.1.3 upgrade: The upgrade uncovers the flaw. Most likely, your wi-fi was spotty, and worked intermittently, due to the connection issue. The 6.1.3 release seems to disable wi-fi if there is a fault in the connection to the wi-fi module. They probably had complaints about wi-fi problems, found that affected devices had physical problems, and decided to disable it, so users would get the root cause fixed.

      I’m in the process of writing up an article about this issue. Please let me know if your wi-fi was spotty before the upgrade. This seems to be the case for most users who have this issue.

  12. So in hindsight then I should remain on 5.1.1 since it’s the one where all things work. Cool, I will do such thing then.

    • I’m glad you’re liking your S3. I actually looked into getting an S3 a few months back. I read the reviews on the Verizon site, because the reviewers had to have owned the phone. About 30% of S3 owners returned their device and bought an iPhone 5 instead. The main issues they complained about were dropped calls and poor battery life. Additionally, Verizon recently announced that half of the smart phones they sold last quarter were iPhones. This happened while Samsung released a new phone, the S4, and Apple has no new release. Even then, the iPhone outsold competitors, at least on Verizon. The competitors split up the remaining half. Also, JD Power ranked the iPhone #1 in terms of user satisfaction. Samsung is further down on the list.

      No electronic device is perfect. Very few users report battery life issues with the iPhone (even after upgrades), and in many cases, they just need to recalibrate the battery. In my own experience, running the latest update, I still get stellar battery life. I charge my phone about once a week. If I do a two hour Skype video chat (about as battery intensive as can be), my battery life decreases by a mere 15%. So I can do about 12+ hours of use before the battery needs charging. Standby time is excellent. In normal use (about 1-2 hours of actual use a day), I charge my iPhone about once a week. I use my iPad much more often, yet still charge it about once a week. Battery life is actually one of the strengths of Apple devices.

      Perception of good battery life is relative. An iPhone owner who charged their phone once a week will be annoyed if they have to charge it twice a week. After 6.1.3, I had to charge once every 4 days until I recalibrated the battery. Some users of other smart phones may be delighted to get 6 hours of actual use. For an iPhone, that would be unacceptable.

      Anyway, I know people who really like their S3. I don’t want to burst your bubble. If you really like UI customization, Android is the best. I do find it odd that people who claim they like UI customization use Windows instead of Linux. It almost seems to me like a talking point that they regurgitate, without truly accepting.

      As a site that features consumer advocacy, however, I suggest that people do the research, read real reviews and put it in perspective. No phone is perfect. If you search for flaws with the S3, you’ll find a lot of them and a greater proportion of people who have problems.

      Those interested in Android devices should check out the HTC One. It seems to get better reviews, and from what I have experienced, it is more responsive than the Samsung Galaxy S4, which seems to lag a bit.

    • Yeah… Apple no longer develops the YouTube app. Google makes it now. Just download it from the App Store. It’s free.

  13. 6.1.3 upgrade is a whopping 800mb! I have a 3gs , do you have any tips on what this update does aside from the mentioned things here? .. appreciate it . .

  14. LOL lucky old me. I am still on 6.0.1 and I cant complain. I upgraded from a Nokia Lumia 800 and never will I go back. Read before you upgrade software next time. Didn’t you guys ever here about JB?

  15. Once I upgraded to iOS 6.1.3 I haven’t been able to change the setting so that my screen dims after a serturn amount of time instead it just locks instead.

  16. Do you guyzzz advise to upgrade my iphone 4 to ios6
    .1.3 plzz help im scared to upgrade bcoz it might ruin my fone plz jelp

    • I have been running 6.1.3 for a few months now, and I haven’t had a problem. After I upgraded, I had to charge my iPhone once in 3-4 days instead of 5-7. I just needed to recalibrate the battery. Now I charge it about once a week. I haven’t had any of the problems mentioned in the article or comments. Very few people have problems with iOS 6.1.3. That said, once you upgrade, you can’t go back. I really wish Apple would provide the ability to downgrade. I haven’t had the desire to downgrade, but it would really help the few people with problems.

  17. I have upgraded iphone4 to iOS 6.1.3 after that..Whenever i make a call i cant hear the ringtone & also i cant hear the voice of the person to whom i am calling to…Viceversa even the other person cant able to hear me…Could anyone give me the solution for this case. What i have to do now? Is there any settings are need to be changed? or i need to degrade the software? Please help..!!!

    • Was having the same prob some time ago but with 5.0.1 and i followed the steps > Try connecting ur device to a 3G network, chk for any site or updates – disable ur 3G again. Call urself from another phone and check. Hope this gets resolved.

  18. I’m having a problem in my iPHONE 4 after upgrading iOS – 6.1.3. It hangs alot and switch off automatically. I’m having alot of problems with this software. Please suggest me sollutions.

    • I personally have not owned an iPhone 3GS, but I would advise you to upgrade to iOS 6.1.6. Upgrading will provide you with advantages such as access to more apps that require iOS 6, better security and more features. If you use AirPlay, it was horribly buggy in iOS 5. It improved greatly with iOS 6. I personally think iOS 6 is much better than 5. I have used every version of iOS since 4.0.

      From my research, iOS 6 offers decent performance on an iPhone 3GS. Check out this article for more information. In some ways it is a little faster and in some ways it is slightly slower, but the overall performance difference is negligible. iOS 6 is an improvement on 5, but not the massive overhaul that iOS 7 and 8 are.

      The only downside is that it might take up more space on your device. Apart from that, iOS 6.1.6 is better in every respect. I advise upgrading for security reasons alone, but you will have more access to apps and a better user experience.

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