iOS 6.1.4: Worth Upgrading?

iOS 6.1.4 software update

iPhone 5 users have a new software update — iOS 6.1.4. According to Apple, the patch updates the “audio profile for speakerphone”. This software update is only available for the iPhone 5.

iOS 6.1.4 was released to the general public without beta testing. Typically, Apple will release the patch to developers before a general release. This, along with the 11.5 MB size of the update, suggests few changes. If Apple decided to sneak other bug fixes in with this release, they are likely insignificant. Furthermore, this update is only for the iPhone 5. This is not a sweeping change that affects all iOS devices.

For the most part, iPhone 5 users have reported few problems with this update. Some notice an improvement in the iPhone 5’s speakerphone. Users report less background noise.

Is iOS 6.1.4 a Battery Drainer?

As with almost every Apple release, some users are complaining about diminished battery life. A few users are reporting increased battery life. This is probably not due to the software update. If Apple improved battery life, they would mention it. This is a small patch released without beta testing. It is unlikely that any changes have been made with regard to battery performance.

Battery life issues seem to crop up after every iOS update. One commenter mentioned that the GeoFence feature in iOS can rapidly drain the battery. He suggests going to Privacy > Location Services, and switching off any unnecessary apps using the GeoFence feature. These apps will have an outlined purple arrow next to them.

Turn off GeoFence location feature to save power

This may be why I have great battery life. I don’t have any location services using the GeoFence feature. I also have a Verizon iPhone. Verizon employs CDMA technology for phone calls. This uses less power than GSM, which is the predominant technology. CDMA phones also emit less radiation.

Try Recalibrating the Battery

It is important that users re-calibrate their iPhone battery at least once a month. It’s also a good idea to do this after an update. I combed the Internet for various techniques on recalibration. This the best process:

1. use iPhone until the battery drains and the device powers off
2. wait a few hours after the device powers off, to further drain the battery
3. charge the device for 8 hours, even if reaches 100% in a few hours
4. reset the device by holding the sleep/power and home button down until it powers off
5. hold the sleep/power button to power up the device

Sources:

These steps are beyond Apple’s recommendations, however, they advise users to drain the battery once a month. Read this article for more tips on prolonging battery life.

According to the Apple site, there were no new security fixes added. The update includes security fixes from previous iOS releases. Apple has not fixed the lock screen bypass vulnerability introduced in iOS 6.1.3.

Should you upgrade to iOS 6.1.4? I recommend it. It is an innocuous upgrade that will improve your speakerphone. There is little evidence of this upgrade causing problems or introducing new bugs. Follow this how-to article for upgrading iOS to avoid losing any personal data.

UPDATES:

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