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iOS 8.1.3: Worth Upgrading?

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iOS 8.1.3: Worth Upgrading?

Apple recently released iOS 8.1.3. The update fixes critical defects and is highly recommended.

iOS 8 got off to a rocky start. Just a few months after its initial release, we are already at version 8.1.3. iOS 7 didn’t get up to 7.1.3 so quickly, but it was a more stable release. The numerous features and notorious bugs have Apple apologizing and committing to higher quality and fewer features in iOS 9. After all, if Apple loses their reputation for quality, it will cause considerable damage to their brand.

As someone who uses iOS 8 every day, on both my iPhone and iPad, it’s not as bad as the blogosphere would suggest. If you have ever used Microsoft Windows, iOS 8 is rock solid in comparison. iOS 8’s quality is dubious only when compared with other Apple products. It is not as refined and stable as Mac OS X.

iOS 8.1.3 fixes some critical bugs and also introduces new features that will improve any iOS device. For example, iOS 8.1.3 adds the ability to install operating system updates using less SSD space. This is helpful for people who have devices with less capacity. Let’s take a closer look at iOS 8.1.3…

Installing iOS 8.1.3

iOS 8.1.3 is a sizable update, at about 250 MB. The size of the update will vary depending on your device and whether you have been updating regularly. Given the large size, the update will take some time. Plan on not using your device for 30-60 minutes while the update is running. You can use your device while the update is being downloaded and prepared.

The update can be run unattended, as there are no post-update configuration screens. For more information on best practices for upgrading iOS, please read “How to Upgrade iOS“. Also, since this is a rather large update, make sure to calibrate your iPhone or iPad battery after upgrading.

iOS 8.1.3 Makes it Easier to Update Your Device

Perhaps the most compelling reason to upgrade to iOS 8.1.3 immediately is that it helps users with lesser capacity devices. As Apple crams more features into iOS, the operating system grows larger. Users lacking SSD space on their device find it challenging to install over-the-air updates. Instead, they must use iTunes to update their device, or delete content and apps.

iOS 8.1.3 Fixes iPad Multitasking Gesture Defect

After restarting the iPad, some users were introduced to a rather annoying bug — multitasking gestures failed to work. The workaround was to tap on Settings > General and toggle the Multitasking Gestures switch. This happened rarely and was easy to fix, but Apple has remedied this defect in iOS 8.1.3. This is yet another compelling reason to upgrade to iOS 8.1.3 immediately.

iOS 8.1.3 Fixes Spotlight App Searching Bug

I launch virtually all of my apps using Spotlight. In fact, I have cleared all icons from the first home screen of my iPhone and iPad. I think they look ugly and it’s not a good way to launch apps. It reminds me of remote controls with too many buttons, like those bundled with cable boxes. I have to scan through all of these icons to find the app I want to launch. Instead, I prefer using Spotlight to launch apps. With a few minor modifications, it is a tremendously fast and useful app launcher.

Unfortunately, iOS 8 introduced a minor defect. Very rarely, Spotlight wouldn’t show apps that were being queried. I can attest that this bug surfaced very rarely. I use Spotlight to launch apps all the time, and have noticed this issue maybe two or three times. Nonetheless, this has been fixed in iOS 8.1.3. Spotlight is now rock solid, as it should be.

New Configuration Options for Standardized Testing

Despite the debacle with the LA Unified School District’s iPad program, Apple products remain highly popular in education. This has always been the case. In fact, the first computer I used in school was an Apple III back in the third grade.

One unfortunate consequence of technology is that some students can use it to cheat. The new configuration options for standardized testing are designed to curb academic dishonesty. For example, educators can now disable the predictive text keyboard, so that students’ spelling, diction and grammar will not be assisted. Spell checking and auto-correction can also be disabled. (continue…)

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