So what’s going on with iOS? I long for the good old days when it was a no-brainer to download the latest version because it may fix a problem or two and would also provide some new features. The last few iOS releases have seen significant issues. iOS 8.3, released on April 8th, fixes many of the issues. So many that it is pretty mind-boggling that this many issues were out there. By many accounts, the iOS releases beginning with iOS 8.0 have been more problem-plagued than any prior versions. Apple, for iOS 9.0, don’t worry about wowing us with new stuff. Just give us an exceptionally stable OS, please!
First, the ‘good stuff’:
- A redesigned Emoji keyboards now provides a much more diverse set of emojis. There are over 300 new emojis.
- Improved performance for app launch, app responsiveness, Wi-Fi, Control Center, Safari tabs, 3rd-party keyboards, keyboard shortcuts and a simplified Chinese keyboard.
- New features in Messages including the ability to report junk messages directly from the app and the ability to filter out iMessages that are not sent by your contacts.
- iCloud Photo Library has been optimized to work with the new Photos app on OS X 10.10.3.
- Improved pronunciation of street names during turn-by-turn navigation in Maps.
- Support for Baum VarioUltra 20 and VarioUltra 40 braille displays.
- Improved display of Spotlight results when Reduce Transparency is turned on.
- Italic and Underline format options for iPhone 6 Plus landscape keyboard.
- Ability to remove shipping and billing addresses used with Apple Pay.
- Additional language and country support for Siri: Danish (Denmark), Dutch (Netherlands), English (India, New Zealand), Portuguese (Brazil), Russian (Russia), Swedish (Sweden), Thai (Thailand), Turkish (Turkey).
- Additional dictation languages: Arabic (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates) and Hebrew (Israel).
Now for the ‘fixed stuff’:
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth fixes including an issue where you could be continuously prompted for login credentials, intermittent disconnects from Wi-Fi networks, intermittent disconnects for hands-free calls as well as an audio playback issue with some Bluetooth speakers.
- Orientation and rotation fixes including the inability to sometimes return to portrait mode after having rotated to landscape mode, resolves an orientation issue related to an upside down display after removing iPhone 6 Plus from your pocket as well as an orientation issue related to switching apps in multitasking.
- Messages fixes include resolving issues that caused group messages to sometimes split, fixing the inability to forward or delete individual messages and resolving the issue where a preview did not appear when taking a photo within the app.
- Family Sharing fixes include fixing a bug where certain apps would not launch or update on family members’ devices and fixing another bug that prevented family members from downloading certain free apps.
- CarPlay fixes include resolving issues where Maps could come up as a black screen, issues where the UI could be incorrectly rotated as well as an issue where the keyboard could appear when it shouldn’t.
- Enterprise fixes include improved reliability, resolution of time zone issues for Calendar events created in IBM Notes, resolution of a web clip icons issue and improved compatibility of VPN and web proxy solutions. Two Exchange issues have been addressed. There is improved recovery of Exchange accounts from temporary connection problems. An issue that caused Exchange meetings with long notes to be truncated has also been addressed.
- Accessibility fixes are included in iOS 8.3 as well. Fixes include addressing an issue related to using the back button in Safari as well as fixing an issue where VoiceOver focus becomes unreliable in draft Mail messages. Also addressed was an issue where Braille Screen Input could not be used to type text in forms on webpages. An issue related to Quick Nav on a Braille Display is also addressed. App icons are now moveable on the Home screen when VoiceOver is enabled. In Speak Screen, speech will now start again after pausing.
- Resolves an issue where Slide to Unlock could fail to work on certain devices.
- Resolves an issue that sometimes prevented swiping to answer a phone call on the Lock screen (Yay!).
- Addresses an issue that prevented opening links in Safari PDFs
- Fixes an issue related to Clear History in Safari Settings.
- Fixes an issue that prevented autocorrecting “FYI”.
- Addresses an issue where contextual predictions did not appear in Quick Reply.
- Fixes an issue where Maps did not enter night mode from hybrid mode.
- Resolves an issue that prevented initiating FaceTime calls from a browser or 3rd-party app using FaceTime URLs
- Addresses an issue that sometimes prevented photos from properly exporting to Digital Camera Image folders on Windows
- Fixes an iPad backup issue
- Fixes an issue related to switching form Wi-Fi to cellular when downloading a podcast
- An issue where the remaining time on the timer would incorrect display as 00:00 on Lock screen has been resolved
- Resolves an issue related to adjusting call volume
- Fixes an issue where the status bar was displaying when it shouldn’t
Like I said, Apple, worry about stability first, new features second.
I’ve updated my iPhone 6 to iOS 8.3. So far, so good. Some users have reported issues related to Touch ID, battery life issues as well as keyboard freezes but I haven’t seen any of these issues on my iPhone.
If you decide to update your device to iOS 8.3, always do a backup first. Then go to Settings –> General –> Software Update –> Install Now. Note that the last option may say ‘Download and Install Now’ if the update hasn’t been downloaded yet.