Apple iOS 11.0.3 Release: Should You Upgrade? – Forbes

Welcome to the latest chaotic instalment of
Apple
iOS 11. Last night Apple released
iOS 11.0.3, it’s fourth iOS 11 release and third dedicated bug fix in three weeks. But given the rushed iOS 11.0.1 and iOS 11.0.2 updates caused more problems than they have fixed, should you upgrade to iOS 11.0.3 or will it simply make things worse? 

Here’s everything you need to know…


Apple

Apple iOS 11.0.3

Who Is iOS 11.0.3 For?

As with every iOS 11 release, iOS 11.0.3 is compatible with iPhone 5S or later, iPad mini 2 or later and the 6th generation iPod touch or later.

Compatible devices are notified automatically about the iOS 11.0.3 update, but should that not happen for whatever reason it can be triggered manually by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Tip: iOS 11.0.3 is not part of Apple’s beta program (where iOS 11.1 is currently in testing), so if you are you will need to unroll your device for iOS 11.0.3 to show up.

iOS updates vary in size depending on device, but just like the previous ‘minor point’ releases iOS 11.0.3 again comes in at around 300MB. Interestingly this brings the total size of Apple’s iOS 11 releases to approximately 3GB in three weeks, so those of you with metered broadband connections may need to watch your allowance.

The Deal Breakers

Right off the bat a familiar warning: iOS 11.0.3 will break jailbroken iPhones, iPads and iPod touch. Right now I pity jailbreakers trying to keep up with this flurry of releases!

As for the early feedback on stability, it’s not great. Just like every previous iOS 11 release, users have taken to reddit and social media to complain about crashes, poor battery life, sluggish performance and connectivity issues – notably Bluetooth.

Remember there are hundreds of millions of iPhones, iPads and iPod touch in the world so it is impossible to fully grasp the scale of the problems from this, but they are there for a lot of users. I’ll update this article as I learn more but for now – unless you suffer one of the specific problems listed in the next section – I would hold off upgrading to iOS 11.0.3.

So What Do You Get?

Apple’s iOS 11.0.3 release notes list fixes for two specific problems:

  • Fixes an issue where audio and haptic feedback would not work on some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices
  • Addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone 6s displays because they were not services with genuine Apple parts

Apple also warns users: “Note: Non-genuine replacement displays may have compromised visual quality and may fail to work correctly. Apple-certified screen repairs are performed by trusted experts who use Apple parts. See support.apple.com for more information.”

As for security content, Apple’s security page states there are no updates in iOS 11.0.3. This is the third time in a row this has happened (iOS 11 was the last update to contain them) but you shouldn’t worry or be surprised. Apple usually updates security every month or two so, despite three subsequent releases, it has only been three weeks since iOS 11.

Now here’s the good news: initial feedback suggests (just like the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus ‘crackling bug’ addressed in iOS 11.0.2) that these two fixes are working for most users. Though not everyone.

On the flip side, I haven’t actually seen many users complain about these problems in the first place. Certainly not in comparison to the flood of performance and battery life complaints that have been streaming in for weeks and have been tangibly measured at scale by data analytics company Wandera.


Wandera

Apple iOS 11 introduced severe battery drain and it has got worse for many users in both iOS 11.0.1 and iOS 11.0.2

The fact Apple’s latest iOS update does nothing yet again to address either of these problems suggests its priorities are misplaced. Either that or these issues are harder to fix and Apple is focused on low hanging fruit for now, which is probably of little consolation to affected users.

Apple iOS 11.0.3 Verdict: Avoid (With Two Exceptions)

The feeling of deja vu is building. iOS 11.0.3 follows in the path of iOS 11.0.1 and iOS 11.0.2 by delivering niche fixes to specific bugs but not addressing the wider performance and battery issues introduced by iOS 11.

As such if your iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus has suffered from poor audio and haptic feedback or your iPhone 6S had an unresponsive display because it was fixed with non-genuine parts, then iOS 11.0.3 is for you and you should upgrade without hesitation.

Needless to say, the reality is this is a tiny subset of users so if you are still on iOS 10 or happily using iOS 11 without problems stay put. There’s nothing in iOS 11.0.3 for you, not even some security patches, and with the complaints from upgraders growing it represents a risk with no tangible reward.

The Road Ahead

Apple iOS 11.1 is the release affected users should be pinning their hopes on now. It is already in its second beta and while testers are reporting it too is filled with bugs, that is perfectly normal at such an early stage (five, six, even seven betas are normal before release).

iOS 11.1 will arrive in conjunction with the heavily redesigned iPhone X and should also return one of the major features pulled from the original iOS 11 launch. Let’s hope this first ‘major point’ release will mark a fresh start for iOS 11…

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