Here we are again. Following Apple iOS 11’s troubled launch and the rushed releases of iOS 11.0.1 (which made things worse) and iOS 11.0.2 (which did the same), iOS 11.0.3 has become the fourth iOS 11 upgrade (and third dedicated bug fix) in just three weeks. And predictably rushing out upgrades means iOS 11.0.3 has also started to cause problems…
I warned about this last week in my iOS 11.0.3 Upgrade Guide given the flurry of user complaints across reddit and social media, leading me to conclude you should hold off. One week later and having had the time to properly evaluate this, that was the right call.
The pattern is familiar. Once again the dominant themes for iOS 11.0.3 upgrades is poor performance and heavily degraded battery life. The latter in particular has seen users flood the official @applesupport Twitter account with complaints and examples of iPhone batteries only lasting a few hours. This aside there are also plenty of reports of problems with overall stability, Touch ID and Bluetooth.
Here are some examples:
“@AppleSupport Battery draining faster than before after iOS 11.0.3 Update” – source
“Same here ! @AppleSupport what’s up. iPhone 7 iOS 11.0.3 made it worse, it’s draining as I type! #iphone7 #BatteryDrain #Apple” – source
“@Apple u better fix the battery program in the ios11 update. I have to recharge my battery 3 times in a day. And i’m sick of it..” – source
“@AppleSupport iOS 11 = total disaster. Updated to 11.0.3 hoping all bugs are fixed. Instead i now have a frozen 6s that can’t be turned off” – source
“@AppleSupport i have updated to iOS 11.0.3, the phone is dead slow, even the twitter app takes more than 5-10 second to open, using iPhone6” – source
“Since I’ve updated my @Apple 6S Plus to the new IOS 11.0.3 its been super slow and unresponsive :/ @AppleSupport” – source
“@AppleSupport @Apple why does both my iPad pro and iPhone 7 Plus have Bluetooth interference problems with my speaker!?!? IOS 11.0.3” – source
“@AppleSupport my iPhone 6plus been freezing & turning off since 11.0.3 update what’s happening? This update was supposed to fix the problem” – source
““#Annoying the #iOS update 11.0.3 is draining the battery life faster than ever. It’snt #cool @Apple @AppleSupport was good on iOS10 #fixit” – source
“@AppleSupport my iPhone 6s Plus just updated to IOS 11.0.3 and now my home button won’t work unless I click on it twice” – source
“@AppleSupport ever since I updated my iPhone 6, my calendar app has not worked properly and my alarm has been glitching out” – source
“@AppleSupport Hi, my 6 is really buggy on 11.0.3. No time on home screen sometimes & screen locks landscape. Any updates in the pipeline?” – source
“My battery life sucks ever since the upgrade. Before the upgrade, I charged my iPad twice, sometimes 3 times a week. Now it needs to be charged everyday. Also, half the time I put it on the charger, it doesn’t charge. I rue the day I upgraded to iOS 11.” – source
“They still haven’t fixed whatever the f*** is draining my SE’s battery so badly. I’ve only been up and about for a couple of hours, barely used my phone and I’m already below 50%.” – source
“Lost the clock and date on the home screen completely. Phone started turning off by itself on 80% battery. I have a 2 months old iPhone 7. This is really a s**** 0.3 update. Apple quality in terms of hardware and mobile software is considerably going down in the past year or two. I’m missing the Steve Jobs era.” – source
“Apple software 11.0.3 update has just ruined my iPhone thanks a lot Apple @AppleSupport @Apple” – source
“Random lag/stuttering. Momentary app freezing. Battery life significantly worse. Control center/lock screen audio controls not working (also affects using bluetooth in my car). Touch ID not working sometimes. Map scrolling in pretty much any Nav app including native is laggy and not smooth anymore. Apps that use UITableViews don’t scroll smooth anymore. Apple Watch not connecting to the phone anymore unless I reboot. Other than that it’s been great on my iPhone 7.” – source
You get the picture.
And yet the irony is Apple has also continued one positive pattern with its flurry of iOS 11 updates: the fixes it calls out by name in each release do seem to be working. In the case of iOS 11.0.3 these were niche (haptic feedback on iPhone 7/iPhone 7 Plus and unresponsive iPhone 6S displays when repaired with non-genuine Apple parts) but it’s still good news.
Consequently, as I said in my iOS 11.0.3 Upgrade Guide, if you suffer from one of these two specific faults then it is worth upgrading.
Unfortunately for everyone else the big picture is a lot less rosy. Last month SaaS service provider Wandera ran data analysis across 50,000 iPhones and found those who had upgraded to iOS 11 saw battery life declines averaging 60%. No iOS 11 update since has even cited battery life problems. Apple needs to tackle the big problems as a priority.
Until last week the simple solution to many of these problems was to downgrade your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to iOS 10.3.3. Unfortunately Apple has now stopped ‘signing’ iOS 10.3.3 which means there is no route back to iOS 10. If you haven’t already done it, you can’t do it now.
None of which is to say it is impossible to upgrade to iOS 11.0.3 and find your device works well. In particular there are very few reports of the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus suffering any problems in iOS 11. Yes, cynics will say that’s predictable.
Despite this, right now it is impossible to recommend anyone upgrade to iOS 11.0.3 unless they have one of its two specific fixes. There are far too many problems being reported and Apple’s own security page confirms iOS 11.0.3 doesn’t contain a single security update – so you aren’t missing out there either.
So what should you do?
At this rate it is possible we will see an iOS 11.0.4 in a few days time (making it five iOS 11 releases in a month), but I suspect it is more likely we’ll now have to wait until iOS 11.1. This is currently in beta testing (it has reached #3) and is expected to launch near to the iPhone X in late October/early November. This will be a significant release which should add new features (including one pulled from iOS 11), bug fixes (maybe, just maybe for battery life) and security updates (including a fix for the KRACK WiFi hack).
There’s also another upside to waiting for iOS 11.1: Apple stops rushing out releases, conducts comprehensive developer and consumer beta testing (there were no betas for iOS 11.0.1, 11.0.2 or 11.0.3) and finally fixes more than it breaks.
In Apple speak: the next iOS update needs to “Just Work”…