iOS 8.1.3 is here! Fixes Spotlight, takes less space to install, and more bugs squashed!

Apple has just released iOS 8.1.3 for iPhone and iPad devices. The over-the-air update has a number of fixes and improvements, including one that should cut down on the amount of storage needed for future software updates.

Here's the change log for iOS 8.1.3, the download for which should be around 240MB, depending on which device you're downloading it on.

  • Reduces the amount of storage required to perform a software update
  • Fixes an issue that prevented some users from entering their Apple ID password for Messages and Face Time
  • Addresses an issue that caused Spotlight to stop displaying app results
  • Fixes an issue which prevented multitasking gestures from working on iPad.
  • Adds new configuration options for education standardized testing.

If you'll recall, the iOS 8.1.1 update returned some 500MB of free space to users. The free space needed to implement the many major under-the-hood changes that comprised iOS 8 did cause some grief for many updaters, so hopefully after installing iOS 8.1.3 we won't have to resort to less civilized means of updating when the next update comes along.

Update: The installation for iOS 8.1.3, by all accounts so far, has been exceptionally quick and easy.

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Non-interruptive as well:

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And space-saving:

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I have been writing professionally about technology and gaming news for 14 years.

  • That spotlight bug was annoying... downloading now and hoping it nips it in the bud once and for all.
  • Cue the long list of people with four and five year old phones that still can't update properly or get good performance on iOS 8. Because of course it's entirely Apples fault that their latest software doesn't work on your ancient device.
  • Honestly, I think they shouldn't have released iOS 8 for the iPad 2, probably the 4S as well. I do think people have a right to complain when Apple offers iOS 8 on an older device and doesn't allow you to go back.
  • I agree, I kept my iPad 2 on iOS 7.1.2. I don't see the big deal if you want to downgrade to a previous version.
  • I've heard that apple sends out viruses to older phones to slow them down so that they aren't as fast to try and persuade customers to purchase the latest and greatest. They also make it hard to update which forces people to upgrade. BUT heard that samsung, android and HTC, etc are starting to do it too... Its sad what people will do for money
  • Well, I'm not sure that they really did "release iOS 8 for the iPad 2." There is a big difference between saying that something might work, or will work on a device, and saying that they recommend a customer using it. Apple's only official statement on device support (at least that I'm aware of) is that they support the OS a device shipped with, the point upgrades to that, the next OS version, and the point upgrades to that. This would leave anyone with a 4s on iOS 6 and no more. On the other hand, when they release the software updates, they also give a list of devices that it will "run on" or "work on" and those lists include these older phones. So it's a bit of a mixed message. Are they saying that a 4s or an iPad 2 will be totally fine running iOS 8? I'm not sure they are really. In my mind, what Apple is saying is closer to ... "Yeah, it will run on that thing, but there is no guarantee on performance."
  • For a regular user, they see the "1" badge on settings, they are fairly likely to update and expect that speed will be at least similar to what they had before. They did release 8 for the iPad 2, it was available as a software update through Settings.
  • Yeah, this is what I mean by "mixed messages." They are sending signals to the end user to upgrade, knowing that performance will be shite in many cases on these older devices. In fact, they are being extremely vague about what their update policy actually *is* on a given device, even though they took pains to straighten it all out a few years ago by telling us the "two upgrades only" story. That red badge shouldn't appear unless you actually can update your device with similar performance, which is clearly not the case sometimes. However, because they only have a "yes/no" situation with the badge they are kind of screwed. If they don't show it, then it's impossible for you to *choose* to update even if you want to, if they do show it, it implies that updating is going to be totally fine, when clearly it isn't always. They need a sort of third state where the badge doesn't appear, but it's still possible to update if you really want to give it a try.
  • That's what sets Apple apart, they support hardware for 3 years unlike a certain search engine giant by the name of Google. Sent from the iMore App
  • I admire their update process overall, my main issue is that they very quickly stop signing the previous version.
  • Google has nothing to do with the phones though...
  • Support doesn't matter if your performance goes into a Toilet. I remember when I bought an iPod Touch 4th Gen. The thing was ridiculously snappy on iOS 4. The minute I updated to iOS 5 (it shipped with iOS 4, BTW) it got slow as hell. It froze all the time. One time it froze and I had to let it sit there with a white screen until the battery ran out because it wouldn't let me reboot it by any means. It was a horrible experience. Speaking of Android devices. My Galaxy S2 Skyrocket went from GB to JB (2.3.6 to 4.0.4 to 4.1.2). Performance actually went UP with every update, because the device was specced for future profess (Late 2012 Release, already had a Dual Core CUP 1GB RAM, etc.). My Galaxy S3 went from 4.0.4 to 4.1.2 to 4.3 and I think they have 4.4.2 now. My Galaxy Note 3 went from 4.3 to 4.4.2 and they are getting 5.0.x soon if not already. The Samsung devices were all supported for at least 2 years, which is a normal upgrade cycle for most people (and that's getting cut down with the carriers pushing EDGE/Jump-type financing these days). It's fine to give fantastic support to your devices, but there should be a cut off where the user experience should trump whether or not a device should get an update. Apple doesn't really future proof their devices as much as Samsung/LG and other top Android OEMs. This is a bigger consideration to them than to the Android users. Overall, though, the Android situation has been largely on par with Apple as far as support goes. Only difference is they generally don't push updates that perform the way iOS performs on an iPhone 4S to their devices (Samsung will just cancel the update due to performance reasons) and the updates are laggard due to how the phones are certified and updated (Google -> OEM -> Carrier -> Usually a Phased OTA deployment).
  • I would rather have the OPTION of upgrading than to be denied the CHOICE.
    As far as the Galazy Skyrocket and the Galaxy S3, my experience was that performance on both suffered after the upgrades. Specs were there sure. But I found that optimisation wasn't. Should be interesting to see what happens when we get LP. I'm planning to keep my Note 4 for two years so I hooe LP is fully optimised.
  • Apple are still selling iP4s as new. They sold iP4 as new till last February. Of course it cannot be expected that they support the premium-priced stuff they sell, but...
  • Just checked the Apple web site. They do not sell the 4S (at least not in the US).
  • Or the UK either. Sent from the iMore App
  • My iPad Air 2 had issues with the cellular network after the update. I had to reboot it a couple times to get it to pick up service again.
  • About Touch ID and Apple ID: why can't we use Touch ID FOR reviewing apps but only for purchasing? Totally sucks... I express more from Touch ID Sent from the iMore App
  • Not to mention updating the dang phone! What's the point of Touch ID if we still have to manually input our password every now and then? I get the restart but then you have to re-login if you want to purchase an app.. it's a little cumbersome. I just want it to work! Sent from the iMore App
  • Oh and the camera 'click' sound is very absent in many photo apps still with iOS 8. Great! Sent from the iMore App
  • this seems to also fix Continuity from iOS to the Mac. I"m not getting phantom Safari notifications for it, and the handoff is almost instant, much faster than before.
  • Air2 upgraded without incident. Cellular works fine too. I hope this really fixes the irritating spotlight search issue. iPhone6 upgrade in process and seems to be going fine.
  • iPad 3 upgraded with no problems.
    iPhone 6 upgraded with no problems. Great job, Apple!!!! YES!!!!!
  • How is the performance with the ipad 3? Any improvements? I am on 8.1.1 and it's really bad. lags and slowdowns everywhere. I miss 7.1.2 so much.
  • It lags occasionally but i expected that. It's a 3 year old device updated to the newest OS. I can deal with it until the next iPad.
  • Thanks for the reply, so it's no improvement over 8.1.2, right?
  • No, it doesn't take away the occasional lag/hang that I've been able to see. But as I memtioned, I would not have expected it to. If I were to keep this another year, into its fourth year, I would not upgrade it and keep it as an emergency backup.
    It's perfectly usable, just a bit tired. Like me.
  • Has nobody else noticed the issue with the orientation sensor not working consistently? When flipping back from landscape the screen gets stuck. Happens on my 6 with Sprint, my work 6 with Verizon and my wifes 6 with Sprint. So i can safely assume it's an issue with the iPhone 6 in general and not just one device. Two were set up fresh, the third was restored from a previous backup.
  • I've had my 6 for two weeks & have noticed that as well. Annoying Sent from the iMore App
  • same happens with my sprint 5s
  • So maybe its an iOS 8 bug?
  • Had that happen with my 5 and iOS7 as well.
  • Verizon 6 64gb here. Same issue Sent from the iMore App
  • No matter seems to be corrected.
    Does anyone else see this
  • Is there a related update for AppleTV? Or is this just iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad?
  • AppleTV does not run iOS.
  • Since when? It is a stripped down version, but the AppleTV2 and 3 certainly run iOS.
  • I just checked my Apple TV 3, and it indicated an update was ready. I think it is also a wifi issue fix. I was having problems with it not connecting for several minuets. After the update, seems quick to connect. I could be wrong, but there was an update.
  • Deleted double post.
  • LOL. People are celebrating and high-fiving when an Apple update goes smoothly and will not break things. For those of us regularry installing MS's or Linux vendors' patch-updates on PC's without giving the process a second thought, this seems a bit... exotic... as a cause of celebration; but happy for you guys :) Even my mum informed that her iPhone updated problem free. Wow.
  • Seriously? I wish I had a nickel for every time a MS update failed. In XP it was so bad, people routinely re-installed their entire OS from scratch at least once a year. Even with Windows 7, I've frequently had to restore a state point to try to successfully install updates. Its a little better with Windows 8.1, but still not as reliable as Apple's updates.
  • Multitasking gestures StiLl having problems!!!
  • Seems to have fixed the problem on my iPad Air 2. I guess YMMV.
  • All updates, MBA, iPad and iPhone 6 went smoothly. nice.
  • Did they fix the issue with the time zone on the calendar? Sent from the iMore App
  • Downloading on my iPad Air. Hopefully iOS 8 will be a lot more stable on my iPad. Sent from the iMore App
  • Really hope this results in fewer frozen stock apps. Particularly messages, which seems to conflict a lot with 3rd party keyboards (swift in my case). Not a big deal to kill the app and relaunch, but never a problem before. Of course we never had unjailbroken 3rd party keyboards before.
  • It fixes the issues I was having. YouTube 1080p video issue - fixed, the verge website keeps restarting when playing video - fixed, spotlight - fixed. So far my network connection is ok and not getting slowed down but too early to tell...Using iPhone 6 plus. Sent from the iMore App
  • Really fast and smooth update.
    iPhone 5
    iPad 3
  • Sadly, the bug for closing iCloud Tabs on iOS devices is still there. Le sigh...
  • Like when u want to delete tabs that are still open on your other ios devices swipping them and hitting delete still shows the tabs right?
  • Yup. Eventually, the tab will close on the other device. However, the iCloud Tab that was swiped is still there until Safari is closed and reopen. Previously, the tab would delete/slide out after swiping.
  • Meh. I'll keep my Jailbreak. Sent from the iMore App
  • Does it fix de über annoying mail notification echo and double vibrate? Or will we have to wait another month until 8.2 is released? This bug is driving me off the wall :@ Sent from the iMore App
  • And it doesn't... Ok so another month of annoyance until 8.2 gets released. Sent from the iMore App
  • Rene, did you OTA or use the stinking turd desktop application (aka iTunes)?
  • Well I'm sorta a good way. I began the update at a dangerously low 347mb left for storage on a 16gb i6 . Photos were taking 1.5gb of space. After Update i have 2.3gb of storage space and Photos using 170 mb. All my photos still there, and the "normal resolution."---yes, using iCloud Photo Library in "Optimized mode. Could it have optimized the space that much? Or maybe Library wasn't "optimizing previously like it should.
  • Didn't fix the GMT Timezone bug. When adding events, anything to calendar app, when synced with Google Calendar it displays the GMT Timezone. Irritating as hell. Been this way for months, Apple support told me they know of this bug and was going to be fixed with 8.1.3, not fixed.
  • I have a problem with activation of FaceTime and iMessage. The latest update didn't fix it. Calling Apple support didn't fix it. I will go to the Apple bar tomorrow in hopes they will solve the problem. I am really getting frustrated with Apple. First the bugs with iOS 8 and now this.
  • Any fix for the video issues in safari? Safari crashes constantly.
  • Another bug is syncing apps with iTunes. Apps updated on iPhone aren't transferred/synced with apps on iTunes. I have to download the updates again on iTunes. ( ー̀ωー́ )
  • Has anybody tried installing this on their iPod? Sent from the iMore App
  • I can't believe that Apple still hasn't yet fixed the bug in Contacts, where the cursor will jump down to the next line (or disappear altogether) whenever you press the delete button to erase a mistype. [EDIT: Further investigation shows that this is a problem with the SwiftKey 3rd party keyboard, and the Fleksy keyboard (perhaps all 3rd party keyboards?); the problem does not happen when using the Apple keyboard. I guess this still is in fact considered an Apple issue?]
  • Thanks for the tip. This was driving me insane to the point where I just started editing contacts via my laptop web browser in Gmail. I am using SwiftKey on my iPhone 6.
  • I'm on iOS 8.1.3 and the battery seems to be going pretty fast. I have LTE on.. Help! I also have background app refresh off. I have tried all!
  • Still no wifi fix. randomly switch from wifi to 3G on certain router. Touch ID randomly stop to work, Facetime screen merge with multitask when presing Touch ID. Landscape screen get stuck .
    another useless update
    Iphone 6, IOS 8.1.2 jailbreaked
  • iMessage. That is one thing I wish they would fix. I have an iPad, iPad mini, Macbook Pro, and a Mac mini. If I send, or receive a message, it shows up on all devices. When deleting a conversation, it only deletes it on the device you were using. If email can be deleted across all devices by using only one device, why can you not do the same with iMessage? Makes no sense. Now there is a great fix.
  • Why do you have to agree to the user agreement licence nonsense twice? It's bad enough having to agree to it once and then another dialog box pops up asking the same stupid question! (It's not new in this release, it's something that irritates me about all of Apple's updates)
  • Wow, servers must be packed because my updates are taking forever, and I am updating Mac, iPad mini and my iPhone 6. Not all at the same time, of course.
  • My iPhone 6 is on 8.1.3 now and i STILL have times when the keyboard does now pop up inside of app if it is set to a third party keyboard.
  • Updated my 5S and iPad2 with no issues.
    Updated my wife's 6 and iPad Air2 also with no issues.
    All updates were really fast except the iPad2, which is to be expected based on its age.