I tested iOS 17.3.1: What's inside, who needs it, and how it affected my iPhone

Should you install the latest iOS update? Here's what to know first.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
iOS 17 logo on phone
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

While we've been patiently waiting for Apple to release iOS 17.4, the company surprised us by launching an unexpected update for the iPhone: iOS 17.3.1, alongside iPadOS 17.3.1.

So, what does this update include? Is it necessary? And importantly, could it potentially cause issues for your iPhone?

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According to Apple's release notes, the iOS 17.3.1 and iPadOS 17.3.1 update contains "bug fixes for your iPhone," specifically addressing an issue where "text may unexpectedly duplicate or overlap while typing." Personally, I had not encountered this bug, so I'm unclear about its prevalence.

Despite my lack of firsthand experience with the reported issue, I was curious to understand the update's broader implications. To this end, I not only downloaded and tested it myself, but also delved into social media and Apple's support community for any signs of persisting issues.

Since installing the update, I've encountered no problems, even avoiding the typical post-update decrease in battery life that I've come to expect. Feedback from other users aligns with my experience, suggesting that iOS 17.3.1 and iPadOS 17.3.1 represent a relatively minor and, more importantly harmless, update.

Also: iPhone battery bad after installing iOS 17.3.1? Try these 7 tips

So, should you install this update? If you've been affected by the text duplication or overlap issue, then installing it is recommended. However, given that this update does not include any security fixes, you might consider waiting if you prefer to install updates that address more significant issues.

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