iOS 11.3: Should you install it now or wait?

A new -- and pretty big -- update to iOS is out. Should you make the leap and update or should you sit back and wait a few weeks for the bug fixes to drop?
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

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Last week saw Apple release the long-awaited iOS 11.3 update for iPhone, iPad, and the iPod touch. But should you rush out and install it or wait for bug fixes to arrive?

Must read: iOS 11.3: Get your iPhone and iPad ready for the biggest update yet

I've been running the iOS 11.3 betas on a number of different devices since the first public beta emerged in January, and it's been quite a mixed experience, oscillating from super buggy to surprisingly stable. But as newer releases landed, and now the final release, I can report the following:

  • Battery life: Not seeing the usually battery life crash from installing the latest release (which normally clears up after a few recharge cycles, or Apple pushes out an update).
  • Stability: Pretty good, certainly as good as the previous releases. Not seeing anything out of the ordinary here.
  • Performance: Variable. I'm seeing lags and frame drops even on newer devices, and this is worse and far more noticeable on older devices. Sometimes it's very noticeable, other times it isn't. This is particularly annoying, but something that is becoming a fact of life for iOS users.
  • New features: Some interesting (such as the battery health features), some feel hit-and-miss (such as Business Chat), and others feel disappointing (I'm looking at you, "privacy icon").

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All in all, apart from the laggy performance, iOS 11.3 feels pretty good. Given that performance, especially frame drops, has been an issue throughout the iOS 11 lifecycle (and iOS 10, if I'm being honest), this issue may be here to stay. Hopefully, things will be different come iOS 12.

As always, your mileage may vary. I only have a limited number of devices to carry out testing on, and some problems might be unique to particular situations or the use of specific apps.

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So, should you install iOS 11.3? Well, given the broad range of bug fixes it contains, it's hard to advise anyone to delay installing it. That said, it's likely that iOS 11.3.1 will drop in the next few weeks, so you could hold back and install that. Hopefully, Apple might be able to get a grip on the performance issues (although the next release is likely to be bug fixes for bugs that iOS 11.3 introduced).

One subset of users who shouldn't install iOS 11.3 are jailbreakers. Installing this update will bring an end to your jailbreaking fun.

Also: iOS 11.4 Public Beta 1: Here's what's new

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