iOS 15.3: It's buggy, but you should still install it

Lots of security fixes, but also a lot of random bugs.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

I've been testing the new iOS 15.3 release -- well, by testing, I mean running it, like a lot of iPhone users -- and it's a bit of a mixed bag of fixes and bugs.

First off, iOS 15.3 contains a bunch of security fixes, so this makes the update a must. The longer you hold off installing it, the longer you leave your iPhone open to vulnerabilities.

The other thing that needs saying is that I've not come across any show-stopping bugs. Nothing that's going to brick your iPhone and nothing that's going to mean you can't use your iPhone.

That said, iOS 15.3 is buggy, which is disappointing given that iOS 15.2.1 was quite a solid release and bought some relief for the bugs that users were seeing in iOS 15.2.

I noticed problems with the following in iOS 15.2:

  • Reduced battery life
  • Apps becoming sluggish and temporarily unresponsive
  • Connection to Apple Watch (and other Bluetooth devices) becoming unreliable
  • Screen becoming unresponsive to touch (locking and unlocking seems to fix this)

iOS 15.2.1 came along and fixed all these problems for me, which was a pleasant surprise. It did, however, make the hotspot feature buggy and a big unreliable.

What is a bit of an unpleasant surprise is how iOS 15.3 has bought back battery life problems and issues with apps feeling sluggish.

Oddly, hotspot is working reliably again.

Not necessarily back to square one, but definitely "two steps forward, one step back."

The sluggishness is interesting. There feels like there's a hesitation when carrying out some tasks. Sometimes it's when unlocking the iPhone, when making a change in Settings, or when operating an app.

But it's not repeatable. It appears to be random.

And annoying.

As to the battery life issue, it's back. I've waited a few days and a few recharge cycles to rule out any post-update extra workloads.

Readers have also reported problems with widgets not displaying information correctly, and problems with syncing Wallet with the Apple Watch. I have not encountered these myself, but I believe them to be real.

Got a problem with iOS 15.3? Let me know below.

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