Is iOS 17.3 stable? The verdict is in and it's a good one

Apple finally gets iOS 17 to a point where most things are working for most people.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
iPhone 15 Pro and the new Standby Mode feature
Jason Hiner/ZDNET

I try to install a new iOS release as soon as it hits Apple's download servers. I like to get a few days of usage under my belt -- as well as get a chance to see what the early adopters think of it -- before I give it the thumbs up or thumbs down.

This time things were a little more complicated by the fact that I was away, and a dead or misbehaving iPhone was the last thing I wanted to be dealing with.

Also: Update your iPhone and turn on Stolen Device Protection ASAP. Here's why 

iOS 17 has, much like earlier releases, been plagued by random bugs and issues, from overheating and bad battery life to cellular issues and data transfer bugs.

Oh, and there was that bug that allowed a Flipper Zero to cause a flurry of popups and crash iPhones

With this in mind, I threw caution to the wind and updated my iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch to the latest releases of iOS.

It's fair to say that I was expecting some gotchas, but luckily for me, everything went smoothly.

The first thing that I noticed is that iOS 17.3 is generally snappier. The interface feels smoother and apps pop into life faster. I'm not sure if this is an actual performance boost or a smoothing of the user interface.

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Battery life is also good, and I didn't even feel much of a hit during that first 24 to 48 hours of use.

But it's not just what I think that matters. I've also been keeping an eye open on social media and Apple's own support community for bugs or issues that might be widespread. Apart from the usual sprinkling of complaints dotted about the place -- which you expect when an update is being pushed out to hundreds of millions of devices -- it's been pretty quiet. 

So I'd say that this is a good one, and if you've not already installed it, now's the time to do so.

Also bear in mind that along with new features such as Stolen Device Protection, AirPlay Hotel support, crash detection optimizations, and the beautiful new Unity Bloom wallpaper, which is part of this year's Black Unity initiative, there is also a raft of serious security fixes, including one that may have already be exploited by attackers.

To get updated, tap on Settings > General, then Software Update to initiate the download and install if it hasn't already happened automatically.

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