Apple iOS 13.2.2 has landed and it’s both an essential upgrade and a negligent mess. Apple’s sixth rapid-fire update since September addresses the appalling performance problems introduced by iOS 13.2 but introduces new ones and ignores major ongoing issues. Here’s what you need to know.
Tip: bookmark this page because I keep it up to date if new problems are found. I will deliver my final verdict in a week (if Apple hasn’t issued more releases by then).
Who Is It For?
iOS 13.2.2 is for all iOS 13-compatible devices. This means the iPhone 6S and newer and the current iPod touch 7th generation. Upgrade notifications are automatic but to check manually go to Settings > General > Software Update. Beta testers, if you are running a later version of iOS when you read this (more in ‘The Road Ahead’ section below), remember to unroll your iPhones or iOS 13.2.2 won’t show up.
iPad owners, Apple has moved you to a new dedicated platform: iPadOS.
The Deal Breakers
iOS 13.2.2 may be an emergency fix, but it is creating its own problems. Despite supposedly addressing the ongoing cellular data/network issues (more in the next section), the fix doesn’t appear to be successful for those impacted and – worse still – it is introducing the problem for others previously unaffected,
“@AppleSupport 13.2.2 update makes i7 temporarily lose cellular data @airtelindia during the calls… iOS 13 is totally a mess.” – source
“@AppleSupport after updating iOS 13.2.2 still there’s a network issue. Network lost many times. Pls take some action.” – source
“@AppleSupport hi. With iOS 13.2.2 I now have a new issue which I didn’t face earlier. Just when I am about to receive a call my data shuts off (no 4G/3G signal) and it reappears about a second or 2 after I complete the call. Known bug?” – source
Past bugs are returning as well:
“@AppleSupport address your Mail app in iOS 13. Even with 13.2.2 it’s bad. Maybe worse because now searching for an email becomes too much for the app and won’t just show a blank screen like before in 13.1.1–no, now it just decides to crash the app.” – source
“@AppleSupport IOS 13.2.2 broke my corporate email using the default mail app. Not able to get any new emails. Factory reset and is still an issue. How can we fix?” – source
“Another iOS update (13.2.2) – and Mail app issues are not solved. Hit Reply or Reply All – and it will truncate the original message. I wish @Outlook would work with S/MIME so I can move to it.”
So What Do You Get?
Apple officially lists the contents of iOS 13.1.3 as follows:
- Fixes an issue that could cause apps to quit unexpectedly when running in the background
- Resolves an issue where iPhone may temporarily lose cellular service after a call
- Addresses an issue where cellular data may temporarily not be available
- Fixes an issue that caused replies to S/MIME encrypted email messages between Exchange accounts to be unreadable
- Addresses an issue where using Kerberos single sign-on service in Safari may present an authentication prompt
- Resolves an issue where charging may be interrupted on YubiKey Lightning-powered accessories
The big news is the severe multitasking problems introduced by iOS 13.2 appear to have been resolved based on reader and social media feedback. This was the number one priority for this release. Unfortunately, you’ll notice Apple also lists fixes for cellular data and Mail which do not appear to have done the job.
As if often the case with minor point releases, Apple confirms on its official security page that there are no security fixes in this update (note: iOS 13.2 contained a boatload).
Apple iOS 13.2.2 Verdict: Upgrade From iOS 13.2, Otherwise Avoid
Apple has achieved its main objective with iOS 13.2.2: fixing the multitasking/RAM management problems introduced by iOS 13.2. For anyone running iOS 13.2 (or HomePod owners with the exclusive iOS 13.2.1 release) and suffering from this issue, installing iOS 13.2.2 is a necessary evil.
But everyone else, stay away. The new release not only fails to fix many of the other bugs it claims to address, it is introducing them for iPhone owners who had escaped them up until this point. Meanwhile, everyone patiently sat on the hallowed turf that remains iOS 12, don’t even consider jumping ship. Apple has a lot more work to do yet. iOS 13 remains the company’s buggiest release in years.
The Road Ahead
Apple has already started publicly beta testing iOS 13.3, which I wouldn’t expect to be launched until December. As such, I expect we’ll see a further minor point release (iOS 13.2.3) before then to have another go at fixing the Mail, cellular and battery drain problems continuing to plague users who initially installed iOS 13 with heady optimism.
If one lesson can be learnt by all this it is to stop blindly leaping to every new iOS release. If that’s you, bookmark this page and I’ll update it within a week with any new bugs (or benefits) I find.
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