Apple iOS 13.1.3 Release: Should You Upgrade?


Apple iOS 13.1.3 has arrived (as predicted) and iOS 13 now has its fourth fast-tracked iOS 13 upgrade in under a month as Apple continues to play Whac-a-mole with a multitude of iOS 13 launch problems. Once again, everyone running iOS 13 needs this but everyone on iOS 12 should stay away because it’s another bug-filled release. 

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 13.1.3 is for all iOS 13-compatible devices. This means the iPhone 6S and newer and the current iPod touch 7th generation. Upgrade notifications should be automatic but you can trigger them manually if needed by going to Settings > General > Software Update. Beta testers, if you are running iOS 13.2 (more in ‘The Road Ahead’ section below), remember to unroll your iPhones or iOS 13.1.3 won’t show up. 

iPad owners, Apple has moved you to a new dedicated platform: iPadOS.

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The Deal Breakers

iOS 13.1.3 continues Apple’s rushed attempt to put out as many fires as possible in iOS 13, but it’s not going well. Only 24 hours since launch, the official @AppleSupport Twitter account faces another tide of angry and frustrated users. Most surprising is Apple has not successfully addressed the dropped calls issue, which should’ve been a priority. 

“@AppleSupport I have been experiencing #droppedcalls ever since I installed iOS 13. I then installed 13.1.3 today hoping it would resolve the issue. I did not. Please, please fix it. I bought an iPhone partly because…ready…I need a phone. Make sense? Thank you.” – source

“Update: On 13.1.3. 4 dropped calls with signal showing 5 bars. How can anyone trust this iOS version for business?? Please tell me this is a known issue being worked on @AppleSupport” – source

“@AppleSupport Calls are still dropping (outgoing) after update to ios 13.1.3 on iPhone X. After call drop I have to call at least 2-3 times before I can finally connect again. Please help.” – source

Similarly, existing issues with Mail notifications (“And thanks for nothing @AppleSupport #iOS 13.1.3 has fixed NOTHING to do with iPhone email… still unable to receive audible notification for my work email account” – source) have spread to Messages. Same for Reminders, Apple Music bugs, icon notifications and more. 

So What Do You Get?

While the previous section means you wouldn’t think it, iOS 13.1.3 is purely focused on bug fixes. Apple lists them as follows:

  • Addresses an issue that could prevent a device from ringing or vibrating for an incoming call
  • Fixes an issue that may prevent opening a meeting invite in Mail
  • Resolves an issue where data in the Health app may not display correctly after daylight savings time adjusts
  • Fixes an issue where Voice Memos recordings may not download after restoring from iCloud Backup
  • Addresses an issue where apps might fail to download when restoring from ‌iCloud‌ Backup
  • Fixes an issue that can prevent Apple Watch from pairing successfully
  • Resolves an issue where notifications may not be received on ‌Apple Watch‌
  • Fixes an issue where Bluetooth may disconnect on certain vehicles
  • Improves connection reliability of Bluetooth hearing aids and headsets
  • Addresses launch performance for apps that use Game Center

As you can see, several of these fixes have not worked, particularly the ringing/vibration notifications for incoming calls. That said, there are fewer complaints around Bluetooth connectivity (both to wireless earphones and CarPlay) while the Health, iCloud and Watch patches appear mostly successful. 

Given the rushed nature of this latest release, once again Apple’s official security page confirms it contains no security fixes. These are likely to be reserved for iOS 13.2 (more below). 

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 Apple iOS 13.1.3 Verdict: Upgrade From iOS 13, Avoid From iOS 12

A familiar recommendation, but iOS 13 users really have nothing to lose at this point and a majority of the listed fixes in iOS 13.1.3 appear to work. That said, there is no way I can recommend any user still wise enough to be on the super stable iOS 12 jumps aboard the Bug Ship iOS 13 at this point. 

The Road Ahead 

The good news is a breakthrough for iOS 12 users wanting to upgrade may come soon in the form of iOS 13.2. This major point release will bring Apple’s exciting Deep Fusion image processing software to the iPhone 11 range as well as dozens of new emojis for all iPhones and a critical privacy upgrade which enables users to opt-out of sharing their Siri and audio dictation recordings with Apple. You can also delete the full history of your recordings. 

So iOS 13.2 offers a beacon of hope. It has reached beta three which means it is likely 3-4 weeks away from release. I suspect an iOS 13.1.4 dedicated bug fix will launch before it arrives as iOS 13 Whac-a-bug continues. 

iOS 13 owners, hang in there. iOS 12 owners, definitely hang where you are. 


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