Minor iOS 8.1.3 Update in the Works Ahead of Apple Watch and iOS 8.2
While Apple is actively beta testing iOS 8.2 with developers well in advance of its public launch in order to provide tools for building Apple Watch apps, it appears there will be at least one more minor software update before iOS 8.2 launches to the public. Over the past week, MacRumors has seen an increasing number of devices from Apple's networks and in general that are identifying themselves as running iOS 8.1.3, likely another bug fix update.
The first sign of iOS 8.1.3 from Apple appeared in our logs December 8, just a day before the company released iOS 8.1.2 to the public to patch a minor issue with disappearing ringtones and deliver other minor bug fixes. A day later, Apple seeded the second iOS 8.2 beta to registered developers.
The number of hits from iOS 8.1.3 remains low, numbering just a few dozen in total from Apple's networks. A view of overall traffic from iOS 8.1.3 devices shows a clearer upward trend aside from a weekend dip, based on a much larger sample size. While there are more likely to be faked identifiers in the general pool of web visitors, the clear trend of increasing usage and visits coming from Apple's own networks have historically been reliable indicators of Apple's development work.
A potential release date for iOS 8.1.3 remains unknown, but with the holiday season rapidly approaching, it appears likely a launch will not occur until early next year unless the update addresses a significant issue that Apple needs to fix more quickly.
The company has not seeded any builds of the update to developers for testing, and it is unclear whether the company has plans to do so, as minor updates such as this one typically do not go through developer testing. One recent exception, however, was iOS 8.1.1 seeded in early November and released to the public a few weeks later.
According to Apple's tracking, iOS 8 is installed on 63 percent of active iOS devices, a figure that continues to slowly rise as users upgrade their existing devices and purchase new ones already running iOS 8.