iOS 13.1.3 is Badly Broken

[Updated October 27 to add a comment on the volume control.]

We are an Apple shop.  We work hard to keep our software up to date.  It pains me to have to write this, but the iOS 13.1.3 update has caused us a lot of grief over the last few weeks.  I updated my iPhone 6s a few weeks ago.  My lovely wife updated her iPad Pro (original model) over the weekend.  We are not happy.  I have turned off automatic updates on my iPad and will keep it on iOS 12.4.1 until I’m satisfied that Apple has fixed these problems.

These issues may be confined to older models.  One correspondent reports numerous issues on her iPhone 7.  But another says there have been no issues on his XS Max.

The most concerning flaws are functionality.  But there have been changes in the user interface that are, at best, annoying.  I’ll deal with functionality first, then discuss the UI issues.

iPad Virtual Keyboard

This morning my wife tried to reply to an email. After some editing to preserve confidentiality, here’s what the screens looked like (portrait and landscape).  I advised her that this was probably a ploy by Apple to sell more Bluetooth keyboards.

Virtual Keyboard blocks screen portrait
Badly Placed Virtual Keyboard for Email Reply (portrait)

Virtual Keyboard blocks screen landscape
Badly Placed Virtual Keyboard for Email Reply (landscape)

Notice how the virtual keyboard makes it nearly impossible to actually compose a reply. As far as I know this problem is unique to the iPad Pro (original version).

Intermittent Failures of Sharing Features

There have been significant changes to the sharing user interface.  While some of these changes are enhancements, others are a pain.  The pain would be considerably lower if these new features worked consistently.

The new interface looks like this:

New Sharing Userr Interface
New Sharing User Interface

There are lots of nifty new options including a “recently used” bar at the top of the dialog box. (When I’m writing I use Airdrop a lot to copy images from my mobile devices to my Macbook.) When this works it is terrific.  Sadly it doesn’t always work.

One function I use a lot is copying a link then e-mailing the document after pasting in the link.  Sadly about half the time when I click the Mail icon I see this:

Email Sharing Broken

Tapping in the “To:” space does nothing.  No cursor, no keyboard, no nothing.  The only field that works is also the least useful: “Subject:”.

Airdrop performs similarly:

Airdrop sharing fail
Airdrop Sharing Fail

UI Annoyances

My main gripe is the “new and improved” audio volume indicator.  Rather than describing the issue, I’ve put together a short video that illustrates the problem.

A friend made this point in a Tweet:

“Agree on quality issues. I think the volume thing is to allow you to adjust volume when watching a video without covering it up for a few seconds.”


We’re not giving up on Apple quite yet.  But our confidence has been shaken a bit.  Come on, Apple, get it together and fix these problems.


About Tony Lima

Tony Lima has been working with technology, economic modeling, forecasting, and market research for 40 years. His background makes him uniquely qualified to navigate this varied landscape. Begin with his education: B.S. in chemical engineering from M.I.T. , M.B.A. from Harvard, Ph.D. in economics from Stanford. His day job was professor of economics at California State University, East Bay. He retired in 2016 to devote his time to consulting and writing. But he has found time to: write (eight books and over 100 articles ranging from wine economics to detailed analyses of meta-language code generators) consult with companies ranging from Microsoft to CEDEX keep his expertise up-to-date, constantly reading and sorting through the avalanche of information available daily maintain three blogs: Wine Research, Wine Economics, and Economic Policy Local policy analysis: Los Altos

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