Critical iOS, iPadOS bugs cause reboot loop, battery drain: What to do

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

I've spent a lot of time lately writing about Microsoft's Windows 10 upgrade problems, but now serious issues discovered in iOS and iPadOS are reminders that Apple is just as fallible. 

The problems derive from updates iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5. If you haven't already installed them, consider waiting even longer. Why? Because in the list of issues caused by the latest updates, the most troubling is a boot loop problem that renders the iPad Pro unusable (via AppleInsider).

Apple's Support Community page is filled with posts from disgruntled iPad Pro owners claiming their tablet is on a continuous rebooting cycle. Some people said their slate would reboot just seconds after signing in. 

"Have a 10.5" iPad Pro that reboots every 30-45 seconds when logged in.  Even if no apps are running.  This started after I updated to 13.4.1. Is it still possible to downgrade?" one user wrote.

Another user noted, "Tons of people are having this problem. You'd think Apple would address it instead of telling people they need to backup reinstall ios. It's ridiculous! This is happening to 2 ipad pros that I own. Started immediately after the update."

The boot loop issue seems to disproportionally affect the 10.5-inch iPad Pro but we've seen reports from owners of the 11-inch model as well. It's not clear how widespread the issue is, or if it is definitively caused by the latest version of iPadOS. 

That said, AppleInsider did some digging and concluded: "searches of the forums and discussions with service personnel suggest there is an issue that originated from iPadOS 13.4.1, and that it is still affecting new users."

Unfortunately, there is no universal solution and Apple hasn't even confirmed the problem. Factory resets don't seem to work for everyone and putting the iPad in DFU (device firmware update) mode is also hit-or-miss. 

Boot looping is the most troubling problem seemingly caused by new updates, but it's not the only one. A quick search on Twitter shows dozens of complaints from iPhone and iPad owners who are experiencing uncharacteristic battery drainage, while others are complaining about overheating.  

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNet says he fell victim to both issues and that "no amount of tweaking seems to have an effect on it." His recommendation is to wait for Apple to release a patch for what he aptly describes as a "toxic hellstew of bugs."

We echo that advice: don't install the latest versions of iOS or iPadOS unless you absolutely need to. We expect Apple to address these issues in a future update, at which point it should be safe to update your devices. 

Phillip Tracy

Phillip Tracy is the assistant managing editor at Laptop Mag where he reviews laptops, phones and other gadgets while covering the latest industry news. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Phillip became a tech reporter at the Daily Dot. There, he wrote reviews for a range of gadgets and covered everything from social media trends to cybersecurity. Prior to that, he wrote for RCR Wireless News covering 5G and IoT. When he's not tinkering with devices, you can find Phillip playing video games, reading, traveling or watching soccer.