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Apple launches bug-fixing iOS 8.1.3

The latest update to iOS 8 reduces the amount of space needed to install an update and squashes a number of bugs.

Apple rolls out its latest update to iOS 8 to squash a few bugs. Apple

Apple rolled out an update to iOS 8 that resolves bugs and paves the way to a smoother updating experience.

Launched on Tuesday, iOS 8.1 .3 fixes programming glitches that prevented users from entering their Apple ID password for Messages and FaceTime, caused the Spotlight search feature to stop showing app results and prevented multitasking gestures from working on the iPad.

Perhaps the biggest improvement, however, is that iOS 8.1.3 reduces the amount of storage needed to perform the update itself. Previously, users needed at least 5.7GB of free space to store and install the latest version. The update reduces the amount of space required, but the release notes for iOS 8.1.3 did not specify the new amount. Apple did not immediately respond to CNET's request for comment.

Adoption of iOS 8 has been sluggish. Stats from Apple's App Store Distribution page show a relatively slow uptake of the new version over the past several months, from 14 percent in September to 69 percent last week. Though that growth rate may not sound bad, it's been slower than the adoption rate for iOS 7 over the same time frame.

Since its debut in September, the latest version of Apple's mobile OS has bumped into a variety of technical hurdles. The initial version of 8.0 came with a few bugs that Apple tried to fix a week later with iOS 8.0.1. But version 8.0.1 introduced even more bugs, prompting Apple to quickly pull it and launch 8.0.2. Further enhancements and bug fixes came courtesy of iOS 8.1 on October 20 and iOS 8.1.2 on December 19.

The various bugs may have shied iOS users away from upgrading to iOS 8, but the high storage capacity needed to update certainly prevented many from upgrading. Now, with a smaller space requirement, more people may decide to take the plunge to iOS 8, courtesy of version 8.1.3.