iOS 12.2 Apple Pay Suica Performance

2 weeks after the release of iOS 12.2, Japanese social media has been very quiet about Apple Pay Suica Express Card problems. It’s a good sign that the majority of users are happy enough with iOS 12.2 Suica performance to care much about discussing it. Based on that and my own testing, I think it’s safe to say that iOS 12.2 is the first stable iOS 12 release for Apple Pay Suica, but Apple has been slower addressing Suica Express Card performance issues than earlier release cycles for iOS 10 and iOS 11. I’m not a fan of the iOS 12.2 Apple Card flavored Suica Wallet UI design but most people seem okay with it.

Here’s a rundown of previously reported iOS 12 Apple Pay Suica Express Card performance issues with iOS 12.2 feedback:

  • Suica Express Card error flicker: occasional error flicker at transit gates with iOS 12.0~12.1.4 on pre-A12 Bionic devices: iPhone 7 (JP model), iPhone 8, iPhone X (Rev. B) and Apple Watch 2~4. This is a completely different issue from the iPhone X NFC hardware defect.
    >>Feedback from users report this iOS 12 issue is fixed
  • Slow or unresponsive Suica Recharge: a long term performance issue where Suica Recharge is slow or fails half of the time especially when recharging from a Suica notification shortcut.
    >> This issue is fixed in iOS 12.2, Suica Recharge is robust and snappy
  • Dead Suica Express Card UI on n0n-A12 Bionic devices: a case of the hardware works but the software doesn’t, Suica works flawlessly on readers but Express Card UI notifications stops working and Suica balance fails to update after transactions at transit gates, store readers and Suica Recharge. This affects non-A12 Bionic devices iPhone 7 (JP model), iPhone 8, iPhone X (Rev. B) and Apple Watch 2~4 but is easy to fix by putting Suica in Service Mode for a few seconds.
    >> Feedback from users report this issue is fixed
  • Dead Suica Express Card UI on A12 Bionic devices: another case of the hardware works but the software doesn’t that only affects iPhone XS and iPhone XR. Suica works flawlessly on readers but the entire Apple Pay Suica Express Card UI dies: no notifications, no balance update, no Apple Pay sound, no feedback whatsoever. Service Mode does not revive the Suica UI but a restart fixes it.
    >>Fortunately this issue seems rare. Unfortunately I have experienced it on 2 separate iPhone XS devices and the bug is worse in iOS 12.2: previous iOS 12 versions exhibited this problem every 24~48 hours, iOS 12.2 (16E227) has is every 12 hours or less.

I will update this post with new performance feedback or observations.

UPDATE
iOS 12.3 improves Suica Express Transit performance even more and is highly recommended

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