Performance Analysis: iOS 11 on the iPhone 5S

September 25, 2017

I recently posted about the NYPD’s potentially $16 million dollar mistake on purchasing Windows Phones and one of the main takeaways was that you want a device that is going to continue to be updated for at least two years.

Apple, more so than any other company, is able to provide support for their mobile products for at least four years of support. Since they only put out a handful of models a year, own the entire hardware infrastructure, and are able to bypass carrier’s update assurance – they can keep their devices up to date with significantly less engineering than other companies. Android is getting much better at this but it’s a topic for another time.

Instead, I want to tackle a subject I’m sure you’ve heard from many of people. I, for one, hear it all the time from my beloved extended family in that you should not update your device. It will break it and make it slower.

This is false.. and true.

You should, in fact upgrade your device. It will be more secure, have more features for your daily life, and bring the potential for improvements in battery performance. However, due to rapidly aging mobile hardware most phones will start to slow down over time as our operating systems continue to grow additional moving parts.

Ars Technica dives into the performance effects of installing iOS on the oldest Apple device receiving the update, the iPhone 5S. In short, thanks to the device’s 64 bit processor it was not phased nearly as much as older generations of iPhones. However, it still shows noticeable lag compared to iOS 10. This is also only accounting for the default iOS applications. Third party applications such as Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter are reportedly much slower.

Ars Technica’s timing of applications and start up times.

If you’re upgrading on the device and you’re feeling like it’s laggy, perform a complete reset of the device. Delete everything from the phone and download apps one at a time. Ensure all of your files are backed up to a service like Google Photos or your iCloud account. Many times the device is simply jam packed with corrupted or unused files that grind it to a halt. Still, the additional features should make up for the fraction of a second longer you may have to wait to get your Facebook binge on.