Poor Android users. Most of them never get the benefits of the latest version. Last year’s Android OS Nougat is running on less than 20-percent of all Android devices. Compare that to iOS 11 for iPhone and iPad. It’s out two weeks and has 40-percent penetration already.
So, you installed iOS on your iPhone (or iPad) and you’re wondering the same thing as nearly everyone else. “Why is iOS 11 running so slow on my iPhone?” Good question. As it turns out, there’s a good answer. It’s not. But if it seems like it is, there’s still a good reason.
A company called FutureMark ran a bunch of tests using iOS 9, iOS 10, and the recently released iOS 11, and did so on various iPhones dating back to iPhone 5s. With few exceptions, CPU and GPU performance on various tests– including the 3DMark Sling Shot Extreme Physics test (sounds ominous, no?)– show that iOS updates each year don’t have a notable impact on performance.
So, why is iOS 11 running so slow?
I’ve noticed it. You’ve noticed it. Many iPhone and iPad users noticed it, too. What’s going on?
Two things. First, once a new iOS version is installed the iPhone or iPad goes through a re-indexing period and, depending upon how you use your iPhone, that takes time, but in the meantime some apps may seem sluggish. Second, before and after a major upgrade to a new version of iOS you’ll notice a flurry of application updates, and that continues for a few weeks afterwards as app developers upgrade their apps to take advantage of new functionality in a new iOS.
Older apps may have slower performance, but it may take an update or two for current applications to get back up to speed, so to speak. No, it’s not Apple’s plan for planned obsolescence to encourage customers to buy newer and faster iPhones and iPads.
Let’s say you bought an iPhone 5s back in late summer of 2012. That’s a five year old iPhone that came with iOS 6. Think about that for a moment. Five years is a long time to own an iPhone, but Apple upgraded it each year– iOS 7, iOS 8, iOS 9, iOS 10, and now, iOS 11. That means the iPhone 5s got better each year; more features, more functions.
So much for planned obsolescence, huh?
What causes an iPhone to see to run slower after an upgrade each year? The aforementioned indexing is one reason. Applications are another reason, and those usually get updated within a month or so after a major release.
We can’t forget about hardware, though. Older Macs have slower CPUs, slower GPUs, slower SSD storage, and less RAM. As applications mature each year they gain more functionality and require ever greater processing power which just isn’t available in the same quantity in older devices as it is in newer devices.
Each version of iOS has more capability, functionality, and features– designed to be optimized on newer iPhone and iPad models. But they still run well on older devices and that helps to explain why iPhones and iPad have the best resale value.