Apple announced iOS 12, the next version of its mobile operating system, at WWDC 2018 this week. With iOS 12, Apple is setting its focus on performance as opposed to introducing a tonne of features at once. iOS 12 replaces iOS 11 introduced last year, which was widely criticized for slowing down older devices, without consent.
At WWDC 2018, Apple revealed that iOS 12 is backwards compatible with all devices running iOS 11. What’s more, it does not slow down older devices like its predecessor, and in fact it has been found that iOS 12 is considerably faster on older devices and certain actions like opening camera or getting keyboard is way faster than before.
At the developer conference, Apple’s Senior VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federeghi revealed that iOS 12 brings faster animations, quicker app launch and keyboard display. Apple claims iOS 12 brings 40 percent faster app launch and up to 2x faster under load. It states that the keyboard should appear about 1.5x faster than before while activating camera from the lock screen should be about 70 percent faster on an older device like the iPhone 6 Plus.
Apple’s claims of improvement in performance has been found to be true. The operating system seems to bring performance gains on new devices like the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X but it also brings huge gains in terms of performance to older models like iPhone 5S, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. In videos posted on YouTube detailing the performance, it is evident that iOS 12 is relatively fast even on five generation older model like the iPhone 5S.
In the video posted by iAppleBytes, we can see an iPhone 5S running iOS 11.4 and an iPhone 5S running iOS 12 are pitted against each other for a speed test. In most cases, the model running iOS 12 beta can be seen opening apps quicker than the model running iOS 11.4. There are definitely glitches like App Store loading slower on iOS 12 but it is on par with most beta versions.
On an iPhone 8, it is clear that iOS 12 brings faster animation, smoother scrolling and split second jump when you do things like opening the camera app or starting the keyboard. iOS 12 is also bringing improvements in synthetic benchmarks further showing how tight integration between software and hardware leads to marked improvement in terms of performance.
Apple has just released first developer beta of iOS 12, and is yet to release public preview. The Cupertino-based iPhone maker should iron out some of the issues before releasing the public beta, which could lead to some more gain in performance on older devices. Does that come with a cost for battery life? This is something that needs to be seen as the OS becomes generally available later this year.