Your swanky new iPhone 5s may be significantly faster than its predecessors, but it’s twice as likely to crash when running third-party apps as the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c. New research from Crittercism, a company that monitors mobile app performance, has found that apps crash around 2% on the iPhone 5s, but under 1% on its siblings.
So, what’s the difference? They all run iOS 7, Apple’s latest firmware, so surely they should run just as well on all devices, right? Not quite.
The iPhone 5s doesn’t just have a faster processor, it has an entirely new processor. Its A7 chip is built on “desktop-class” 64-bit architecture, while the A6 — which powers the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5c — is a 32-bit chip. The iPhone 5s also has a new M7 coprocessor, which is specifically designed to measure motion data from internal sensors.
While Apple says iOS apps designed for 32-bits chips have no problem running on the 64-bit A7, that doesn’t mean they’ll run quite as well. There’s a big difference between the two, and until apps are optimized for the latter, there could be some hiccups — which explains the higher crash rates on the iPhone 5s.
“Any time there is new hardware or software release we see issues,” said Crittercism CEO Andrew Levy in an interview with AllThingsD. “Inevitably over time those issues get resolved.”
And that’s something you can be sure of. Unless you’re using really old apps that have now been abandoned by their developers and haven’t been updated for years, you’re likely to see most of them updated for the 64-bit chip over time. It could take a while, but it will happen.
Even some of Apple’s apps need to be optimized. Shortly after the iPhone 5s went on sale, users discovered that the iWork apps — Pages, Numbers, and Keynote — were causing a “blue screen of death” similar to that which has plagued Windows users since they bought their first PC.