Why you should upgrade your older iPhone to iOS 9.2.1

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iOS 9.2.1 vs 8.4.1 speedtest
Aaaaaaaand ... go.
Photo: iApple Bytes

Some informal testing reveals that if you’re still rocking an old iPhone, you should probably upgrade to iOS 9.2.1.

iApple Bytes put three different models of older iPhones — the 4s, 5 and 5s — up against each other in a variety of tests designed to see which of them was faster starting up, using apps and running Siri, Apple’s digital assistant. Half were running the brand-new iOS 9.2.1, which arrived yesterday, and half were still on iOS 8.4.1, which has been around since August 2015.

You can see their results below in iApple Bytes’ series of videos.

$5 million lawsuit asks: Did iOS 9 cripple iPhone 4s devices?

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Did iOS 9 criminally slow down the iPhone 4s?
Did iOS 9 criminally slow down the iPhone 4s?
Photo: Cult of Mac

Smart upgraders know that when a major new version of iOS drops, older devices might want to think twice about updating. That advice isn’t much comfort to people on the iPhone 4s, though, who pulled the trigger on iOS 9, and saw their devices slow down as a result. Now, a class-action lawsuit is targeting Apple on behalf of iPhone 4s owners, arguing that Cupertino essentially crippled their phones with the update.

Old iOS device? These iOS 9 features will work just fine

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Best Buy is preparing for shoppers wanting iPads.
Best Buy is preparing for shoppers wanting iPads.
Photo: Apple

If you want to use the new gee-whiz features of iOS 9, like Picture in Picture to FaceTime with your significant other while you write a paper in Pages, or you want to Slide Over a Twitter app to keep track of all the goings on while you surf the web, you’re going to need a newer device.

However, all is not lost if you have an older device. Most of the power of iOS 9 is under the hood, making even older devices just a little more battery efficient, just a bit more useful.

Got an iPhone 4s or iPad 2? Why you should never upgrade from iOS 7

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iOS 8.1.1 is still a bad choice for iPhone 4s owners. Photo: Ars Technica
iOS 8.1.1 is still a bad choice for iPhone 4s owners. Photo: Ars Technica

When Apple first released iOS 8 to the general public, more than a few people with older devices such as the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and iPad mini noticed that it slowed their devices down to a crawl.

When Apple released iOS 8.1.1, they promised that the update would fix some of the speed issues that iOS 8 had on older devices.

So how’d it work out? iOS 8.1.1 is sometimes an improvement. Sometimes, but not always. And even then, it’s not a huge leap.