iOS 12 runs much faster, especially on older iPhones

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Side-by-side tests on an iPhone 5s show noticeable iOS 12 performance improvements.
Side-by-side tests on an iPhone 5s show noticeable iOS 12 performance improvements.
Photo: iApple Bytes

Apple’s next operating system is still in beta, but it already boasts much better performance than iOS 11. Speed improvements are high on Apple’s list of promises for iOS 12, and there’s little room for doubt that Cupertino will deliver.

Speed tests performed on older models, including an iPhone 5s, show iOS 12 makes the devices significantly faster.

People are often too nervous to install new OS versions on aging iPhones. Apple releases upgrades for iPhones that are several years old, but there’s a fear that they’ll be more than the hardware can handle.

To test these iOS 12 performance concerns, iApple Bytes shot a video with one iPhone 5s running the just-released iOS 12 beta 8 next to a second unit running iOS 11.4.1. (For reference, the iPhone 5s debuted in 2013.)

Differences are obvious from the beginning. iOS 12 boots almost 20 seconds faster. In speed comparisons of Apple’s “stock” applications, the newer operating system is almost always at least slightly quicker.

One notable exception: Opening the keyboard in iOS 12 proves dramatically faster than in its predecessor.

iOS 12 performance on newer iPhones

The iOS 12 performance difference isn’t as significant when the same test is run on an iPhone 7. Still, iOS 12 is frequently at least slightly swifter on most actions than iOS 11.4.1.

Identical side-by-side tests were also performed on iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s units. The results are similar: iOS 12 performs better, with the older model showing a greater improvement when running the newer operating system.

These don’t forget, these comparisons are for prerelease versions of iOS 12. The final version is likely to offer even better performance. A comparison of iOS 12 beta 1 and iOS 12 beta 8 found moderate speed improvements.

We at Cult of Mac have been running the just-released iOS 12 beta 6 on an iPhone X, and have had no problems with speed or stability.