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Deja vu? Latest Apple iOS 9 Update Making iPhones Slow

Even though Apple’s new iOS 9 update has received an encouraging response  in fact some may call it phenomenal since it has seen the fastest adoption rate in iOS release history owners of previous generation devices are still hesitant to make a jump, so they should. Every new ‘major’ iOS update has a reputation of slowing down an older iPhone/iPad leaving users both anxious and reluctant whether to upgrade or not.

And, by the looks of it, iOS 9 is no different. Apparently, it is slowing down older iPhones, namely the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S, and to an extent even the iPhone 6. We are not even bringing the previous generation iPads into the picture here.

According to Apple, 50% of iOS users had already installed the new iOS 9 update on their devices within a week of its release. But, the real story – behind the adoption and real case scenarios – is different.

Apple’s official discussion forums narrate a few user cases criticising how iOS 9 has been slowing down older handsets.

YouTuber iAppleBytes has compared the performance of iOS 9.0.1 to iOS 8.4.1 on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPhone 5S respectively, and let’s just say Apple’s iOS 9 continues the trend of subtly hinting users to upgrade to the latest and greatest iPhone/iPad to enjoy its full potential.

iAppleBytes has shared three videos and the general consensus is that general device performance is hit with iOS 9 on the iPhone 4S, 5, and 5S as against iOS 8.4.1. The iPhone 4S has been the worst hit, which is obvious since it’s the oldest of the lot (launched in 2011).

There is general increase in boot time and the camera gets slower courtesy the new update.

There is one positive though. Siri has improved and is quicker to respond in almost every instance with iOS 9 on previous batch of iPhones. Impressed much?

Apple has tried a lot to make iOS 9 different (and better) from its previous updates. While the previous iOS 8 update took nearly 5GB to install, iOS 9 takes some 1.3GB which is a big breather.

But, instances of it slowing down older iPhones are sad. It’s a common thought among users, that Apple takes the opportunity of releasing a new major software update as centre stage to promote its next-gen iPhones. That Apple is trying to promote the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus with iOS 9 is therefore not surprising.

Still, older phones not fully supporting a new software update is not surprising. Most of the software features are designed keeping hardware in mind. You can’t expect to run everything as smooth as butter on old-gen hardware.

But this is where Android-iOS difference inevitably creeps in. Google’s Android Lollipop for instance focused on performance and optimization on launch, and user case scenarios have proved that it can actually improve the speed of a smartphone or tablet, even older ones that support it. Apple iOS, well, not so much.

This is also one reason why iPhones have a comparatively smaller shelf life as users — out of vulnerability checks – are forced into buying a newer iPhone, for the obvious security limitations that an older software version has. 

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