Slow iPhone? Even Older iPhones' Speed & Performance Will Improve with iOS 12

Great news, everybody; iOS 12 has been announced at WWDC 2018, and it's bringing performance improvements across the board. These benefits will extend not just to the latest iPhone models, but also to every older iPhone that can be updated to the new operating system as well. This means that things are about to get a lot quicker and smoother for the iPhone 5s and later. From animations, to app launch, to Camera, to keyboard display, if you need your iPhone to perform better, the release of iOS 12 is just the boost your device needs. Let's get started talking about the latest iPhone update, and how it's going to make your iPhone faster! 

Related: iOS 12 Roundup: Memojis, ARkit, Smarter Siri, Group FaceTime, More! 

Why Is My Phone So Slow?

Apple customers with older iPhones have long noticed their devices slowing down with each new iOS update. We've published articles about how to get these phones running faster, but the issue hasn't been entirely solved with these tips. It was also revealed last year that Apple was throttling processor speed on older iPhones in an attempt to keep the devices from shutting down when batteries couldn't match demand. After denying this for some time, then finally coming clean and offering a deep discount on replacement batteries, Apple has now made throttling a choice rather than a software fixture.

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As you can see, the slow iPhone problem is a multifaceted one; and while there's always the potential for a few bugs and glitches in an iOS update, iOS 11 brought an especially hefty dose of frustration for people with older iPhones.    

iOS 12 Will Help Your iPhone Perform Better

ios 12 release

This time around, Apple engineers have designed the latest iOS with both new and old iPhones in mind. "For iOS 12, we are doubling down on performance," promised Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi. What did he mean by that? 

Your iPhone Will be Faster & More Responsive with iOS 12

Apple engineers have achieved several upgrades in speed for things like opening the Camera app, typing on the keyboard, and launching apps. Animations are more fluid than in previous operating systems as well, so scrolling in apps, bringing up the Control Center, or pulling up a Share sheet are all more smooth and responsive than ever before. One of the main points of focus for Apple developers this year was to maintain speed and functionality even under peak load, and they've succeeded. Functions like app switching are up to two times faster on an iPhone 6 Plus than with previous operating systems, even under heavy workload. All this is accomplished with a change to how the central processing unit responds to the demands of the user. In previous operating systems, the CPU would gradually ramp up as a performance boost was needed. With iOS 12, the CPU ramps up instantly and then ramps down just as fast to offer the exact amount of power required, and no more, thus preserving battery and improving overall performance. 

Performance Improvements You'll See 

App Launch

iphone slow

Two times faster app launch even during heavy use. 


phone update

Swiping to your iPhone's Camera from the Lock Screen will be up to 70 percent faster.


speed up my phone
Keyboard appears up to 50 percent faster and  typing is more responsive as well, with significantly less lag between tapping a character and seeing it appear in the text field.

Share Sheet

Up to two times faster share sheet display, even with multiple sharing extensions installed. 


Scrolling and swiping will be much more smooth and responsive. 

iPhone Speed Test

iOS 12 is only in its first beta version, but this operating system is already testing well in terms of performance and speed, especially for earlier iPhone versions. In this YouTube video, iAppleBytes runs a speed test for an iPhone 5s running iOS 11.4, vs. the same device running iOS 12 beta 1. Guess which system won?

beta speedtest

Image courtesy iAppleBytes

If you enjoyed that video and would like to see more tests for later iPhone versions, check out the iAppleBytes channel here.

How Soon Will You Update Your Operating System?

So what do you think? Are you looking forward to upgdating your iPhone to iOS 12 in September? 

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Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays is an SEO Content Strategist and Feature Writer at iPhone Life, and has written hundreds of in-depth how-to and troubleshooting articles. She's a former Associate Editor for iPhone Life magazine, and has written for the Iowa Source, as well as web content for education marketing. Leanne has an associate's degree in education, with a focus on curriculum development, as well as a bachelor's degree in science. She has over nine years of experience with SEO, social media management, and web development and writing. Despite years of web work, Leanne is by no means an early adapter; she's only owned a smartphone for five years, which makes her highly sympathetic to the learning curve of new iPhone owners. She enjoys making reader's lives easier and putting her education experience to work by walking them through the most practical ways to use Apple devices, step-by-step.

In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.