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No more slowdowns – iOS 12 could speed up your ailing devices

Not everyone can afford to upgrade their iPhone annually. And when a major new iOS update drops, a common complaint from those ‘left behind’ is that older devices instantly feel slower. This usually comes twinned with deranged tabloid accusations of Apple nefariously hobbling devices to force people to upgrade, presumably while Apple CEO Tim Cook laughs maniacally while dressed in his best evil megalomaniac garb.

The latter is of course nonsense; the appearance of devices slowing down isn’t some evil plan. What’s really happening is the newer software is simply more demanding, and this causes older devices to struggle. Until now, that is, because Apple has decreed that iOS 12 will make old devices sing – or at least not feel quite so old.

There are lots of ‘up tos’ dotted about Apple’s claims regarding iOS 12’s zippier nature: up to 70 percent faster camera performance; up to 2x faster Share sheet display; and so on. But the practical upshot is that iOS 12 is heavily optimized for performance, regardless of what you’re doing. Actions you regularly perform like launching apps or bringing up the keyboard should feel snappier. More demanding tasks should be catered for by the manner in which CPU performance ramps up much more rapidly. The overall result will be, if not an iPhone that feels new again, then at least one that doesn’t feel very old.

Assuming this isn’t a one-off and becomes ingrained in Apple’s thinking, this could be good news for everyone. For people with older devices, it keeps their iPhones ticking along for a little longer. When buying a new iPhone, there’s a good chance it’ll last an extra year or two without replacement. And from a resources standpoint, it would be good to get off of the upgrade treadmill and start thinking of devices as long-term companions again, rather than something to be discarded after just a year.

The question is whether Apple’s bean counters will agree. With the company so heavily reliant on iPhone sales for revenue and profits, might they grumble at Apple devices being more usable for longer? Or will that lure become another differentiator from Android, attracting more people to Apple with the promise of devices that not only get regular iOS upgrades, but also ones that keep performance high?

Time will tell. And at least in the meantime, your iPhone will feel like its blazing fast, rather than suddenly feeling like a car with an engine that’s two sizes too small.