Should you install iOS 9 on an iPhone 5S?

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It’s been impossible to find anywhere on the web with a consclusive answer as to whether an upgrade to iOS 9 on a 5S is actually a good idea from the point of view of how well the phone can actually handle it. Most answers about an upgrade to iOS 9 concerned the iPhone 4S, 5, 6 and 6+. There were several places that said “it should be fine” for the 5S and advocated an upgrade based on the new features available, but no one provided any hard data about performance. So I’ve written this and the next post for anyone else wondering about whether or not to install iOS 9 on their 5S.

I’ve decided on the basis of the new features available in iOS 9 that I think it is worth it. Notably the promise of better performance (faster and better battery life) and Wi-Fi assist.  But to help others who aren’t so sure I will collect the following data prior to the upgrade and then collect the same data after the upgrade to see how performance varies – if at all.

I’m using an iPhone 5S with 32 GB memory.  All tests were run with no apps open initially (unless of course I was running a test from within an app). I disabled login protocols / passcode requests by logging into relevant apps then closing them before running the test (except test 12, logging in to Slack).  All tests were repeated at least once.

  1. Reboot time, from when the screen goes black until the lock screen shows.
  2. Memory available.
  3. Webpage load times (from home screen web apps with Safari closed).
    1. Facebook.
    2. BBC.
    3. Apple.
  4. Photo viewer load time (from Camera activated in lock screen).
  5. App Store load time (to Featured view).
  6. Load time for Evernote camera (from Notification Centre widget).
  7. iMessage load time (from notification on lock screen).
  8. Inbox load time (from notification on lock screen).
  9. Time to Tweet from Launch Center Pro.
  10. Time to start audio recording in Evernote from LCP.
  11. Time to load directions to work on Waze from Notification Centre widget (time from tapping Go until hearing first command).
  12. Time to log into Slack using the 1Password extension (with TouchID, measured from the point after entering the team name).
  13. Time taken to establish personal hotspot from my MacBook.
  14. Time to download and install an app, Scanbot (48.6 MB).

Here are the benchmark results for iOS 8.4.1

  1. Reboot time: 36.30 s, 35.76 s.
  2. Memory
    Before testing.  Used: 13.7 GB; Free: 13:0 GB.
    After testing.  Used: 13.6 GB; Free: 13.1 GB.
  3. Webpage load times.
    1. Facebook: 4.50 s, 3.60 s.
    2. BBC: 2.42 s, 1.86 s.
    3. Apple: 2.63 s, 2.46 s.
  4. Photo viewer load: 1.65 s, 1.63 s.
  5. App Store load: 3.71 s, 3.83 s.
  6. Evernote camera: 2.76 s, 2.71 s.
  7. iMessage: 2.02 s, 1.83 s.
  8. Inbox: 3.76 s, 3.83 s.
  9. Tweet from LCP: 2.76 s, 2.43 s.
  10. Evernote audio from LCP: 2.85 s, 2.90 s.
  11. Waze: 6.10 s, 3.22 s.
  12. Slack login: 10.17 s, 10.92 s.
  13. Hotspot: 13.87 s, 6.38 s, 2.83 s.
  14. Scanbot download: 30.90 s, 27.48 s.

I’ll post results in the next post very soon.

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