Apple just gave owners of older iPhones a great reason not to upgrade

Apple
  • Apple says iOS 12 will give older iPhones, like the iPhone 6, a significant performance boost.
  • That extra speed could give extra life to your older iPhone, giving you less reason to upgrade to a newer model.
  • The performance boost comes from the smarter way iOS 12 communicates with the iPhone chips, according to Apple.

Apple announced during its WWDC keynote on Monday that iOS 12, the latest version of its mobile operating system coming later this year, would give a performance boost to older iPhones – and it could be a great reason to keep your older iPhone instead of buying a newer model.

Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, said iOS 12 would let the iPhone 6 Plus from 2014 – and presumably the smaller iPhone 6, as it has the same chip – open apps up to 40% faster than iOS 11. Federighi also said the keyboard would appear up to 50% faster and the camera app would open up to 70% faster when you slide from the bottom right of the lock screen.

These three things are pretty significant in terms of how people use iPhones, and it will make older iPhones feel a lot snappier than with iOS 11 or other previous versions. In fact, older iPhones could get such a significant performance boost that Apple itself just gave owners of older iPhones a great reason to put off upgrading to a newer model – that is, if Federighi’s claims, which still need to be tested, are accurate. (For example, I’d test whether app performance is faster after I’ve opened the app.)

Federighi said these were just some examples of how iOS 12 would improve performance on the iPhone 6 Plus and other models as far back as the iPhone 5S, suggesting there are also other areas where older iPhones will be faster.

The performance boost comes from the way iOS 12 communicates with the chip inside older iPhones. Federighi explained that iOS 12 would essentially tell your iPhone’s chip to ramp up speed a lot faster to open an app compared with previous versions of iOS, which do so at a more gradual pace. iOS 12 will also tell your iPhone’s chip to ramp down its speed more quickly when it’s not needed, to save battery life.

You might be looking to upgrade to a newer iPhone because your older model’s battery is dying a lot faster than it should. But if that’s the main thing making you consider a new iPhone, you could save yourself a lot of money by getting its battery replaced at the Apple Store. If you have an iPhone 6 or later, Apple will replace your battery for $US30 – that’s $US50 off the original $US80 cost of battery replacements – through December.

But if you’re tempted by the better cameras and extra features that come with newer iPhones, you have a fully legitimate reason to upgrade. Still, you should make sure they’re worth the cost of upgrading.

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