iOS 11 is a major update to the Apple mobile operating system and it brings a slew of new features and capabilities. On the other hand, however, it may also affect speeds on certain older devices.
Specifically, the iPhone 5s — the oldest handset that can run iOS 11 — might take a speed hit with the new software, according to benchmark testing performed by Andrew Cunningham of ARS Technica. The reduction in performance is fairly mild, however. It’s “slower, but not quite slow,” the publication added.
In many cases, apps will load up only marginally slower in iOS 11 than in iOS 10.3.3 for the iPhone 5s. Safari, for example, will open in about 1.5 seconds in iOS 11, rather than 1.2 seconds on iOS 10.3.3. The native Maps app takes the biggest hit, with testing showing that it takes a full extra second to open in iOS 11 than in previous software versions. Cold booting the phone also takes longer, about 12 seconds longer to be exact, according to ARS Technica’s testing.
It’s worth noting that users running iOS 11 on an iPhone 5s can improve the device’s performance by limiting or disabling certain features. For example, turning on “Reduce Motion” in Accessibility settings can reduce open times by about 0.1 to 0.9 seconds with some slight animation tradeoffs.
In addition to the slightly slower speeds, the iPhone 5s is not equipped to handle many of the features that newer versions of the iOS platform bring, mostly due to hardware-based limitations (the device lacks an NFC chip, for example). Specifically, the following features are missing from Apple’s oldest 64-bit smartphone, compared to the iPhone 7.
- Apple Pay
- 3D Touch
- Siri features including the new natural voice and always-on Hey Siri
- HEIF and HEVC compression codecs (meaning that you won’t be able to store as many photos as newer devices).
- No Support for the Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE (you will be able to use the non-LTE S3, however).
On the other hand, the iPhone 5s will still get many of the new features in iOS 11 — including new app capabilities and UI changes, the revamped Control Center and built-in screen recording, Do Not Disturb While Driving, and the new Files app for managing files.
Of course, the slight reduction in speed is offset by the new security patches that iOS 11 brings. Apple rarely — if ever — issues security-related updates for legacy versions of its software. Users who are particularly concerned about their device’s proneness to security vulnerabilities might want to update to iOS 11 anyway. Additionally, as ARS Technica points out, even though Safari opens slower, its benchmark performance on the iPhone 5s actually increased slightly in iOS 11.