What Happens When You Install iOS 12 on iPhone 5S?

July 2, 2018
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So what happens when you install iOS 12 on iPhone 5s? Some might expect the five year old device to slow down with aging hardware that might not be able to cope very well with the latest technology. This includes exciting features such as Siri improvements, group FaceTime, improved notifications, and screen time.

However, performance improvement features of iOS 12 should make an iOS device, technically even the five year old iPhone 5S, run faster.

To prove iOS 12’s mettle, Apple made some bold announcements while unveiling the latest iOS at WWDC. They used an iPhone 6 Plus as an example to claim the following:

  • Apps launch up to 40 percent faster
  • Keyboard comes up 50 percent faster
  • Slide to take a photo is 70 percent faster

These impressive numbers are based on iPhone 6 Plus, which is not the oldest iPhone to support iOS 12 but old nevertheless.

To see how an iPhone 5S reacts to the public beta of the latest iOS 12, CNET took two 16 GB iPhone 5S models and factory reset them. Then they replicated some of the operations that were exhibited at the keynote. One of them was running iOS 12 public beta while the other had iOS 11.4.

These may not exactly be ‘scientific conditions’ for such experiments but it can be seen as an anecdotal account of how fast the new iOS is on older devices. Do keep in mind that iOS 12 is still in beta phase and will be released later in fall this year.

Here are the findings of the experiment carried out by CNET:

iOS 12 Beta Speed Test

Task How much faster was iOS 12?
Launching Mail 0.25 second
Launching Safari (completely loading CNET.com) 3.5 seconds
Launching Maps Identical
Slide to take a photo from lock screen 0.5 second
Keyboard comes up (in Messages) 1 second
Share sheet comes up (in Safari) 1 second
Siri completing a request 0.5 second


This shows a significant difference in launching apps like Safari and Mail, but for apps like Weather and Maps the difference was almost negligible.

During the keynote, Apple claimed that share sheet will come up twice as fast when the system is under load. The test did show conformity with that claim but after running it a few times in a row, and iOS 11.4 sort of caught up with the beta version.

iOS 11.4 was a whooping 9 seconds faster than the iOS 12 beta in starting up, though. But since this is the beta version of the latest iOS, the official release will obviously take care of the bootup time!

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