I Did an iOS Update Experiment, and This is What Happened…

img_1724I purchased my first iPhone after the release of the iPhone 4, and ever since, I’ve been hooked.

There are many things that I love about the iPhone, including the nature of the iOS operative system, the feasibility of iOS apps such as Facetime and iMessage, and the diversity of the available apps.

After multiple years of purchasing the latest iPhone, I started noticing one thing: After a new generation iPhone came out, it seemed like my current iPhone started slowing down, or dealing with other bugs/performance issues.

You may think, “of course, each newer generation will be faster than the older one; therefore, your current iPhone will seem slow.”

At this point, my argument is, how can my iPhone get slow (or seem slow to me) if I haven’t even tried, played with, or experienced the newer iPhone generation?

I currently own two iPhone 6S. One of these iPhones is my personal phone, while the second one is for work purposes. After I learned about the “no headphone jack” fiasco from the iPhone 7 (I could literary go on a rant), I decided that I simply won’t purchase the newer iPhone 7.

I have a Master of Science degree. As a practitioner, I approach many things in an experimental basis. Therefore, I engaged in a mini experiment to differentiate the performance factors between an iPhone 6s with the latest iOS update (iOS 10.3.1) vs. an iPhone 6s without the latest software update (iOS 9.3.5).

For this experiment, I came up with three hypotheses:

Hypothesis 1: both of my iPhones 6s will perform at simultaneous speed or performance regardless of their iOS updates.

Hypothesis 2: The iPhone 6s with the iOS 9.3.5 update will perform slower than the iPhone 6s with the iOS 10.3.1 update.

Hypothesis 3: The iPhone 6s with the iOS 9.3.5 update will perform faster than the iPhone 6s with the iOS 10.3.1 update.

Additionally, I will refer to my personal iPhone 6s as “iPhone A” and my work iPhone 6s as “iPhone B.”

My experiment consisted of upgrading to all iOS software updates for iPhone A, while ignoring all software updates for iPhone B (I started doing this experiment right after the release of the iPhone 7).

After doing this for close to 8 months, these have been my final observations:

iPhone A: After the release of the iPhone 7, I updated my iPhone 6s to iOS 10. After my update, what I first noticed was that all my iMessages were freezing. I had to close down the app and then reload it for it to start working again. I also noticed that my Instagram and Twitter apps were freezing half way through my feed. At that point, my emails would also freeze, so I had to reload the email app and start writing messages all over again. After a while, my entire iPhone started freezing up (I couldn’t swipe left or right), so I had to constantly restore it. At this point, I was under the assumption that this could be related to some sort of fixable bug on iOS 10 (as it was recent release). As a result, I decided to reset my iPhone back to iOS 9.3.5 (which was possible to do for a limited time). After resetting my iPhone back to iOS 9.3.5, all these bugs were gone! My iPhone was back to normal and it was running smoothly (and faster). Time after that, I noticed that there was a new iOS 10 update (I think it was iOS 10.1.1), claiming better performance from the previous iOS 10 update. At this point, Apple was no longer supporting iOS 9.3.5, so I knew that if I decided to upgrade to iOS 10.1.1, I would have no way to reset it back. For the sake of the experiment, I upgraded to iOS 10.1.1, and ever since, my iPhone has been even worse. At that point, my iPhone doesn’t only freeze up when messaging people, I have noticed that it is significantly slower, it takes longer to load apps, when I turn it on/off the screen changes to half white and half green, and the strangest of all: my iPhone has a vibrating flick that vibrates repeatedly throughout the day. This flick sounds as is the vibrating motor got stuck on repeat, and then it followed by a notification sound; but when I check my iPhone, there is no notification of any sort. I have continued updating my iPhone’s iOS every time there is a new release; and even so, it is continuously slower and with more issues. Today, iPhone A is currently running under iOS 10.3.1, and it isn’t any better.

iPhone B: This iPhone 6s is working flawlessly. I haven’t experienced any issues in terms of messages freezing up, iPhone freezing up, or its performance slowing down. In fact, although it is operating under iOS 9.3.5, it performs faster than the iPhone 6s operating under iOS 10.3.1. With this iPhone, I get notifications 1-2 times a day, everyday requesting to update to the latest iOS software. I also noticed that my apps require updates more often than the apps on my other iPhone 6s running under iOS 10.3.1 (or iPhone A). On a final note, it has been claimed that if you don’t update your iOS, your apps will start underperfoming, but this has not been my experience with this mini experiment. On the contrary, this iPhone is performing as new!

Final verdict:

After my mini experiment, the iPhone 6s with the iOS 9.3.5 update performed faster and with no bugs, compared to the iPhone 6s with the iOS 10.3.1 software; Therefore, Hypothesis 3 was supported.

I was at least hoping that both iPhones would perform simultaneously (considering that they were both iPhone 6s). However, I wasn’t surprised when the iPhone with the iOS 10.3.1 software performed the slowest and with many bugs.

At this point, I feel somewhat disappointed. I’m torn between an iPhone 6s with increasing performance issues and the fact that I don’t want to upgrade to an iPhone that doesn’t have an headphone jack (some of us don’t have time to be charging earphones all the time). However, I’m hoping that this year’s release of the iPhone 7s (or iPhone 8, per some rumors) will encourage me to become part of the upgrade mania.