iOS 8.3: performance improvements

Apple's OS 8 logo.

According to various sources, the release of iOS 8.3 – now in beta and expected in the next few months to be publicly released – will bring welcome performance improvements for those of us still using iPhone 4S and/or iPhone 5. Has Apple finally listened to the considerable criticism from disgruntled, loyal customers with older iPhones (and, indeed, iPads) who’ve complained of being left behind and forgotten? It seems so, to a degree; at least these two models are not out in the cold yet. But although they can run iOS 8.3, is there really any noticeable enhancement to speed and the all-important battery life for these older phones? Or is this just pure wishful thinking or propaganda?

iPhones 4S and 5 side by side. Can iOS 8.3 improve speed?
Will iOS 8.3 improve the performance of these older iPhones?

The usual ‘hysteria’ has ensued online since the iOS 8.3 beta was released yesterday to Apple Development Program members. The web is buzzing with demonstrations that both prove and disprove that the battery life and speed of older phones with the new iOS installed are enhanced. Videos are, for the most part, inconclusive – as far as I’ve seen. And I’ve seen rather a lot. Some live, side-by-side comparisons show speed is improved slightly. Others show it is not. Some show absolutely no change at all! As for battery life, well, I got bored and didn’t wait around for conclusions on that!

Those of us who have hung on to our ‘old’ Mac stuff will get the chance to discover whether these rumours are true or false – and make our own conclusions – soon enough. Actually, not that soon; the official iOS 8.2 update isn’t even due out yet. In fact it’s not due until later in March. That makes iOS 8.3 not exactly just around the corner. So don’t hold your breath…

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