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iOS 12: 'iPhone slow' might be dead as Apple releases update that speeds up your phone

Andrew Griffin

Apple might have fixed the very worst thing about updating your iPhone.

In recent years, Apple users have got used to a kind of grim and exciting tradition. It begins with the thrill of new updates – new iPhones and – and then turns to confusion as people begin to claim their old phone has slowed down.

The phenomenon has become so prevalent that the surge in searches for "iPhone slow" each September is notable in Google's search data. And it appears to have hurt Apple, as people have come to claim that the company is engaged in "planned obsolescence" and slows people's phones down intentionally to make them buy a new one.

There doesn't appear to be any truth in that. But the feeling that September is a time that slows down your old iPhone is clearly a real and prevalent one.

It has always appeared to be a result of all of the new things that Apple releases that month. It shows off the new version of the iPhone – which inevitably makes the one in your pocket feel old and lethargic – and it also releases a new update to its iPhone software.

The latter upgrade usually brings a whole host of features. But it also often relies on increased performance to power those features, meaning that they can just end up making older phones feel more slow than before.

It's in Apple's interest as well as its users to get people to upgrade to the latest software as soon as possible. Ensuring that people are updated means that everyone is happier with their devices, apps can move forward more quickly and security holes are patched up.

But users have been cautious to update when new software has often brought bugs and problems that slow down the phone entirely.

Now, however, Apple might have found the solution. Its new update, iOS 12, might be the first that actually speeds up your phone rather than slowing it down.

The company has concentrated on performance with the new update, with a specific focus on how it performs on older models. Apps can run up to twice as fast and everything is programmed to open more quickly, by making smarter use of the hardware all the way back to the iPhone 5s.

Many users who have downloaded the update in the hours after it was released report that is true. Some claim that previously unusable devices have been brought back to life by the quicker performance.

If the worst thing about new iPhone updates is the fact they slow down your phone, then the second might be waiting for them to arrive on your phone and then going through the bother of installing them. Thankfully, with iOS 12, Apple is fixing that too – with automatic downloads that will update your phone overnight without you having to worry about it.