We've heard a lot about the 200-plus new features in iOS 6, but how will this upgrade affect performance? To find out, I grabbed a stack of iOS devices from the Macworld Lab and did some before-and-after testing to see whether iOS 6 performance was faster, slower, or the same as under iOS 5.1.1.
I ran a series of six tests on an iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and a third-generation iPad. I found subtle performance differences between the two versions of iOS. GeekBench scores with iOS 6 were within one percent of the iOS 5.1.1 scores. Page load times were less than half a second faster using the new version of iOS.
The third-generation iPad showed the biggest performance differenceunfortunately, it wasnt in the ideal direction. iOS 5.1.1 outperformed iOS 6 by just under 3 percent in the Pro offscreen test, the Egypt offscreen test was nearly 11 percent faster under the old OS.
WebVizBench, an HTML 5 benchmark, showed identical performance for the iPhone 4 and iPad 2, but significant gains in performance for iOS 6 on the iPhone 4S and third-generation iPad: 20 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
While these results may sway your decision to upgrade your iOS, at least we now know that there is no significant performance downside to doing so.