This is important for developers to know about because if you use a recent iPhone your experience is not just fundamentally better than any Android user's but it's especially significant compared to the kinds of cheaper phones many people buy. Look at the chart here: a Galaxy S22 is comparable to the iPhone XS which shipped 4 years earlier but even the S22 towers over the Moto E30 & other budget phones.
Theoretically, I would care. But in practice, I just took out an old budget android phone, gave it a go at browsing the web (news, images, and videos), and it seemed not to be noticeably slower than my much newer and pricier iPhone.
Benchmarks would probably show a great difference between the two, but my eyes can't tell.
My interest in this topic is mostly the same as the author of the post I linked, namely making sure that developers test and measure on lower-end devices to make sure they're not building sites which exclude key demographics. For example, a government site really needs to work well on the kinds of phones seniors get under the FCC Lifeline program.
But that is different from the observation of the beginning of this thread, which is that Geekbench scores don’t really reflect practical limitation of devices. A big difference in the score does not mean a noticeable difference in performance when doing everyday web browsing on the phone. An observation that my own experience echoes.
Even if I’m extra-tolerant (I don’t think I am), it would surprise me that a performance difference I can’t even notice is going to be so intolerable to another human being that they are excluded from using the website.
When it comes to governmental services on the internet, I think really the focus is on whether the site _works_ on all kinds of devices, which means whether the rendering and interactions are correct. Some can fail to render on a low budget phone, or if some button doesn’t work, etc. these are real problems but that is quite irrelevant to benchmarks.
The broader point wasn’t that you should buy an iPhone but simply that the reason to care about single core benchmarks is that browsers fit that profile. It’s still perfectly reasonable to conclude that’s good enough for the sites you use.
I also feel like there’s an interesting angle about ad blocking here since that probably matters more than multiple processor generations.
One factor which used to be under appreciated was battery degradation prior to that whole “Batterygate” flap back in 2016 where a lot of people learned that iOS throttled processor performance when the battery could no longer supply enough voltage for peak performance. That’s a lot more visible now so it’s less of a surprise than it used to be.
Most of the problem is that developers aren’t focused only on performance, so as the baseline hardware capacity increases the apps will slowly start to use more since very few people are going to spend time on something which seems fast enough.
That doesn’t happen all at once but it adds up over the half decade a phone will last. If you bought a phone and never updated anything, its performance would seem far more consistent … at least if you could avoid getting malware installed.
That third point is why I shared the link above: a lot of developers upgrade more frequently than average people and that means that our instincts for what seems fast enough might be missing things with our apps. That usually doesn’t mean things are unusable but it’s still polite to use your work on, say, the phone a senior citizen gets subsidized to make sure that you’re comfortable with that being the public face of your work.
(Bandwidth usage is at least as important here, too: use your website on 3G or ask how much it’d cost to use on a metered plan)
As a web browser has become a general purpose VM, it has capabilities far surpassing what is needed at least 50% the time, I'd go as high as 90% of the time personally. Which is great that we have a magical run anything anywhere VM, but it's a double edge sword of the performance, security and privacy issues that come along with it.
If there was a well defined subset of functionality that browsers presented as the default "web enclave" and then opening up all the bells and whistles further was an opt in choice, a large chunk of those issues would go away. But that requires a bunch of people to agree on what that subset should include and the horror of trying to keep it updated over time. And that's _everyone_, including users putting up with "opting in" rather than everything just working.
I'm not sure I can see a subset of features becoming the default approach, at least until there is some horrible self propagating browser worm that impacts a large percentage of the world (or maybe by the 2nd or 3rd time, we will have had enough).
What about buying a ticket and it failing at the last step because your browser determined that js was unneeded?
Basically have to keep giant lists of what js actually enhances the people experience vs just being useful to the publisher.
Only thing that would make extra performance matter are video games and I don't play those on phone.
It’s cool and all for Apple to have an edge in single core performance but it doesn’t matter all that much in the real world and the s23 is objectively the faster phone.
Do you have any reproducible test results showing that or are you just asserting tribal loyalty? I jest, we all know the answer.
You might want to read up on how iOS and Android differ in key ways: native code versus JIT, garbage collection versus ARC, and all of the system level differences for how many things can run in the background as well as quickly apps can save and restore state - faster CPUs and SSDs allows iOS to be more aggressive there, too, and developers can tune more aggressively because they have fewer, more consistent configurations to support.
Also consider it from the perspective of the engineering trade offs that the manufacturers make. More RAM means lower battery life and a higher price, and consumers are also sensitive to both of those. Apple controls their stack so tightly that they designed a custom SoC and market-leading CPU, and they measure the user experience very closely since that’s a lot of what they’re selling — if there really was a gap, adding more RAM would be one of the easiest ways to close it. Similarly, Samsung wouldn’t make every phone they make have lower battery life and cost more if that only benefited a small percentage of users. They’re making different choices because they have different systems but both of them watch this stuff closely.
Apple hardware is just that much better, it is not about the software stack.
(And, yes, I should have said “Java's GC vs. ARC” since that tends to have higher peaks)
Reference counting is a GC algorithm.
Thanks, I knew that Android had native code support but I've always heard that described as something mostly used by games.
> Reference counting is a GC algorithm.
Yes, I should have been pedantic and written “Java's GC” since the point was that historically it's tended to trade RAM for performance. The classic complaint I've heard from our mobile developers was that Objective-C forced you to focus more on memory management.
Faster performance today means longer lasting tomorrow.
Exactly. I use a 2nd gen iPhone SE, and a big reason I bought it was that it had the then-beefy A13 chip despite being a “budget model”.
It’s now nearly 3 years old and still feels like a brand new phone.
The hardest thing is the strain the whole experience puts on my relationships. I already used up all my fiancé’s patience with my chronic melancholy about my perfectly functional but ultimately doomed phone; and end of life hasn't even happened yet.
Seeing iOS 12.5.7 was bittersweet, a glimmer of hope, a reason to hold on.
I would have agreed with you on the fingerprints being superior, but I have to say that I really can’t say anything bad about the face scanner. It is fast and accurate and very rarely fails (which would be the same with fingerprints, you may have gloves on, or your hands are dirty, etc)
Like if I'm using the map, it's swipe up from near the bottom to open nav options or swipe up from slightly below that to open app switcher; keep in mind I'm probably doing this hastily at a red light. Lock screen is swipe up to unlock but also to look at notifications. Home screen is swipe down for notifications or control center, depending on which side, I always forget.
Facial unlock has a hard time with my glasses. I have to input my pin half the time. If I'm driving, I can't look at my phone. Also idk why it has to auto-lock immediately like I'm paranoid; there used to be a setting to delay auto-locking for 30min unless I press the lock button myself.
This is a bad compromise that didn't need to happen; I should just be able to plug headphones into my phone. In the end, I took my old iPhone 5 and left it in the car for playing music. It's the better phone.
Almost all apps run well with the exception of Google's, which have consistently gotten worse. The camera still starts up quickly, and the fact that most apps are still performant compared to an iPhone 13 is impressive.
Google Docs is unusable - even small documents can't be opened, and the app hangs when opened more than half the time. Google Maps keeps adding misc features which adds significantly to startup time and responsiveness.
Where apple does do well is supporting devices for much longer with software and security updates. So running older android phones is prob not a good ideas from a security perspective.
And more importantly to me, longer lasting tomorrow tends to mean longer official OS support. At least for Apple devices.
I wish this was true for my old Android phone. I still have a OnePlus5 lying in my drawer, which still has stellar performance, but doesn't get any new software features.
My experience was mixed: it works great, even my banking app. *Except* for the camera. The default camera app took blurry pictures; Google Cam from the app store cropped significantly from the preview; and the custom Google Cam made for OnePlus 6 couldn't use the front camera.
No amount of tweaking gave me anything close to what the original OS had.
In the end my phone's camera is one of the most important features, so I got a new one.
Of course the manufacturer could just choose to screw you over by not updating/not letting you update your self. But I mean there’s no way to account for bad behavior on the part of manufacturers (other than not doing business with them anymore of course).
My wife upgraded from same to iphone 14 pro max and is seriously questioning what's so great that it's such a bulky device.
They drastically increased RAM recently: https://9to5mac.com/2022/12/31/iphone-ram-list/
Unfortunately this can be hardly retrofitted to other OSs since it requires cooperation from the apps.
Now if you want general ref counting you have to use atomic counters, and those will trash your performance on modern machines beyond fixing. And then we didn’t even mention that big object graphs will have to be recursively freed, an overhead that can’t be amortized in this case. Oh and you do need a tracing step one way or another to free cycles.
I'm not complaining. It's an almost 6 year old device. That means, for every year of usage, I payed roughly 200€, or 16€ per month. That's not too shabby, tbh.
Though I agree that battery health hasn't been super important to performance. But resetting the phone can do wonders
An aged battery will show big voltage drops under load. What was looking like a fine and dandy voltage (voltage is used to infer state of charge) can suddenly plummet. It can get so bad that your phone might even shut down because it starts to undervolt.
So, choosing between the lesser of two evils, iOS throttles down max. power draw, and thus max. processing speed, when the battery ages. The alternative would be random shutdowns, or your battery jumping from 80 to 8% suddenly.
In settings -> battery -> health & charging you can check in which regime you are.
On most phones you realize that when an old phone goes from 15%, you do something CPU intensive and the phone dies seconds later.
So it's reasonable to lower the peak power use on older batteries to lengthen battery life and make it more stable. Generally battery life increases when you are gentle. Charge slowly (which results in lower temps), avoid charging over 90% or discharging below 10%, and decrease the peak loads.
It even turned into a huge scandal of "Apple deliberately slowing down old iPhones" which was portrayed as if Apple is doing it to make you buy a new iPhone.
My XS is currently at 74% of initial capacity (it tells you this too, which is really nice), and I don't even have the option to enable throttling yet, so it must not kick in until things get really dire
Every flagship iPhone since 2011 has gotten at least five years of OS updates, with some of the more recent models getting six years. Security updates extend past that.
When my iPhone 6s received iOS 15, it didn't get the coolest stuff and the device performance was already less than decent. Even if the iOS itself wasn't slowing it down, the apps for iOS were made with expectation of higher performance.
> Six years is an awfully long life span for a mobile device, and certainly puts the 6S in the running for the longest supported phone to date. The iPhone 5S was five years old when it got its last OS update with iOS 12 but wasn’t eligible for iOS 13. On the Android side, Samsung has made recent moves to improve its device longevity by offering four years of security support for some of its phones. But six years of OS updates and security support puts the 6S in an entirely different league.
only if CPU performance plateaus in future generations. as long as new phones keep having drastically better performance, apps will keep updating to use it.
maybe less relevant in android, where phones generally have a wide spread of capabilities. but in iphone land, where most people are on the two most recent generations, you're always going to find developers assuming you have more processing power than you actually do if you're not on the latest generation.
I am sure I would notice something if I were to play games or do something graphical.
The speed thing is balanced out by UI tweaks and things like the Apple Watch that I still use. Unfortunately it was a dumb silly situation where I bought a novelty phone that I actually REALLY enjoy using... and then I don't wanna get rid of my iphone haha.
Edit: Another unfair comparison - the Google Nest app is ludicrously slow on my iPhone.
For example I might consider:
1. Does it run Android?
2. Physically size- does it come in not obnoxiously large?
3. Does it support NFC payments? (surprisingly this still isn't a given)
4. Adequate performance
5. Camera quality
6. Screen quality
7. Battery life
9. Community ROM support
10. Community Linux distro support
11. Can it run a desktop when connected to a usb-c screen
Only if everything else is equal would it make my decision
If not, unacceptable. Ergo, all iPhones are unacceptable. (Yes, I used to work at EO, running the GO PenPoint Operating System https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PenPoint_OS?useskin=vector , and also worked at GRiD, putting wireless LAN into the GRiDPAD RC https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRiDPad?useskin=vector. I like pens. I might be biased.)
All modern touch screen phones are compatible with a stylus. I'm sure it would be harder to find one that isn't. The accuracy may not be the best on budget models.
Unless you mean _is a stylus / pen included with the phone_?
Opinion here, but capacitive styluses suck. I wouldn't bother with a stylus unless it was something like Wacom or Apple Pencil tech.
I have a Samsung Note. It has the best stylus on a phone.
(I also find it funny the Apple Fanbois decided to downvote my initial comment, when I was clearly showing that Apple is 'behind the curve' in this respect. Gosh, I used to work at Apple. I find this amusing.)
Even though, that is very cool line of work and I’m sure I would be similarly biased for the tech I helped form, but it is simply not a general requirement as shown by very very few phones having them.
Samsung has some phones that have the necessary screen support for their styluses, sometimes even if the phone didn't come with one, but that's only in very few models.
I can currently use the Apple Pencil as a _dumb stylus / pen_ on my iPhone 2022 SE (not that it's necessary but just to see if it can be done).
I have an iPPro + Pencil, and it is astonishingly good. It is no 'dumb stylus' on the iPPro. The exquisite detail one gets from a writing implement is not quite replicated with the Pencil -- but! The fact that Apple does advertise the Pencil and its features is a hopeful sign that we will continued to see more, and more sophisticated Pencils & apps that use them. I hope.
How can you do that? My apple pencil (the new gen) doesn’t even register as a dumb stylus on my iphone 12 pro max.
AND, when you intentionally remove it, by clicking, it pops out and the Notes app is automatically fired up.
Apple just doesn't do this on iPhones. Why not?
I can't remember the last phone I had that survived long enough for me to feel I needed to upgrade it.
Whenever I have to use an older phone to do anything. App and web developers seem to be in an arms race with moore's law to see if they can waste the extra resources faster than hardware manufacturers can provide them.
Is product speed really a differentiator that affect’s people’s buying decision?
* which video codecs are hardware accelerated
No, Android phones browser performance is still a joke compared to I phones, which are faster than desktop PCs!(in speedometer)
for me it's literally every day. frames missed, jittery animations everywhere on top-of-the line phones, this drives me completely mad.
On devices with gigahertz multicore CPUs, gigabytes of RAM and fast flash memory, absolutely everything local should be 100% instant
So I welcome any and all single-thread performance improvements, if only because of lazy developers.
Multi core performance on a phone is like towing capacity on a sports car.
Don't take it from me, take it from Linus Torvalds (you know, the guy who created Linux) - https://www.realworldtech.com/forum/?threadid=136526&curpost...
Not how long battery lasts before needing charge, but how many years it lasts before dropping to say 80% of original capacity that it needs to be replaced or the phone needs to be updated.
Most, if not all, modern phones are performant enough that I won’t need to update for a long time, if not for the battery issues. At least for my use case.
Why will I replace my phone if it's in just fine working condition and is sufficient for my needs, that too in just 4 years?
Battery replacement will work well for me once it's below 80%.
> This hasn’t worked for lithium batteries, partly because so many formats exist. “These batteries are all over the place in different sizes,” he said. A related challenge is that the technology for lithium batteries changes rapidly — every one to two years, he said.
(edit: I found a working link to the article: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41745-021-00269-7)
Apple is not throwing lithium batteries into landfills, and it is the one doing the replacement. Tesla is definitely not doing this, so what is left?
Probably those lithium rechargeable batteries you can buy on Amazon?
If you say that the comparison isn't relevant, I'll say yes: the whole point is that the industry has been innovating for computing power and computing power only. Cheaper versions exist to target low price. But no work is done to target long battery life because it's not considered profitable.
One, do a wipe and re-install from backups. If the device doesn't really have much of importance on it, just wipe it and start fresh.
Two, discharge the iPad until it shuts off, then fully charge it and leave it plugged in for several hours after that. That will update the battery capacity gauge.
You can see the internal battery stats by plugging the iPad into a Mac and running any of a couple of different utilities - one free one is coconutbattery.
My point being that you can't really change those batteries on demand.
Something tells me you're not really being honest with us, for the sake of a "apple suxx" story.
The battery health is also included occasionally in the analytics the iPad sends to Apple if you have sending analytics. In Settings go to Privacy & Security/Analytics and Improvements/Analytics Data.
That takes you to a list of various recent analytics files that have been sent to Apple. If battery health was included it will be in one of the files "log-aggregated" files (iPadOS < 16) or "Analytics" files (iPadOS 16).
Battery health isn't always included in the analytics uploads so you might not have it in any of the files. Then you just have to keep checking as new files appear.
Here's a video I found talking about this . The author of the video has written a shortcut  that shows up in the shar sheet. When viewing an analytics file you can share it with that shortcut and the shortcut will try to find battery information in that file and display it.
I just gave it a try but my logs don't currently have health information so I don't know how well it actually works for that. It did get cycle count from my logs and that matches what Coconut Battery shows.
If you have a charger at your desk/car then honestly you could likely go even longer.
I've seen people struggling after 2 years though so it's rather random.
Just a random N=1 sample for you
That was with a few hours of screen time - I found that it didn't matter to me because I'd just plug it in at home/work. I'd call it "servicable" but certainly not great - but for 5 years I was personally surprised.
2) Downloaded videos, podcasts, music or books. If I store my stuff on the device by downloading at home on wifi, it uses way less power than streaming over mobile data. My battery lasts for really long time playing videos from storage compared to for example Youtube.
I often wonder how much the battery life of a phone is a function of battery size and phone cpu & screen technology, vs web technologies and website design/performance. I can sort-of control for the latter.
I also find Brave a lot simpler than Firefox + installing add-ons, and it uses uBO lists by default which is mostly what I care about.
1. The keyboard in ios: its unintuitive and ancient compared to the android counterparts. And No, Gboard, swiftkey keyboard in ios suck equally bad too.
2. Battery drain issues: Battery drains randomly, main culprit being "find my" process. This alone drains ~8% of battery overnight on my iphone and ~18% on my ipad overnight even with background app refresh turned off.
3. Lack of the back button is a huge pain in the ass. Some apps design their own navigation pattern and it sucks to operate the phone in 1 hand. For e.g, Youtube requires you to pull down on the video currently playing to go back to search results than allowing the native back swipe or back arrow on top left.
Meanwhile, I have agree that the apps in iOS are much nicer than the android apps, the same apps I used in android which sucked big time work flawlessly in iOS. FaceID is much reliable than the shitty in screen fingerprint readers in Samsung/Android phones.
So both Android and iOS have their pros and cons, and after using both, I can confidently say iphone is not the best phone in the world and user had to experience both to choose what suits them better.
You probably have an AirTag around you, there's a bug causing that. Update the AirTag firmware.
> 3. Lack of the back button is a huge pain in the ass
Swipe from the left edge of the screen to right, that's the iOS back button.
Anyway, I'm returning to Android after 4 months for the same reasons. Lets see how this goes. I haven't found difference in the few apps that I use and since there is universal praise that iOS is smooth, every little hiccup called my attention. So, there are hiccups as well (lags, not responding to touches for half a second, etc)
It's actually universal when the App is built with the native UI components and it's part of Apple's App design guidelines. It doesn't work when the App is built with UI frameworks that don't adhere to this design convention. Sometimes even if the framework by default supports this, the devs can break it in an attempt to be creative but when it doesn't work, it means poor App design.
What if it's not my AirTag?
There's an iPhone that I only use for dev, and it surprises me at how bad it keeps charge when it's basically not in use, whereas my old S8 has far better standby time.
1. Reliable performance from the OS: what I mean by this is, small features like auto brightness has worked right for me from day 1 on iphone vs me having to adjust it in android and gps lock on maps is always on point. Small things like this work in both Android and iphone, but in iphone it works right all the time.
2. Apple Wallet: I've used both Gpay and Wallet, my wife still uses Gpay on her android, But Apple wallet has worked without a hassle every single time.
3. Quality of apps in Appstore: When comparing same app released for both iOS and Android, the iOS app feels much stable to use without any crashes and better design. For example, the banking apps like Chase/ Capital one were absolute mess in my android(S20 FE), but in iOS I haven't seen them crash/hang ask for reload etc.
4. Software updates: You get software updates as soon as apple releases it vs Samsung taking months/years to add their bloatware and push it.
Thank you for acknowledging this. I think few people actually appreciate the need for better single-core performance. It's, in comparison, easy to just add more cores and use more power, but what is hard is making one core faster and faster and use less power.
Apple wanted to build apps using web technology, but realized it was nowhere near fast enough. So they reused parts of the OSX toolkit, including the programming language which compiles down to optimized assembly. (and it wasn't even that great in performance due to obj-c's way of doing things, it had more runtime overhead due to the message passing system).
Meanwhile, Android always was on Java and the JVM, which, while pretty fast, isn't as fast or energy-efficient as a lower level language. If I recall correctly it took something like five years - and quadcore CPUs - before Android started to get close to iOS in terms of perceived performance and speed, and the iPhone still beat Android phones in terms of energy efficiency. It took even longer than that (again, if I recall correctly) for the iphone to even start having a dual-core CPU.
And Apple is doing it again with their own CPUs now, the energy efficiency of their new macbooks with no compromise on performance is really impressive.
Moreover, if someone really is interested in the speed of normal applications, then it is more useful to directly measure things like start-up times of popular apps. Apple isn't ahead here, as far as I know, despite higher single-core performance.
It takes a special sort of arrogance to look at literally the entire industry and go "psssst, savages don't know what they're doing. Single core performance is where it's at."
It’s just that not much improvement can be done in single thread performance anymore and it is much more easier to design and market “n times as many cores” then “we bumped single threaded performance by 0.2%”. Mind you, almost every single application you have will ultimately depend on single threaded performance, relatively few problems can even theoretically make use of multiple cores, let alone are programmed to do so. Sure, multiple single-threaded process will like more available cores, but it is more limited on mobile devices, where few very fast cores and more slower ones are the norm.
The article just proves you wrong
Apple's products are lightyears ahead from Android phones in perfomance. Apple CPU design always put single core perfomance upfront, because they know most application are still optimized to single core usage. how is not not relevant?
On the other hand, the results also show how much work Apple will need to put into their GPUs, as the clearly inferior chip is still beating the iPhone 14 hands down in terms of GPU horsepower.
Qualcom's advancements in speed and longevity have been incremental, sometimes even decremental, for years now. Mediatek, previously the chipset for every 100 dollar Chinese phone, keeps closing while Qualcom desperately tries to squeeze just a little more juice out of their cores.
Apple's progress is also slowing down, but not nearly as much as their most important competitor's. It's a shame, really. Hopefully Google and Microsoft will develop their own chips for real in the future because you can't just wait for Qualcom anymore. Microsoft REALLY wants a good M1/2 competitor but the other chips in the ARM space just aren't up for the task. I'm sure Google would also love for their Chromebooks to become more powerful, though their own mobile devices seem to focus on midrange performance with benefits in software and dedicated silicon instead of fast general purpose compute.
In the end, I have no horse in the game because I don't think I'll be upgrading any time soon. My current phone is more than fast enough for my needs. The battery is slowly fading but as long as I can still get through the day I'm satisfied. With the absolutely ridiculous prices of phones these days, I'm putting off an "upgrade" for as long as I can.
Beyond that, who cares?
It also wouldn't matter if the thing could recharge super fast.
The M1/M2 laptops have done this, I noticed that people who used to bring chargers with them at conferences/meetings don't even bother anymore, or don't bring it out of the bag.
I haven't brought my charger to work since I received my M1. My bag just contains snacks. Not having to worry about charging is really a very different experience.
They are all the same at this point, we are way past when Specs actually mattered(outside of JS performance on mobile, thank you Snapdragon!), they are just too small for anything useful, at least for me personally.
I just buy a pixel and install GrapheneOS/CalyxOS on it, and call it a day.
Its a phone that works, and I can relatively trust it, certainly more than other spyware, even if sandboxed google services are installed.
"It's at least $100 below market average and performance is great"
=> market average
Pixel 6 pro and 7 pro prices are cheap compared to any other phone from the same tier.
Nonetheless, iPhones are also great from a security perspective out of the box, and the hardware is superior so I just couldn’t switch to a pixel, even though I wanted to at every version. They are unfortunately simply riddled with some stupid mistakes, like that emergency call one.
A lot of the carrier /manufacturer incentives (in the USA) have been fantastic lately, especially if you had an older device which could be traded in.
Right now, through Google, you can trade a Pixel 5a in when buying a Pixel 6a and pay $50 for the upgrade.