How is the iOS 11 beta on the iPhone 6?

Discussion in 'iOS 11' started by EugW, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Mother-in-law needs refurb iPhone. Budget only allows iPhone SE (2 GB RAM, A9) or iPhone 6 (1 GB RAM, A8). She doesn't want to spend the money on a 6s.

    I would prefer the SE, but my wife suggests her mother may prefer the bigger screen. How is the iOS 11 beta on the iPhone 6?

    My iPhone is the 7 Plus, and my wife's is the 6s. We send a lot of pix and sometimes small videos to her mother. With iOS 11, my photos are already HEIF and my videos are already HEVC. How is playback on the iPhone 6 via software? Or are those only going to get JPEGs and h.264 so always re-encoded before files sent over?
  2. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Hmmm... If this iOS 11 beta and my iPad are any indication, it may be moot.

    I tried AirDropping my HEIF based Live Photos to my iPad Air 2, which is running iOS 11 beta, but which has A8X (not A9). The received files are always JPEG/h.264. I tried importing those files from the iPad, and yep. they always show up as the legacy JPEG/h.264. If I try importing those files from the iPhone 7 Plus, I get HEIC and h.265.

    BTW, I tried emailing myself the HEIC file. I read the email on my iPad Air 2 and while it displayed the picture, the aspect ratio was all distorted, so it may have been missing some metadata.

    Bottom line though is that all this HEIF/h.265 may not matter on the iPhone 6, because anything I send it will be JPEG/h.264 anyway. I had assumed that iOS 11 devices with at least A8 might be able to get HEIF/h.265 Live Photos, with software decode, but I guess not.
  3. viperGTS macrumors 68000

    Nov 15, 2010
    My iPhone 6 on iOS 10.2 runs kind of poor, but that may be because it's nearly full on storage. I don't think iOS 11 would help with that (unless full 64-bit helps, since iOS 11 will be entirely 64-bit).
  4. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    Painful. It's not my daily driver, so I can ignore it... but it's pretty bad. B1 was a bit better, IMO.
  5. EugW, Jul 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017

    EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Thanks. It turned out the cheaper iPhone 6 (unlocked 16 GB for CAD$400 / US$310) has some screen scratches. To get a better quality one would have been 10% more (unlocked 16 GB for CAD$440 / US$340). In contrast, I could get a carrier locked like new SE with twice the storage (32 GB for CAD$395 / US$306) for less than the scratched iPhone 6. And as an added bonus our govt communications agency has mandated that all carriers must unlock phones for free as of Dec. 2017. I'm optimistic this will also apply to used phones, as in the past the carriers would unlock used phones (for a fee) after they have been on the network for more than 3 months.

    That, with your reports of the slowdowns on the iPhone 6 in iOS 11, were enough to convince the wife, so I ordered the SE. I know the release version of iOS 11 will be faster than the beta, but I find that slowness in the beta is a good warning of things to come, often sooner rather than later. Furthermore, the SE won't have any HEIF/HEVC issues, since it has hardware support for decode of HEIF/HEVC.

    Interestingly, overall performance of the A8X in my iPad Air 2 is fine in iOS 11. However, A8X is considerably faster than A8, and probably more importantly, the iPad Air 2 has 2 GB RAM, in contrast to the 1 GB in the iPhone 6.
  6. FatalFallacy macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2013
    So I gave the beta a try on my good old iPhone 6.

    It gets very obvious that this device is nearly EOL from a hardware perspective and I would not bet on a much better performance on the final.
    Experience reminds me a lot of the last available iOS versions for my iPhone 4 and iPad 3, where I should have sticked to the predecessor versions in the end.

    Currently all in all a very sluggish experience, which seems to be mostly related to the low amount of 1GB heap / RAM on this device:
    • Lots of blank screens while apps need to get reloaded when switching between apps
    • Extreme slow rendering of (bigger or script heavy) websites
    • Multiple open tabs in Safari or Chrome need to get reloaded mostly all the time when back in focus
    Experience vastly improved once I switched off nearly all spotlight suggestions and got rid of some lockscreen widgets I do not essentially need.
    This seems to lower the base memory footprint a lot and makes iOS 11 at least kind of usable on this old device for me.
  7. KeanosMagicHat, Jul 17, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017

    KeanosMagicHat macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2012
    That sounds like a very poor experience.

    Surely it's going to get somewhat better by GM and release . . . . .


    Might be a case of, "your mileage may vary" though as your experience does seem to differ from this forum user, albeit on beta 1


    I've thought about this further since my last edit and iOS 11 will be supported down to the 5S model.

    With that in mind, barring any major development, it's currently likely that the iPhone 6 will see iOS 12 as it's final update.

    That's got me thinking that the performance of iOS 11 by final release on the iPhone 6 is likely to be decent.
  8. EugW thread starter macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    Yeah, YMMV, but I can even notice occasional slowdowns of the PB2 on my iPhone 7 Plus, which has 3X the RAM and a way faster CPU.

    The GM and some later point releases will likely be faster, but FatalFallacy's experience is definitely not a good sign because sometimes later versions of the OS will also slow it down. eg. 8.0 was slow. 8.1 or 8.2 was faster and then 8.4 brought back some slow downs.

    I'm very glad I got her the iPhone SE. This thing absolutely flies in 10.3.2. I haven't tried iOS 11 on it, but it would be fine. This SE is going to have several generations of usable iOS life in it.

    The 32 GB config is going to help with the lifespan also. The price-appropriate iPhone 6 was only 16 GB. She is not a heavy user at all, and in fact she's as light as user as they come, but after I loaded up her few apps plus a big album of pics of my kids, as well as a few kid videos, the phone only had 20 GB space left. Considering I'd expect to add a few GB of such files per year, with 16 GB she'd be out of space in 1.5 years. 32 GB will keep her happy for the life of the phone,
  9. pete480 macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2014
    Long Island, NY
    I wouldn’t install any beta on my phone because of the obvious issues. PB2 works well on my mini 4, but I don’t use it all day. It’s bad enough my 6+ is kind of slow and it’s only on 10.3.2.
  10. FatalFallacy macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2013
    Need to revise my initial impression as DB4 is a quantum leap in regards of performance, I am actually quite impressed.

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