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iOS 7: Performance, Battery Life and Verdict

Andy Vandervell

By Andy Vandervell

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

iOS 7: Performance and Battery Life

We'll be looking into iOS 7 performance and battery life in greater detail in separate feature and/ore future update, mainly because most of our testing came during the beta phase of iOS 7 and some proper side-by-side testing is required.

That discounts any useful battery life observations at this stage, but we can confirm the iOS 7 runs absolutely fine on the iPhone 4S and upwards. The 4S is ever so slightly slower to load apps on iOS 7 than on iOS 6, but you need the two side-by-side to notice the difference.

We're in the middle of testing the iPhone 4 at the moment, which may prove more problematic given Apple has seen fit to disable some features for performance reasons. If you've got an iPhone 4, it's definitely worth waiting before you upgrade.

Verdict

It’s a challenge to score an update to an operating system that comes free with Apple phones and tablets. In fact, how you view iOS 7 depends largely from what position you view it from.

If you're an iPhone owner thinking of switching to Android, should you? Only if you really want a bigger screen. iOS 7 is a huge improvement on previous versions, one that's worth trying before you finally decide and one that extinguishes many most of the small irritations Apple has left untouched over the years. iOS 7 does enough to restore the faith in the software, though whether the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C do enough is another matter.

Likewise, if you're an Android user considering switching to an iPhone, iOS 7 removes most of the reasons not to. You'll miss some of the deep Google integration, particularly Google Now, but you'll gain a thoroughly modern and super-slick OS and what remains the iPhone's biggest trump card, the App Store. It's not an open and shut case as there's more to the debate than just the software, but iOS 7 strengthens Apple's case considerably.

If you're a happy Apple user, iOS 7 is a revelation. Android fans will quip, with good reason, that you've been living in the dark ages for a while, but you finally have some ammunition to fire back that isn't just 'the App Store'. It's hardly a killer blow, but the debate over which is better can return to more philosophical questions and preferences rather than bemoaning the paucity of common features.

Of course, none of this will convince ardent Android users to make the switch, and nor should it. Yes, iOS 7 is a huge step forward for iOS, and it still trumps Android for simplicity and elegance, but it has nothing that Google or Microsoft urgently needs to copy, imitate or fear. It's a wonderfully competent, pure and seamless experience, but it's not a revolution.

Is that a bad thing? That depends entirely on how realistic your expectations are.

Next, read our iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C comparison.

Overall Score

8
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danielfrisbee

September 18, 2013, 9:13 pm

is there going to be such an depth look at other phone operating systems?
I use my phone for phoning, texting, emails, and maps/internet on occasion, plus listen to the radio, music and occasionally watch videos.
Is there really any difference between the different options? I ask this sincerely as my phone is falling to bits and I'll soon have to face this dull choice. Windows phone so far as I can tell at least looks a bit more functional.. ?

DigitalFury

September 19, 2013, 3:36 am

At last, a fair iPhone/iOS vs. others/Android review from TR. Reading that 5S vs. S4 piece pictured the 5S and iOS 7 as the 2nd coming of Christ.

iOS 7 is a very good upgrade, but it (along with the 5S) will not convince people (like me) that have switched to high-end Android-based phones, to switch back to the iPhone.

Maybe if iOS 7 had killer features, instead of mostly playing catch up, but as your review pointed out, I just do not see them, and iOS is still as closed/restrictive as ever.

Once you have tasted the freedom and flexibility offered by Android, it is hard to go back.

star-affinity

September 19, 2013, 3:31 pm

Can you perhaps list a few examples of what this freedom and flexibility gives you in practice? I'm curious.

I'm about to start using a Nexus 7 (second gen.) tablet and I have been using an iPad 2 for two years. Will be an interesting experience to see how locked in I've been… ;)

funny bunny

September 19, 2013, 11:07 pm

Let me tell you wat's new and so cool about this update. So my friend updated his iPhone 5 to i0S7• He goes like ''dude no iPhone user will ever switch to any other phone now.i0S7 is so cool'' n I'm like ''Really, so what's the coolest feature?" He tilts the phone & the icons move a little and he goes like see? I'm like "see what?" and he goes ''the wallpaper". I couldn't hold my laugh. Like "Seriously"!!! So this is the point where Apple has brought is users to while trying to maintain their so called standard n premium look. Lol.

romy

September 20, 2013, 1:00 pm

I think this debate between iOS and Android will never stop but it comes down to personal preference. I have been using both platforms for the last 4 years. At the end of the day, ios is very much functional and stable with virtually no crashes. Android is more playful and crashes quite often ( I have the S3 and Note 1). It is just like choosing between a flashy car with bells and whistles and a high end sedan that might be having less of the new technologies but is good at doing what it is supposed to do well. That is how i see the iOS and as long as it is stable and has the programs that i need i will have a soft spot for it.
By the way I find iOS 7 refreshing, and it gives a new life to my iphone 5.

Larry E

September 22, 2013, 8:17 pm

Most important for me, especially on the tablets, is you don't have to put up with that crappy iOS keyboard anymore. The Swype and SwifyKey apps are great keyboards, but the Dragon Voice dictation on Swype is spot on and makes it REALLY easy to dictate long emails or 2-3 sentence texts.

star-affinity

September 23, 2013, 8:02 pm

Alright. I think Apple might open up a little more when it comes to keyboards in the future. We'll see.

Anyway, dictation is built-in for text input in iOS too. And you can also download Dragon Dictation if you wish. But you mean it witks well in conjunction with the custom keyboards avaliable for Android?

Larry E

September 23, 2013, 9:53 pm

Yeah, I've tried iOS voice input and Dragon's separate tool, but the experience was so horrible, it made me want to type less on the iPad and head over to my PC when I needed to send an email over 1 paragraph.

The Dragon dictation is built into the Swype keyboard. The voice input on SwiftKey is pretty good, but if you do a lot of typing, I'd suggest going with Swype.

Both keyboard creators have been begging Apple to let them port to iOS to no avail. Maybe soon, we'll be able to welcome iOS to 2009.

astro_man

September 24, 2013, 7:48 pm

Keyboards would be a great example, but also the ability change pretty much any app as the 'default' app. You don't like the default browser? Any action requiring a browser be used can be switched to FF, chrome or dolphin easily.
Same goes for music, you can use any player (and even use a file explorer if you want) to open up automatically when an action requiring one is launched. This gives you much more flexibility as to which format you can eventually read too by default (e.g. FLAC)

Launchers would be another great android features. Nova and Apex are the two biggest ones and they let you customize pretty much anything in the interface (default actions for adding apps, opening them, the way your folders look, how they display information, etc.)
Lastly, I would say widgets are a great feature, especially on tablets where screen estate is not so much of an issue. They show instant information about anything you want without having to actually open the app. It could be weather, email, magazines, etc.

When I open up someone else's phone and I start using it, you really realize how I've personally tweaked so many things in android and that I have really formed habits around these customizations. They fit best what I do with my phone, not what someone else thinks I should be doing it.

Sam

October 27, 2013, 12:30 am

I have an android and love all the customizations but I hate the UI. Ilove the design of ios7 30x more than android. Its more simple and enjoyable yhan the cluttered and random ui of android

Peter Williamson

November 25, 2013, 1:24 pm

al those things you mention can be done on almost any modern phone.
Some do some things better than others.
I have Windows Phone and am very happy with it. I have found an App for every use I want(so far).
Droid and Windows phones can do anything the iPhone does, many of them for much cheaper cost and some can do things the iPhone cannot do(NFC, cordless charging)
Go to a shop, have a play, ignore the salesman, chose what YOU want.

HelperDude

January 2, 2014, 3:38 pm

IOS and Android both have there pro's and con's, I love IOS on my 4S because if its design and it's fast enough.

star-affinity

January 26, 2016, 9:59 pm

So, where are we now two years later? :)

I have been using SwiftKey for quite some time on iOS now and like it a lot! The implementation of third party keyboard hasn't been totally worry free on iOS, but now it's working pretty stable I think. I have also had some issues with third party keyboards on Android so…

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