Entries tagged as performance

Apple Watch 1st gen vs. Series 2 - Performance

One of the reasons why the 1st generation (Gen 1) Apple Watch felt limited was due to its noticeably slow performance. App performance, especially the 3rd party ones, was sluggish enough that I eventually gave up making much use of them. The watchOS 3 update has implemented a lot of optimizations that alleviate the problem, but it couldn't hide the fact that the CPU simply was underpowered. Apple Watch Series 2 aimed to fix this by putting a CPU twice as powerful. Let's see if it worked out. First up is the boot speed. All tests were done with watchOS 3.0 installed.

Apple Watch Boot Time / Gen 1: 02:04.5s / Series 2: 01:42.0s
Compared to iPhones or modern computers, Apple Watches are notoriously slow to boot up. Gen 1 still takes more than two minutes and while Series 2 is faster, it isn't significantly so. Fortunately, you won't need to reboot it often, so it's a minor annoyance at best. If you want to see the boot speed in real time, here's the boring video.

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watchOS 2 beta 4 freezing issue

Apple Watch's "Simple" (left) and "Modular" (right) faces

After I installed watchOS 2 beta 4 when it came out on July 22, 2015 (July 21 at Apple HQ), my Apple Watch felt more sluggish than usual. Even the terrible beta 1 wasn't like this. What's worse, the watch froze up after a few hours. I noticed that it'd never last more than 4 hours at a time, requiring a forced restart (pressing side button and digital crown together for 10 seconds) to get it working again.

I tried resetting and restoring, then resetting and setting up the device as new. Neither fixed the issue. Somehow, this beta was unusable on my watch. If this problem was happening to everyone, I would've heard about it and Apple would be pulling the beta, but this wasn't the case. Most people were actually saying it worked better than previous betas, which baffled me. Then I eventually found someone else having the same problem.

It turns out, having the watch face set to "Simple" was the culprit. Using another watch face ("Modular" was recommended) supposedly solved the problem. So I changed the face to Modular and indeed the problem went away. I had been using the Simple face for nearly 3 months, so I never thought of changing it to anything else. Who knew a bug in the beta would force me to do otherwise?

Using Simple face on beta 4 had serious impact on battery life as well - about as bad as the infamous beta 1. Also, it kept consuming battery while the device froze up, too. I went to sleep with the fully charged watch, only to find out that it froze up about two hours in, and had 37% of charge left after 5 hours when I woke up. So I'm guessing the watch face steadily hogged system resources until everything else became inoperable, but kept going.

So if any of the developers with watchOS 2 beta 4 are experiencing lock ups and slow performance, avoid Simple watch face and switch to something different before resetting your watch.
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iPhone 6 Plus - General Performance

iPhone 5S and 6 Plus running 3DMark

iPhones and iPads have generally gotten big boost in speed with every new generation thanks to the enhancements in their processing units. But with iPhone 6 series, Apple decided to temper the pace. Instead of something like 2x boost, the CPU was to be up to 25% faster and GPU, 50%. This should just cover the boost in resolution, so I suppose Apple felt that the iPhone 5S was already fast enough in terms of user experience.

Indeed, with both iPhone 5S and 6 Plus running iOS 8.0 (and recently, 8.0.2), the general "feeling" of the speed was nearly the same, both mostly quick. It was just that iPhone 6 Plus happened to display the contents on a larger screen. Also, the amount of RAM staying at 1GB didn't have any noticeable impacts. On both phones, apps do run fine, although running RAM-heavy processes (notably Camera and Safari) tends to gracefully quit the other app in the background. The stopped app restarts quick enough when switched back.

To gauge some solid numbers, though, I did run through the usual batches of tests. All tests were run with iOS 8.0.2 and with same installed apps and settings.

First off, the boot time was measured. This is from when the screen turns on with the Apple logo to when the lock screen is loaded. iPhone 5S clocked in at 38.0 seconds, while iPhone 6 Plus was a bit faster at 30.6 seconds. The 5S got a bit slower than with iOS 7 installed.
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Comparing performance of iPhones

iPhone 5S, 5, 4S, and 3GS side by side
iPhone 5S, 5, 4S, and 3GS, all at home and functional

Over the past four years, I have bought all the iPhones that had been officially released in Korea on the first day of domestic availability, starting with iPhone 3GS. iPhone 5S is the first one that I didn't wait. Of all those phones, iPhone 4 is currently on leave (dad is using it), so I have 3GS, 4S, 5, and 5S for simultaneous performance testing.

This may be something a lot of people would be curious about and I hope to give you a good basis in considering an upgrade for your previous generation iPhones. Read on and let's get started.
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At the Swing Party, June 2005

This is where this month's Swing Party was held - Rolling Hall near the Hongik University. Broadcasting equipment truck from KM Media is on the left, and the storage truck is on the right. It's pretty close to Sangsu Station...
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