iOS 5.1.1 vs iOS 6: Safari

iOS 5.1.1 vs iOS 6: Safari

*iOS 5.1.1 and iOS 6 tested on a iPad 2 16GB Wi-Fi.

These tests are all performed inside the devices stock browser, Safari. They reflect the software effects on browsing speed, calculations, and battery life.

Benchmark iOS 5.1.1 iOS 6 Difference
Sunspider 0.9.1 (Lower is better) 1752.3 ms 1538.3 ms 12.2%
Browser Mark (Higher is better) 101584 123606 17.8%

The Sunspider test is used to measure real world JavaScript performance, therefore reflecting the everyday use you will experience. Sunspider on iOS 6 yielded a 12.2% increase over iOS 5.1.1. This translates to 12.2% faster browsing in real life situations. Websites loaded faster, panning and zooming was smoother too. iOS 6 browsing feels more polished and closer to a desktop experience. It is important to note that iOS 5.1.1 browsing was speedy in its own right, iOS 6 is a refinement of it. A 12.2% increase on the same hardware shows software improvements really do matter.

Browsermark is a web browser ranking test. iOS 6's version of Safari is 17.8% higher ranked than than iOS 5.1.1. That's an astounding difference. Again, software improvements are the cause here, not hardware. It's incredible to see how important well developed software is.

iOS 6 browsing is fast. The mobile browsing performance on iOS is getting better with every release. This is a area Apple (and all other mobile web browser developers) can improve on all the time. While the new speed in iOS 6 is great I would have liked to seen these improvements distributed as they are made. All in all iOS 6 is a good update over 5.1.1.