Friday, July 27, 2018

iOS 12 Performance

Benjamin Mayo:

On iOS 11, pressing share meant waiting several seconds for the activity view controller to start rising up from the bottom of the screen. On iOS 12, the sheet displays instantly. Or at least, the appearance transition is instantaneous. The share sheet lazily loads the contents of its rows, so the OS feels responsive even if it hasn’t quite finished gathering all the third-party extension information that it needs. Occasionally, the sheet pops up and both the bottom rows are just displaying loading spinners. A beat later, the app icons and actions pop in. I assume this happens more often on slower hardware. Regardless, the difference is night and day.

I hope this focus on performance continues in iOS 13 and beyond.

Update (2018-07-31): scott:

I was pretty surprised at the performance gains had by iOS 12 Developer Beta 1, but every beta since has gotten slower, and buggier, and significantly so. Apple must have been cheating somewhere with the first beta, because at this point performance is just as bad as iOS 11.

Dan Masters:

Yep. I’m having the low RAM issues again

Update (2018-08-03): Matt Birchler:

Guys…iOS 12…

It freaking rocks! Seriously, I’m using it on my iPhone and iPad and they just feel like they’re lightning fast and the feature additions to the platform extends its lead over Android IMO.

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Granted, there are some real optimizations in iOS 12. But how much of this is just Apple deciding "Let's code that Share sheet delay to be 100ms instead of 500 ms" ??? There are so many elements in iOS that drive me bonkers because I have to wait on a stupid useless animation. I wish things could just pop into view (or dismiss out of view) immediately. There is no excuse for this when the current iPhone CPUs are basically equivalent to what was in Macs 2 years ago, and I'm never waiting on the UI of my 2014 MBP to catch up with me. I want to TAP TAP SWIPE TAP TAP TAP, not TAP WAIT TAP WAIT SWIPE WAIT TAP WAIT TAP WAIT TAP WAIT.

Totally not the same thing and a bit off topic but bear with me! :)

My last Apple hardware is a MacBook 4,1 (2008 model) used by a family friend. Poor guy is long since abandoned by Apple, last security updates were 2014!!!! However, the hardware is still solid for basic web browsing and some simple music/photos/word processing. Perfect candidate for Linux running something a little less heavy like Mate, Deepin, etc. In the last few months, the video driver became wonky and then the WiFi card disappeared. I figured this is a perfect time to move off Ubuntu onto Antergos (Arch based distro)!

A little magic brought the little guy back to life! Okay, hours in reality because installing is slow when your Internet goes out and the installer insists on a reboot to restart the whole process from scratch, grumble, grumble and by the way, graphics are excruciatingly slow until passing the right arguments to grub. The truly good news, by everything working, this includes the iSight webcam!

In order to get the iSight camera working on Linux with this vintage of Mac hardware, I have to grab the iSight driver off an actual Mac installation. Guess I could have just chanced a download off random website, but this method allowed me to poke around kexts on OS X (been years since I've done this work)! Well, see, DVD installs are slow, and maybe it's just OS X since my Internet downloads in the Antergos installer were likely 3MB (megabytes mind you) or less, and a DVD should be a little faster, but I think the slowest part was the stupid verifying install media step I should have just skipped. Good gracious that was awful. All that was normal level computing frustrating, but this is where everything ties together with Ben G's point about waiting for the sake of waiting on account of "design".

The real pain? I boot up the system to grab the kext for the iSight and I can't actually just create a user account and then skip everything else, no, no, I have to watch a stupid Time Machine background, swoopy music video for a minute!!!! I've seen that video dozens of times at this point in my life (10.5 Leopard install disc) and I really just want to create user so I can login, grab the kext, and then install Refind so I can reboot into the Linux installer properly. That was annoying not because a minute waiting will kill me, but a minute waiting on top of the ridiculously long installation process*, but it's that extra "Why am even waiting for this when I just want the create user prompt to show up?"

See, I told you it was all a tangent, but it reminded me of the "tap and wait" I see too often in interface design. "Yes, yes, your 60fps animations are lovely, but I just wanted to trash this file, minimize this window, share a file, etc. not play a fluffing interactive game!!!!

*Minimal installation with all extras turned off and I still would have needed to actually download and install actually system updates after the hour plus long process, so why is it so slow? I don't miss those days, that's for sure.

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