As an iPhone 3GS user, I have upgraded to iOS 4 right after Apple announced the public release. So far, I am quite happy with the update. Multitasking, unified inbox, folders and spell check are some of my favorite features. Apple’s engineers also tweaked some of the UIs to improve the responsiveness. Perceptually, I think iOS 4 offers better performance over the previous OS.
However, it is another story for iPhone 3G users. Many users claimed that iOS 4 is not a crappy update. In the Apple’s technical support forum, you can find lengthy discussion (38 pages) about the performance issues of iPhone 3G after upgrading to iOS 4. Users complained the UI is less responsive. It takes 5 seconds to open SMS app. The iBook app runs so slow and even the unlock slider works slower than before. These are just some examples of the complaint. Someone has also posted a video demo on YouTube to show you the slow performance after the iOS upgrade.
Obviously, the difference in performance for iPhone 3G and 3GS is due to the different computing power. The iPhone 3G is riding on a 412MHz ARM 11 chip, while the processor of 3GS model runs at 600MHz. Added to that, the 3GS model has 128MB RAM more than its predecessor, that also contributes to the speedier performance.
The limited computing power of iPhone 3G, however, shouldn’t be an excuse for Apple to deliver a crappy OS for millions of existing 3G customers. Recently, as reported by Wall Street Journals, Apple finally takes action to investigate the series of complaints related to the performance issues. Probably, it may be addressed in the upcoming iOS release.
Some Recommendations Before Apple Offers the fix
If you are an iPhone 3G user, here are a few recommendations.
For those who are still running iPhone OS 3.1.3, keep using it. At the mean time, I do not recommend the upgrade. Just stay away from it until Apple releases iOS 4.1. Especially, don’t help your wife or girl friend to upgrade the 3G to iOS 4. Here is an interesting post from the Apple’s support forum:
I hear about os 4.0.1 coming up next week.
Hope they fix all the problems. Yesterday i upgrade my wife’s 3g and now she want to kill me.
On the other hand, if you have already upgraded to iOS 4, you may consider to downgrade it back to iPhone OS 3.1.3. Lifehacker offers a great downgrade guide that you may find useful. However, it’s not as straightforward as you think.
If downgrade is not an option, you can try out these fixes that possibly improves your iPhone 3G’s performance:
- Double hard-reset – Interestingly, some users reported that a double hard-reset can improve the performance. I do not have iPhone 3G to test out the solution but some claimed the solution works. If you have no idea how to hard-reset your iPhone, check out the instruction here.
- Disable Spotlight Search – According to an iPhone 3G user in ModMyi forum, you can simply turn off spotlight search to boost the performance on iOS 4. To disable spotlight search, go to Settings -> General -> Spotlight Search and deselect all items.
Please let us know if the solution works for you and stay tuned about any related update.
Founder, developer and chief blogger of simonblog.com