Yesterday afternoon I finally found the time to upgrade my iPhone 3G to the new iPhone OS 4 (iOS4). The new upgrade was released on Monday amidst competition from Google’s incredible Android platform sales. iOS4 will be the determining factor for folks like myself who are considering switching to an Android device. Will this OS update be big enough to keep iPhone users from switching and get them to upgrade? Keep reading to get the scoop.
When you first installed iOS4 on an iPhone 3G, you’ll immediately side with the wisdom of the crowd: it is insanely slow right out of the box. After a restart or two, most of the initial performance bugs appear to dissipate. I found the memory usage on my iPhone 3G to be higher than usual since upgrading to iOS4. Applications seem to launch faster from the homescreen, yet there is still a 5-10 second lag for loading time. Some apps I’ve used have started crashing after 15 to 20 mins. These are heavier memory apps like Twitter and large web pages. In between the loading and crashing, all I could do was pray for patience. Overall, there isn’t anything noticeably better in performance for iOS4 on 3G. 3GS and iPhone 4 owners may see different results.
If your iPhone was previously jailbroken, you had a plethora of apps to choose from that added more organizational functionality to your iPhone for apps . With the release of iOS4, Folders are a native feature for iPhones and gives Apple a one-up on competitors in the market. Many people will go folder crazy if only to stop switching between 7 pages of apps. Don’t swipe, keep tapping! Folders do not have their own icons, instead you will see a box comprised of the icons of each app in the folder.
In the future, I hope to see individual icons for folders. I miss seeing the bold and bright app icons that used to litter my screen. I would also encourage Apple to make these folders shareable. Think of them as app playlists to share with friends. The first thing I’m asking people is: “What apps are in that folder?” Imagine if I could just share the folder with them so they can pick and choose which apps they’d like to check out. Now that’s social media!
iOS4: How To Make A New Folder
Tap and hold an app icon as if you’re going to delete it. When all the icons start wiggling, you can now create folders. Drag any app icon over another app that you’d like to organize it with. A folder will automatically be created. You can add and remove apps by dragging and dropping. You can also change the name of a folder in this mode.
My favorite new feature of iOS4 (and probably the only reason I really upgraded) is the wallpapers. Wallpapers are not included on 3G devices by default, but a quick google search on “Wallpapers on iPhone 3G” can help you resolve your problem.
Apple did a fantastic job of implementing wallpapers. I was expecting this functionality to extend only to the homescreen. To my surprise wallpapers work for the lockscreen also and you can choose what images show where. Apple also provides a nice variety of wallpapers to get started. Choose wisely my friends, for you will be judged by that screen. Here’s what I’ve settled on (for now):
App that does it better: Winterboard
Multitasking is the worst feature of iOS4. “Multitasking” functions more like shortcuts of recently opened apps. My biggest gripe with multitasking is that every app I close is added to the multitasking dock. What’s the big deal? I have to go back and close the apps again to save memory and battery. iPhone owners should be able to select which apps should run in the background.
To bring up the multitasking dock, quickly double press the home button to see a list of recent apps. Swipe to the right to access iPod controls and the lock screen orientation which keeps your iPhone from switching screen orientations when rotating it.
App that does it better: Backgrounder
Tethering is available via USB and Bluetooth style. After trying to connect to it I received a message to contact AT&T. Why? Because tethering isn’t free.
There are no major changes in the iPod app. However, you will notice a more streamlined interface for viewing songs that resembles the iTunes Store. Will it make you want to buy more music from iTunes? Maybe.
Minor Changes To iOS4
There are also a few smaller changes such as:
- New Location icon
- Spotlight search filters
- Search the Web or Wikipedia via Spotlight
This completes the majors and the minors, the good and the bad, of iOS4. Is it worth the upgrade? It may be a headache for iPhone 3G owners, but if you really need the features give it a shot. If you decide to take the plunge, be sure to follow-up and read: Tips to Immediately Improve iOS4 Performance On Any iPhone