Friday, June 25, 2010

iPhone iOS4 on iPhone 3G Brief Review

This is just a quick review of my experience with the new iPhone operating system, iOS4, released on Monday. I have installed it on my iPhone 3G 16GB.

The update took a long, long, long time. Mainly because of the backup taking hours for some reason. My iPhone was nearly full so that may explain something but, wow it was a long time. The actual update and restore took less time thank goodness though I left it running at 1am on Monday night.

First Impression was ‘uh why is this taking ages to respond to anything I do?’. Yes the new OS running on an iPhone 3G has reduced overall performance significantly. No wonder they stripped out some of the new functions when running on a 3G like multi tasking and wallpapers. All stuff that takes memory which the 3G has so little of remaining once the normal tasks are running. I have had to make sure Safari is always closed properly and not just exited. (Hold standby button down until the Power Off prompt appears, then hold home until the app closes).

Also battery life sucks under the new OS. The drainage time has increased noticeably on a device not great in the first place.

Features I like:

  • IMG_0079Unified Mail Box: This shows all your mail accounts in one unified location, hence the name. It is useful to see all in one go and not have to constantly switch back and forth. also useful when deleting mail.

  • IMG_0076Application Folders: The ability to organise your apps in folders by simply dragging one on top of another is really great. It means you can reduce the number of screens you have to flick through to find apps. As long as you remember which folder the apps is in. Folder naming is important to get right.

  • IMG_0077 iBooks: This is a new, free download from the App store. It enables you to download and read books. This is a nice addition though reading on an iPhone screen can be straining on the eyes. This may be much better on the iPhone 4 with its fancy new screen or on an iPad.

  • IMG_0078 Calendar Control: A small but neat new feature is the ability to just turn off displaying calendars you don’t want to see. This may sound counter intuitive. Surely you want to see your calendars. However I use Google Calendar synced from the internet as well as seeing my Wife's Google Calendar that she syncs from her Blackberry. This new feature means I can just turn off the standard local calendar and not have to switch again.

  • IMG_0080 Open Attachments in Other Apps: Now this is a useful feature and has been long on the desired list. When you receive an email with an attachment like a word doc of PDF the email app will open it in the standard iPhone reader. However you now have a new option of ‘Open In’. If you have other compatible Apps that can read those docs you get the option to open it in them. I use ‘Documents to Go’ and the option to open and then save to my synced store is a welcome feature. Finally we can transfer between apps.

  • Other new features that I haven’t yet worked out the usefulness of yet are the Notes syncing to each email account. I sync my notes to my local Outlook account when I do a sync with iTunes. Syncing to a Notes feature of Google mail is vaguely cool but fairly useless.

    The spell check feature that underlines misspelled words is sort of useful.

Overall I like the new update but the lag on doing anything is starting to get annoying. There is only one thing for it. I will have to get an iPhone 4!

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