Has iOS4 Ruined the iPhone 3G?

Since the release of iPhone 4 and iOS4, the tech world has been caught up either praising the new device to death or parsing Antennagate into oblivion.

But while so many have been focusing on the glory and flaws of Apple’s newest product, my attention has been squarely on an old one: my trusty iPhone 3G, which is now 2 years old – and is signficantly crappier, thanks to the iOS4 update.

After the initial update, my 3G was so slow as to be almost completely unusable. Basic tasks like checking email or opening a browser could take well over a minute to complete – unless, of course, they crashed first. Using Maps was essentially pointless, and more demanding apps like Evernote were basically rendered useless. Prominent blogger Waxy suggested doing another full system restore after installing the upgrade and that did solve problems. And then, with the release of iOS 4.0.1, some similar improvements were to be found.

But it definitely isn’t perfect. App response is still sluggish. Trying to listen to music and browsing the web at the same time is often an exercise in frustration, and often results in both the browser or the iPod app crashing. Everything is slower. Overall, the device has gone from being a smooth, slickly-functioning device to feeling like an overtaxed, nearly obsolete piece of tech. Searches across the web reveal this to be a seemingly common phenomenon.

This would, of course, not be a problem if one could downgrade back OS 3.1.3. I know I for one wouldn’t miss the few updates iOS4 gives 3G owners to get my regularly functioning phone back. Alas, Apple doesn’t let you. And most users will find the process of downgrading quite onerous, particularly on a Windows box.

So it seems that Apple, whose focus with the iPhone has always been a smooth user experience, has slipped up on this one, simply in allowing the iPhone 3G to have the update – or refusing to allow a downgrade.

But lest we get ahead of ourselves, tell us Techi readers: Has upgrading to iOS4 ruined your iPhone 3G? Or it it just an isolated few cases making a mountain out of a molehill?

By navneetalang

Navneet Alang is a technology-culture writer based in Toronto. You can find him on Twitter at @navalang

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