iOS 4 and ye olde 3G owners

If there's one thing I hate, it's when video stutters. It provokes in me an indescribable rage, and frankly I'm not entirely sure why. It used to mean I'd get tremendously angry when the microwave between my room and the PS3 got turned on and interrupted my episode of The Daily Show.

I had a point. Um. Oh yes!

This dislike extends to a a deep hatred of any electronic device taking longer than is necessary to perform a given task. Hence when Apple talk about not bringing multitasking to the iPhone 3G, it made sense to me. More than anything else, I don't want my phone's normal operation suffering by trying to do more than it can.

So imagine my surprise when after all this talk, iOS 4 comes along and buggers the thing up anyway! Well alright, it's not quite that bad, but regular 5 second hangs before letting me unlock the phone are not exactly ideal, and nor are sluggish folder openings. My hope is that a further update will fix what seem like silly issues.

When you have an iPhone 3G, there's only two major features in iOS 4 that you care about: the new Mail and home screen folders. I thought there was going to be three, but it turns out that no one could be bothered making a UI for screen rotation locking just for us poor schmoes. Lazy bastards. Folders are nifty: I like words, and it's nice to be able to actually name the categories of my apps. The things are pretty ugly though: I admit that the design is a challenge, but there must be a better way. I reckon something like the new calculator icon with app icons instead of math symbols might have been nicer.

New Mail is an unequivocal improvement: threading is nice, and the new home screen with unified inboxes makes the app a much more pleasant thing to navigate. The date and time detectors are good too: though disappointingly, not quite as clever as I'd like. In an email with a date in the subject, and times in the body text, the detectors weren't smart enough to spot that they should be suggesting a mixture of the two.

So: if you use mail and have an iPhone 3G, then you may as well upgrade. If not, well, it might be worth jail breaking instead, or at least waiting until 3.0.1, or 3.1, or whatever.

Minor Updates

A side issue here, and hopefully one that I'm not just making up. I wish there was a way for Apple to push out minor updates to these things that weren't hundreds of megabytes big. Partly I say this because I dread another protracted update just to get the thing working up to snuff again, but also, it seems silly from a security point of view. It's a bit of a failure if someone comes up with an exploit, Apple have a fix, and no one wants to update because it'll take half an hour.

Update: turns out that two hard reboots (i.e. holding down the home and lock buttons simultaneously until the thing restarts) can have some positive effect. Well, either that or it's a placebo. Either way, it works for me!

Tom Charman Mastodon