Tue, 22 Jun 2010 Apple iOS 4 review
Useful update for most, but not all, Apple iPhone and iPod touch owners
- Manufacturer: Apple
- Pros: Multitasking features are a welcome addition, lots of great, smaller refinements, zippy performance
- Cons: Holes in multitasking functionality, Mail still lacks flagging and full text search, despite folders, app management still feels clunky, no iPad version yet.
- Min specs: Apple notes: "iOS 4 works with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G. Not all features are compatible with all devices. For example, multitasking is available only with iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS." The update is also compatible with the third generation iPod touch. A limited number of features also work with the second generation iPod touch.
- Price: Free
- Star rating:
Macworld Buying Advice
Of course, there’s much more in iOS 4, and we’ll probably continue to come across new details and tweaks as we spend more time with the software. Through its software updates, Apple has done a marvelous job of not just adding more capability but even making our older devices more capable. And best of all, iOS 4 is finally free to both iPhone and iPod touch owners, so there’s little reason not to upgrade. However, there are a few caveats. For the first time, Apple has released an update with varying levels of support for its older hardware. If you’ve got a 3GS or a third-generation iPod touch, the update should be a foregone conclusion—all the new features should work fine. For owners of the iPhone 3G or the second-generation iPod touch, you won’t get multitasking, but you will be able to reap many of the other benefits of iOS 4; you certainly don’t lose any capabilities. Owners of the original iPhone and iPod touch, however, are left out in the cold. Given that the first iPhone is only three years old, it may seem awfully quick to drop support for what was only a short time ago the most advanced phone on the market. But the mobile sphere is moving and changing so fast that it was bound to happen at some point—the fact of the matter is that those earlier devices simply don’t have the horsepower to run iOS 4 updates with acceptable performance. If you’re really determined to run iOS 4 on your older device, the jailbreaking community will no doubt find a way to do so, performance be damned. But if you’ve been holding out for a compelling reason to upgrade your existing hardware, iOS 4 (and the forthcoming iPhone 4) may provide you with just that excuse.