My Review Of iOS 4 So Far

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by johnnyham, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. johnnyham macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    The final release of the iPhone OS (now referred to as "iOS") has been out for two days. I had fallen out of the Mac community for awhile due to other obligations, so I missed out on the opportunity to download the developer firmware. However, I'm rather impressed so far with the new OS. Apple has definitely put a good deal of thought into it to make it more appealing to the consumer. Most of the features were previously available via jailbreaking, but the vast majority of users don't go down that path. I, however, like having it jailbroken for a variety of reasons. But I digress.

    Following is a list of my thoughts about the new OS. I'm running OS version 4.0 (8A293) on an 8 GB non-MC iPod touch 2G. I performed a clean install since I was planning on jailbreaking it and I needed to get rid of my unused apps/music anyways. I'm using iTunes 9.2 on Mac OS X 10.6.4. For jailbreaking, I used my favorite JB app, redsn0w. At first, I grabbed v 0.9.5b5-2 which failed to recognized the iOS 4 firmware. Then I found out that a new version, 0.9.5b5-3 was out, which successfully recognized the firmware. I had difficulty finding the IPSW file which iTunes downloaded, so I wound up downloading a restore file. I did a restore (hold option while clicking restore in iTunes to select a firmware) and then did the jailbreak, taking maybe 10 minutes to complete. I also checked the options for multitasking, user wallpapers, and battery percentage.

    • Very impressed that this update is offered free for all users. I was a bit peeved that a lot of my apps required iOS 3 to run when it first came out and that the update cost $10 since I didn't have an iPhone.
    • First attempt at installing iOS 4 had an issue with creating the backup file (it gave me error -54 I think). I wasn't planning on restoring from a backup anyways, so I just let it continue.
    • Little bit ticked off that the OS takes up 1.16 GB of space. If I recall, 3.1.3 only took up approximately 600 MB. Thankfully, Apple introduced the ability to convert all songs transferred to the iPod into 128 kbps AAC, which greatly reduced their size while keeping a pretty decent quality. I currently have 979 songs, 27 apps, and 1 photo on there, leaving me with 1.3 GB of free space.
    • The resolution of the screen actually looks better. Maybe I'm just pining to have an iPhone 4 with the Retina screen and I'm mentally making my screen look better...
    • The ability to change lock screen and home screen wallpapers is finally here, sort of. I've had my own before using Winterboard, but it's nice to finally have it implemented as a feature along with included wallpapers. Although I'm not too keen about the default raindrop background. The first time I saw it out of the corner of my eye, I freaked out thinking I had spilled water on it by accident. Some of you may know about my harrowing experiences with water and my iPod... I opted for the green paint brush strokes wallpaper for the home screen and the breaking wave for the lock screen. I wouldn't mind the ability to set the wallpaper to a slideshow though. I made a Winterboard skin to do this, but it hogged the processor and drained the battery. An Apple supported option would probably take advantage of the core features and run much more smoothly.
    • An option to set the unlock to either slide or touch would be very nice. I use my iPod a lot in the car, and when I forget the charger for my FM adaptor, it auto-locks. Picking it up and trying to slide to unlock is a little bit distracting. I have a Winterboard feature that allows me to tap to unlock, but I don't see why Apple won't include this as a feature.
    • Swiping seems a tad more responsive.
    • The ability to set custom dock icons is great too.
    • It took me awhile to figure out how to make Folders. I had to look it up on the Apple site because it's not very intuitive. For anybody who doesn't know how to do it yet, just drag an app on top of another app and it automatically creates a folder that you can name.
    • Even though I don't use them, I like the nearly all-inclusive list of international keyboard layouts. I like how Apple always manages to sneak the Dvorak layout in. One of these days, I will learn Dvorak.
    • Not really impressed with the Exposé-like effect when opening or closing apps. It doesn't run very smoothly and seems kind of choppy, like a last minute addition.
    • WiFi seems a bit finicky. The signal bar constantly hops around even when I'm not moving and I'm located about 25 feet from the router with only one wall between us. 3.1.3 didn't have this problem. It still gives me a good connection though, so I'm assuming it's just faulty. It is nice to have it stay on even when sleeping. I use WifiTouchpad a lot to control my media center and it was always a pain to wait for it to wake up.
    • Location services finally works for me. I had a difficult time getting it to work in 3.1.3. It would work in some areas, but not at my house.
    • I like the Leopard style dock. I had a Winterboard skin for this on 3.1.3, but chucked it because I actually preferred a fairly default look.
    • iBooks wasn't working for me at first. Turns out it's a bug in the redsn0w beta and there's a new release I found over at Redmond Pie. I haven't updated it yet though.
    • Haven't really figured out the whole multitasking thing yet... I checked the option for redsn0w to enable it, but haven't seen any difference. I guess I have older apps and it's only the newer ones that take advantage of the multitasking. I saw a multitasking app in the Cydia store, but it was $4.99. Tad too expensive for an app I'm not sure I'll need.
    • Battery life seems to be improved. I haven't timed it, but I spent about two hours last night on WiFi browsing the web and playing a few games, leaving the battery at 61% by the time I was done.
    • I think my favorite feature so far is the ability to create custom playlists directly on the iPod finally. Yeah there's been the On-the-Go playlist feature, but I like to be able to name my playlists and sometimes I'm too lazy to do it in iTunes. I would like to see an ability to remove a song after adding it while editing the playlist. Not after it's created, but during the creation as I'm scrolling through the songs.
    • Would definitely love to see the Reader feature of Safari 5.0 implemented in MobileSafari.
    • Rotation detection is much more responsive. I used to have to practically throw the iPod across the room to get it to go into landscape.
    • Definitely prefer spell check over auto correct. Makes me feel at home since I abuse spell check on OS X, not to mention that I hate it when it corrects a word that's not in the dictionary but is what I meant to type. Brings me back to the good old days of trying to type with T9.
    • I like the transparent status bar a la Leopard on the home screen, but prefer the solid bar when I'm in apps. I don't remember if it does this by default on the stock OS though.
    • The ability to sync notes will be nice. We use an Exchange server at my school for email, so hopefully I'll be able to get this all set up.
    • File sharing is a great new feature too. Prevents me from having to use Diskaid all the time or SSH. I'll still have to use SSH for wireless sharing though.
    • Noticed that there's a feature to play a 30 second intro to a song, but I can't remember if this was previously in 3.1.3 though.
    • I would like to see an option to delete badges on icons if they're not working. I know I can turn them off completely, but I have an app that I got on one of those limited free days, but the App Store won't let me update it, so I'm stuck with a badge.
    • I love the predicted results feature in Safari. I abuse the feature on the desktop version, so it's nice to see it on the mobile version.
    • Watching Youtube videos in portrait is a neat little feature, but I can't really see myself using it often, if at all. Videos were meant to be watched in landscape.
    • I'm very glad to see more HTML5 integration. I hate Flash 10 with a passion, so hopefully the immense popularity of the iPhone will start pushing websites to at least offer HTML5 as an alternative.

    That's about it for the stuff that I've played around with so far. Features that I haven't used/seen yet are as follows:
    • New Calendar. I'm old fashioned and keep a pocket calendar with me for writing down important dates.
    • Haven't set up my mail yet either. I'm away from school and our Exchange server doesn't play nice with outside access. I understand that you'll finally be able to open attachments directly in Mail, something I'm looking forward to once school starts back up in the fall.
    • I'd love to use the widgets (I understand that there's an orientation lock button now, but I'm not sure if this is only on the iPad), but I haven't found a way to enable them via jailbreak.
    • New iPhoto like organization. I've always liked the Faces feature on iPhoto, but never really found the time to tag all my photos. The Events integration will be useful though.
    • Spotlight can now search Google and Wikipedia, but I prefer just opening Safari and doing it through there.
    • Have never used the iTunes store. I still buy CDs and make any song purchases via iTunes on my Mac. Hence, I haven't used the new streaming preview feature for podcasts.
    • I haven't used many of the new integrated Google features, but I am impressed by them, especially since Google is kind of the iPhone's big contender... Also curious as to why Bing is included as a search engine since it's Microsoft's brain child. I've never liked Bing anyways.
    • Since iBooks doesn't work right with the current jailbreak I'm running, I haven't gotten to use it - I'll fix this after I'm done posting. From what I've seen though, it seems very similar to Stanza.
    • Not sure what the deal is with the Replace text feature.
    • Bluetooth never seemed to work for me on 3.1.3. Minor loss though as I never really had a need for it. It now supports Bluetooth keyboards, although not on the iPod touch.

    So there you have it - my ridiculously long review of iOS 4. There's a lot to see, so if you haven't updated, do it soon! It's definitely worth it. With the debut of the iPhone 4, the 3GS has lowered in price so I may consider purchasing one, or putting in extra hours and ponying up for the new one once AT&T has sufficient stock. And now that they're offering $15/month data plans, it's in my price range finally.

    Below are links to some of the apps I've mentioned and other resources.

    If you take the time to actually read through this, feel free to offer your own thoughts or correct any mistakes I may have made. I'm still playing around with it, so I might have missed options for turning things off or on. Thanks for letting me waste your time :)
  2. liamkp macrumors 68020


    May 29, 2010
  3. johnnyham thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    'Bout an hour. I don't have a blog, but I wanted to voice my thoughts, so I thought I'd post them here. Maybe it's time to finally start one...
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I looked at the user memory before doing the upgrade. 3.1.3 took 0.9GB of space, so 4 isn't as hungry as you think.

    I expect it is free because they want everyone to have iAds enabled. :(
  5. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2008
    Nice review.

    I'm still digesting all I can before I decide whether to upgrade to 4.0 on my 2G.

    Features and feature-parity aside, the main issues I can surmise are:

    -Speed; it's mixed. Some say it's slow, some say that it's ok if one either does a fresh install, or a hard reset. Any comment?

    -Persistent wi-fi leading to battery drain. Going to (the questionably named) airplane mode supposedly fixes this, but it's not apparent whether this is by design, or the implementation of persistence is just buggy. I have no need for push, so I'd just like it to act like 3.x did, use wi-fi on demand while awake, and preserve battery life.

    By definition, airplane mode turns off all wireless activity, so using it to make it act like 3.x sounds misleading. Anybody care to clarify?

    -4.0 sucks up an additional 200MB or so, which is no small matter for those with an 8GB touch. I have little doubt it uses more RAM while it's running, but since I haven't JB'd, I have no way to confirm that.
  6. johnnyham thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2010
    • Speed has always been an issue with the various versions of iOS. I'm sure that having multitasking enabled slows it down; if I can't figure out how to utilize it on the iPod touch 2G, I'll just re-jailbreak it and remove the feature. Probably increase battery life too.
    • I really haven't had much of an issue with the always-on WiFi draining the battery. I think it only keeps a very limited connection with the router, similar to how Wake on LAN works. When I know I'll be away from WiFi, I make sure I turn it off. Haven't used airplane mode yet though, although I don't see what the difference is between it and turning off WiFi.
    • I didn't like the loss of space either :( but having iTunes re-encode all my music to 128 kbps AAC really helped save space. Although it took a couple of hours to do so.
    • RAM usage is surprisingly almost identical to 3.1.3. Using SBSettings to free up memory on 3.1.3 would give me around 60MB free or so, on 4.0 it gives me 59MB. Not bad.
  7. Nobita macrumors 6502

    Oct 5, 2008
    La la land
    Let me add. I have an iPod touch 2G as well and running iOS 4 GM. If the GM really is the final version of iOS, then it's the same thing.

    • A few apps crashes, such as the new york times. Very often.
    • Speed is generally slower. Opening settings, safari, calendar, maps, mail, photos, ibooks, and even ipod seems to be a tad slower
    • Battery times might have decreased a bit. I don't see any significant changes.
    • Games that require good graphic seems to be slower. Angry birds and Fifa 2010 south africa seems to be a little bit slower. Fixed this by turning wifi off and notifications off, but it's quite annoying
    • Wifi connectivity is okay. Some people say wifi driver is bad, but for me, it seems okay.
  8. wbham macrumors member

    Jan 25, 2010
    New Zealand
    I'm so glad I read most of the post and saw you mentioning that finding your location works for you iOS4 for you. Mine never used to work either on older firmware so I thought it must have been my WiFi, and probably would have kept saying "no" when it asked me, but I tried it after seeing your post and it now works!!. Stoked!:D
  9. IJBrekke macrumors 6502

    Oct 24, 2009
    Long Beach, CA
    For some reason, the 3.0-3.13 software always ran somewhat slow on my iPod Touch 2g, so going up to 4.0 I was hoping for a little bump actually. I wouldn't say it's faster OR slower, just faster in certain spots and slower in others. The 2.1ish software ran the best by far, which is not surprising because that's the software the device was designed to run on.

    I tried the jailbreak to run multitasking and wallpaper, and while it wasn't unuseable it was noticeably slower. I generally hate lag, so I restored it back to normal. The hardware just isn't optimized for multitasking, plain and simple.

    I think not including the screen rotation lock in the software somehow for non-multitasking models is downright offensive: it has nothing to do with processing power, and is simply a lazy oversight on Apple's part because it's in the multitasking dock. I hope this is corrected in a future update, as well as some tweaks to make the new software run more smoothly on older devices.

    Overall I like the new software, but Apple can certainly make it better without much effort on their part.
  10. mac2x macrumors 65816

    Sep 19, 2009
    It uses more if you have more apps running. I've been able to trigger page outs, which was never possible before. Get the iStat app to keep track of that stuff. ;)
  11. liamkp macrumors 68020


    May 29, 2010
  12. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2008
    Thanks all for sharing your impressions.

    My one and only iPod with a full OS is a "3G" 8GB touch that came with 3.1, so I really have no idea how it compares to 2.x.

    I was hoping 4.0 might have optimizations that allow it to perform better on old hardware, like OS X sometimes does, but I guess that might not be the case.

    For now, it doesn't appear that the balance of 4.0's new features vs. the potential downsides justify an upgrade for me. None of the new stuff is essential, just more in the way of niceties, so if my touch is happier with 3.x, I'll let it be, since it does everything I need it to do. If Safari had received a major boost, it might have been a different story, but...

    I'll look forward to the 4G touch which will be able to take advantage of all the benefits, and have enough capacity to offset the app size bloat that is now occurring as the new upgraded, unified iPod/iPad/iPhone 4 versions with fancier graphic resources emerge.
  13. liamkp macrumors 68020


    May 29, 2010
    You could always try it out. :)
  14. greygray macrumors 68000


    Oct 22, 2009
    That's a very long review but it's nice and informative! Thanks for taking the time and effort to share! :)
  15. liamkp macrumors 68020


    May 29, 2010

  16. TheIntruder macrumors 6502a


    Jul 2, 2008
    I would, but isn't downgrading to 3.1x a hassle if I don't like it?

    Is it as simple as just entering DFU mode and doing a restore, or is there more to it?

    I don't keep up with JBs or other "unsupported" procedures.
  17. liamkp macrumors 68020


    May 29, 2010
    I dont think so but maybe.

    I think all you have to do is download this:

    Neither do i.
  18. khamla macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2008
  19. liamkp macrumors 68020


    May 29, 2010
    I keep on getting different responses on the battery life situation, what's up? :confused:
  20. Amol Chavan 80 macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2012
    how to get back cydia

    How I get back cydia which is deleted by me accidently . I tried to rejailbreak iphone 4 ios 5.0.1 but it doesn't work
  21. stiligFox macrumors 65816


    Apr 24, 2009
    Um, how'd you even find this thread? I would create a new thread in the proper forum -- the iOS hacks thread.

    Outside of that, my first guess would be to restore your iPhone with iTunes and jailbreak again.

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