iOS4 review and info for New Zealand
Since the name (and philosophy) of this blog is white and black, let’s cut to the chase: It’s good. I like it. Much better. Well done. B+ even, but not yet quite right, and a bit un-Apple-like.
For the record, I am using iOS4 on an iPhone 3Gs (I have an iPad, but iOS4 isn’t available on that till “the fall 2010″ according to Apple). For us in NZ that means Spring (so September/October?). To upgrade you need iTunes 9.2 (the new version) and an iPhone 3G or 3Gs. Later generation iPod touches can support iOS4 too, but I don’t write about those, so Google it if you wanna know more on the iPod stuff. Also the 3G only supports certain features of iOS4 (list found here).
Quick tips: It’s very easy to upgrade and your apps and data appear to stay put (mine did anyway). But remember to back up everything before you start this to be safe (ie plug it into a computer and fire up iTunes, back up and also transfer all apps etc).
A brief summary for you:
Stuff I like
- Folders. I now have only one main screen of common stuff, and another with 8 folders (one for games, one for travel, one for utilities etc). Folders are intuitive (very Apple), and works well. Only thing I don’t like is how it auto returns to the folder you last used when you close an app or go to open another one.
- Universal spell check: Very handy. TICK
- Multi tasking (kinda). Having it is good (although more needed on the iPad), and works well on things like calculator swapping to safari (web) and then on to contacts and back, but the way it does it is far from Apple like (see below).
- Universal in-box and threaded emails: Nice. Works well.
- Digital zoom on camera – about time.
Other nice wee add ons like how text messages can have a character counter now (need to turn this on, under settings). Also it appears that the whole OS goes faster. This is totally anecdotal, but someone else told me the same thing on their iPhone 3G, but I wouldn’t be suprised if this was the case since unlike Microsoft, when Apple release a new OS for their desktops/laptops it runs faster and better than the last one even on old machines.
Oh, and screen orientation lock is way handy too, but since it’s accessed thru the multitasking list, it doesn’t appear to be available on the 3G.
Stuff that needs work:
- Multi tasking: If folders are apple like, then multi tasking is like a PC running windows. In other words, it doesn’t do things naturally, and does stuff that you might not want, or even realise is happening. Flipping between applications is natural, and the images it uses (a screen flip) sends a self explanatory message that its swapping to another app, rather than stopping the old one, BUT the bit that doesn’t work so well is that it does this for every app. So by the end of the day one has a few dozen apps in the list of running apps. I am less worried that these are actually running (many aren’t actually multitasking at all, so just appear in the list) but it means there is on hell of a list rather quickly, and its not super intuitive to close these apps (to do it you press and hold, and then delete the app from the multitask list just like you delete an app). I have to say I am sure Apple will fix this, but the whole thing isn’t yet Apple like, and needs work.
- Get it on the iPad. I know this is coming, but the iPad needs multi tasking far more than the iPhone. Folders less so (as there is more screen real estate), but will still be useful.
A reminder that most apps won’t multi task properly without an upgrade, although this seams to be happening VERY quickly (I had over a dozen updates in the last 24 hous). At present all the native apps (clock, calculator, weather, safari, mail etc) all play well together, but some apps actually work less smoothly under iOS4 as it would appear that Apple changed the signal/code it sends to an app when an app is closed via the new multitasking list, as opposed to the old “click on another app” way. This means apps that used to save data when you exit them don’t work like that anymore (this will apply until the app is updated too).
That’s all. It gets a pass mark for me, and I REALLY like the implementation of Folders, but do think multi tasking needs work.
Black and White Version: Nice upgrades Apple, but please work on the multitasking interface. Looking fwd to using iOS4 on the iPad too!
PS: If you want more details on what iOS4 does, read this info guide.
- Review – Logitech iPad keyboard (PS: It rocks!)
- iPhone 4S – Black and White Pre-Review
- iChic iPad Cover Review
- iPad 2 Pre-Review
- Telecom to release an iPad killer – yeah right!
- More cool stuff, and oh, I am back!
- Voicemail on XT with iPhone 4
- (Random) stuff I like
- iPad four months in (a review)
- iPhone free smileys (emoji) – easy peasy