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Apple iPhone 3G
Apple's iPhone 3G is allergic to iOS 4

Apple just can't catch a break these days when it comes to issues surrounding its iPhones. We all know about the problems involving the iPhone 4, but complaints have also been flooding in from iPhone 3G owners.

What seemed like a kind gesture by Apple to provide iOS 4 to owners of the two-year-old iPhone 3G is turning into a bit of a mess for the boys from Cupertino. Owners who have upgraded to the latest version of iOS are witnessing massive performance slowdowns, reduced battery life, and overheating machines.

The complaints started appearing on Apple-oriented discussion forums soon after the update was released; here are just a couple of examples from Mac Rumors and the official Apple Discussions forum (38 pages long, 36 pages long).

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple is now looking into the problem, but declined to state anything more than that. IOS 4 for the iPhone 3G is already crippled relative to the versions available for the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 (no multitasking, no home screen wallpapers), so it remains to be seen what else could be sacrificed to improve performance on the two-year-old phone that is using the same CPU/memory configuration as the original three-year-old iPhone.

TUAW has even made the recommendation that those who haven't upgraded to iOS 4 should stay far away.

Updated 7/29/2010 @ 9:48 am

Neowin reports of a "fix" for the performance problem that involves disabling Spotlight search on the phone. Many users are reporting that this restores performance:

To remedy the sluggish performance (or at least one cause of it) go to “Settings->General->Home Button->Spotlight Search-> deselect every option” and this will stop background indexing on the phone.

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RE: Apple QC, blows goats
By Treknologist on 7/28/2010 7:04:37 PM , Rating: 5
Hmm, did anyone say "fragementation?" Funny how many people criticize Android OS for being fragmented, yet here is something akin to that happening with the iPhones.

RE: Apple QC, blows goats
By adiposity on 7/28/2010 7:31:59 PM , Rating: 5
Their very oldest phones run OS 3, while everything else is running v4, provided the users update.

This is nothing like the fragmentation of Android phones, where there are at least 3 major groups of OS:

Soon to be four, as a lot of phone will get 2.2, but not all the 2.1s will (Droid Eris, for one).

Personally I think fragmentation is not a significant issue for Android, but it's definitely more "real" than for iPhones, as only Apple's 3-year-old phones are running a different OS.

RE: Apple QC, blows goats
By weskurtz0081 on 7/29/2010 10:58:45 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't the 3G a 2 year old phone?

RE: Apple QC, blows goats
By adiposity on 7/29/2010 11:24:27 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, 3G was released 2 years ago, but IOS4 is running on 3G. Only the original iPhone does not run IOS4.

RE: Apple QC, blows goats
By omnicronx on 7/29/2010 11:22:51 AM , Rating: 2
Hes not making a direct comparison, he said akin too which I find to be true. Apple is now making iOS for more than one device, they are not merely targeting a single piece of hardware. This puts a lot more stress on developers when trying to distribute an OS especially to older hardware. Theis article is a perfect example of the kind of things that can happen.. Development cycles will be longer, and code could become sloppy if the correct amount of time is not taken.

Add the iPad into the mix and things get even more complicated..

RE: Apple QC, blows goats
By adiposity on 7/29/2010 11:39:35 AM , Rating: 2
There is some similarity, but in truth Android fragmentation, while not a significant problem for Google, is very different from Apple's situation.

With Android, no one source is controlling the updating, and "fragmentation" is guaranteed.

With IOS, Apple controls all updates, and unless the user deliberately decides not to update, they can keep all phones running the same version if they choose. In the case of the 3-year-old iPhone, they chose not to update it. If the trend continues, it means 3 years of your device not being "fragmented" from the rest.

In the case of Android, it's unpredictable. Droid Eris, and Moto Droid, released at the same time (running 1.6 and 2.0 originally), will be fragmented. Eris will remain on 2.1, and Moto Droid will go to 2.2. Eris isn't even a year old and it has already lost update support.

Of course, this isn't Google's fault. It's HTC's decision. And this is precisely the issue with fragmentation. It can happen to any phone, at any time, with Android OS. Frequently, when a new version comes out, it creates a new group, while never completely eliminating the old group (see 2.0, 1.1, and 2.0.1 for those that were not really fragmented). With Apple, if they "fragment," they decide when, and this essentially allows them to guarantee 3 generations of support. Google can't offer this.

In spite of these issues, I believe Android to be the superior OS in many ways, and I don't care about fragmentation much, as long as I get about 2 years of updates. If developers worry about fragmentation, they can target 1.5 and their app will work everywhere.

To me, Android fragmentation isn't an issue, but not getting the latest update for a new phone (Droid Eris) is. That's not fragmentation, so much as lack of long term support.

RE: Apple QC, blows goats
By omnicronx on 7/29/2010 12:19:51 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just trying to explain that Apple is going through a form of fragmentation itself, not that they are going through the same situation as Android (which as you very nicely explained, are not).

That being said, you seem to forget that with Android, the carriers are also very much so involved in the upgrade process. While phone manufactures definitely play a big part, its irrelevant what HTC(just using them as an example) wants to do if the carrier does not want to support it.

This also adds to the problem. Android 3.0 is suppose to take care of this from what I've read. Looks like they are taking a similar approach to MS with certain OS files that can be updates independently of carrier/manufacturer files etc so they can push out small patches and bug fixes without a full update. This will help eliminate some of their fragmentation.

"You can bet that Sony built a long-term business plan about being successful in Japan and that business plan is crumbling." -- Peter Moore, 24 hours before his Microsoft resignation

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