Saturday, June 7, 2014

How is iOS7 on the iPhone 4S?



The simple answer is this: it's very good.

Therefore, as a 4S owner, I am appalled by articles like this one, which makes the following claim:

"At this point, I still think the iPhone 4S is a perfect device for anyone looking to get into the Apple ecosystem for minimal cost as, they do indeed make a great 'iOS starter device' and many folks in the iMore Forums tend to agree with that as well. That being said, it is getting to be a little dated and if you're comparing devices, the age will show."

Maybe it's the fact that I don't like their choice of words. "Starter device" implies that the 4S can't do everything that the 5, 5C, and 5S can do. In other words, that it's limited to the extent that you won't get the full "Apple experience."

Well, that's a load of baloney. I personally chose to buy the 4S over the 5 for the simple reason that when I compared both in an Apple Store, they performed equally well. The 5S, from what I have seen, is a great phone. It does indeed provide a smoother experience than the 4S. However, we're talking seconds, maybe even milliseconds of difference here. So sure, your 5 and 5S are faster than my 4S, but is it really to the extent that the 4S should get downgraded to "starter device" status?

But wait! Didn't iOS7 cripple the 4 and 4S, making them completely unusable? Nope. Even the 4 is still relatively smooth, though its single core A4 processor does struggle a bit at times. The 4S seems as smooth as ever, and though there are minor hitches here and there, using Apps and browsing the web with Safari is still as fluid as it was in iOS6.

Here's a funny quote from one of the comments to that previously linked article:

"No. I use an iPhone 4S and I hate it. With iOS 7, it's almost unusable. It's extremely slow. The A5 chip just isn't suited for iOS 7 (same with the A4, but let's stay in topic here). For example, it's no longer as "snappy" as iOS 5 or iOS 6, which both ran perfectly on this iPhone 4S. Before iOS 7, I was able to navigate through apps without waiting a few milliseconds for it to actually switch pages. Now I find myself waiting a second or two before I can do what I need to do. It's age is showing. This is the same with the iPod touch 4G. It shouldn't have gotten iOS 6. If it had gotten iOS 7, it would have added to the already laggy iOS 6 on the iTouch 4."

This is such a dishonest post I don't even know where to start. It just goes to show that people will do anything to justify their purchase of the newest piece of technology. The A5 processor is perfectly suited for iOS7, as its animations and graphics mainly affect the phone's GPU. As it happens, the graphics processor in the A5 can easily handle the new effects and translucent backgrounds of iOS7. If you don't want to take my word for it, just know that it was designed to play Infinity Blade II, which is far more demanding to run compared to any of the visual updates to the interface

While the 4S can be a fraction slower than it used to be on iOS6, this usually only happens when you switch between apps rapidly or are trying to do too much at once. To me it feels as snappy as it used to. Then again I can't discern the difference between 10 and 20 milliseconds as these people apparently can.

So to sum up, the 4S is still a great device. If you have one then there wasn't really much of a reason to get the 5 or 5S unless you wanted 4G or a marginally longer screen. Based on the nature of technological diminishing returns, I predict that the A5 processor and the 4S it powers will remain relevant for at least a couple more years. Hopefully that means Apple will try extra hard to amaze us with their latest offering this Fall.





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