iPhone 4S? Don't Even Dream Of Installing iOS8

Slow down and think, to avoid the OS slowdown

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It is true that one of the major problems with Android devices is that they are often not well supported with new releases of the operating system. However, its main competitor, Apple may be not much better. As well as not supporting models older than (and including) the iPhone 4 with its new iOS 8 update, owners of the iPhone 4S are discovering that they may have made a mistake in believing Apple when they were told that iOS 8 would run on their phones.

Users have reported that when they install the new operating system, their phones begin to run rather slow. The phone’s inbuilt A5 chip, while fast at the time of release, is unable to cope well with iOS 8’s new features. Programs like Siri, as well as depth-based animations use a larger amount of processing power than those which the phone was built for, and as such response time naturally suffers.

Image: © 2014 Flickr - brett jordan

In fact, in a series of benchmarking tests carried out by Ars Technica, the phone is around 50% slower on almost all common tasks when running iOS8 as compared to iOS 7. In addition to this load time lag, animations are slow to render, resulting in a noticeably ‘choppy’ user experience.

As well as this slowdown, the phone’s small screen is not well optimised for iOS 8, which has clearly been designed for device’s with a much larger screen area. The 3.5 inch screen on the iPhone 4S, already small when it was first released, results in a rather cramped UI, especially when half of the screen is already being taken up by the keyboard.

While most of the major new features of iOS 8 are added upon install for the iPhone 4S, provided the largest incentive for users to upgrade, there are also some noticeable exceptions. These include Apple Pay (which requires NFC), Touch ID (due to the lack of a fingerprint scanner), Open Gl 3.0 support, and support for Apple’s new ‘Metal’ graphics engine.

Knowing all of this, it would seem like a rather poor idea for a iPhone 4S user to upgrade their device to iOS 8.