Since a couple days the Apple’s new mobile operating system iOS 7 is available – and the iPhone 4 is the oldest generation of iPhones still supported for the new iOS. I do have an iPhone 4 and decided to take the chance to update from iOS 6 to iOS 7. Here is a brief summary of my experience during the last few days with iOS 7 on an iPhone 4.
Surprisingly I feel that the battery life increased since the update on iOS 7 compared to the previous iOS 6 on my iPhone 4. But specifically I think this relates mainly to the stand-by mode. F.eg. I kept my iPhone on during a whole night without charging – and lost only a few percentage, 3 – 4 %, until the next morning.
When in active use (phone, messaging, mailing, web-browsing, Twitter, etc.) I feel the battery drops about the same amount as it used to before on iOS 6. But the standy-by improvements make my iPhone 4 running much longer as it used to, what I am personally quite happy about.
Overall there are of course some performance issues when using iOS 7 on an iPhone 4, I did expect that. But sometimes it takes so long to load something, that I start thinking about moving back to iOS 6. 😉 The performance is OK for the Mail.app and Contacts as example, but too slow in the Phone app, Foursquare app and when switching between applications (at least until the task manager is loaded). Whereas there are some app-specific performance issues that I already had with iOS 6, especially the Facebook app is still too slow in my point of view.
Apple also took care of disabling some fancy new features when iOS 7 runs on an iPhone 4, in order to not slow down the phone unnecessarily. This is f.eg. the animated backgrounds or motion sensitive wallpapers. And it’s still not possible to take panorama pictures with an iPhone 4 – but I wouldn’t have expected that anyway.
I am not sure if the bugs I experienced are due to the iPhone 4 or iOS 7 in general. There are not many bugs of course, but I had some major issues that required me to restart the phone. F.eg. regularly the notification center dropdown is oriented the “wrong way” – like it got stuck in portrait mode, while the phone actually is back in horizontal position (so I have to slide the notification center in from right to left?). There was one bug I experienced only once so far: the whole information on the lock screen was shifted about 3 cm to the top right – lapping “over” the phone’s screen. So it wasn’t possible anymore to enter the pin-code, as the first and last row of numbers wasn’t visible anymore. A restart fixed this.
I do not really regret updating my iPhone 4 to iOS 7, as I enjoy the new design and the additional features brought to the iPhone with the update. The improved battery life is a great plus for me, whereas some performance issues (and some bugs ) make me think about switching back to iOS 6. I think I wouldn’t update an iPhone 4 again to iOS 7 – but if you know what to expect and what you will get, you can do it without major regrets.
And I am definitely getting the new iPhone 5S, as soon as it’s available here in Switzerland. It’s now 3 years since I bought my iPhone 4, so I am fine with switching to a new generation of iPhones anyway.