Sunday, November 06, 2011

iOS5 On The iPhone 3Gs Disenchantment

I installed iOS 5 on my iPhone 3Gs the day it came out. Everything looked all unicorns and rainbows at first but I have started experiencing some issues. Some I expected and can live with, others are really annoying and, despite being able to use custom alert tones, are making me consider reverting to iOS 4.x.

  1. Performance: I took a performance hit when I installed iOS 5. I expected this one and it is noticeable but not intrusive.
  2. Battery Life: This is being widely reported and actual impact seems to be highly variable. I caught a glimpse somewhere that iOS 5.0.1 is going to address this. I have taken some steps to try to mitigate the impact for myself but it is still considerable.
  3. Wi-Fi Sync: I discussed this in my last iOS 5 post. What a joke. Highly unreliable. I've turned it off.
  4. The Icon Shuffle: My app icons are randomly rearranging themselves. It's nothing major but every once in a while things aren't where I expect them to be. A single icon has moved to a different part of the screen thus rearranging other icons. Weird but tolerable - for now.
  5. The Home Screen Flash: I have also discussed this one before. I hit the power button to wake up the phone and the home screen flashes for a partial second then it goes immediately back into sleep mode. A second click will usually bring it up.
  6. Internet and Location Services: This is the one that has me ready to throw my iPhone against a wall. Seriously, I considered it last night I was so frustrated. I fire up Facebook or my ESPN score app and they just sit there and spin, those little circular hash marks taunting me as if at any moment my data will be presented. I pull up a map or traffic information and that little arrow in the upper right corner, try as it might, can't figure out where I am. I can sometimes clear out unused memory with Memory Pro to correct it but more often than not I am going through the 5-minute process of rebooting the phone. Sometimes multiple times a day. This is one of the reasons I got rid of my HTC Fuze.
I have my phone backed up and am going to try a restore using iTunes. I don't really want to do that but it seems my only option for now. I'll let you know how things turn out on the other side.

Update, Nov. 12, 2011: The restore seemed to straighten out a few things. The battery life improved somewhat and location services appeared to start working as expected. I did experience the home screen flash once but only once. It's still there but not as invasive. My icons have not moved themselves around.

I went ahead and updated to iOS 5.0.1 the day after it was released. I should have left well enough alone because the location services are flaky again (though not as bad), even after another restore. Battery life is stable, however.

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