What can we say? Apple has come through and fixed some of the things that bothered us about iOS4. Some of you may remember a few months back when we wrote about our hands-on experience in what we called iOS4 on a 3G – Our First Hour. We said it was kind of a disappointment, and that the only thing making us even slightly interested was that it was available for free. (Note: previous iPhone OS updates cost money on any iDevice other than a phone.) Still we even went on to call it a "rare miss for Apple." Game Center was nowhere to be found, our phone was slow and stuff just didn't seem to work the way it was supposed to.
Unfortunately, if you have an iPhone 3G, Game Center is still missing, but we've learned to live with that and moved on. Aside from that, we started having so many other issues with the system, that we totally forgot about Game Center. None of them were downright horrible, but all were annoying. Battery life started to suck, navigating the operating system was slow‚Ä¶the list goes on. But we're here to talk about the update, because it's a nice one.
So far things are definitely snappier. Flipping pages and opening Apps such as the Camera or Photos is a dream compared to what it was just a week ago. That's not to say it's blazing fast, but this is a 3G–we can't expect too much. We opened the default camera App, took pictures, previewed them, shared and deleted. It all seemed to work much better. Sadly, we can't do a side-by-side so it's impossible to tell if we are just perceiving it as a better system, or if it actually is faster.
Texting seems to be much faster as well. Opening up the Messages App is smoother, and we don't get tired of waiting to scroll up and down as we search the contacts. We also noticed that the "Slide to Unlock" function works now. Okay, so we are being a bit facetious, but there were times when the slide just didn't want to move.
Other improvements we notice are that double-clicking the Home button to bring up our Favorites also seems to work a bit smoother. Before, it felt like we'd double-click, wait, double-click again‚Ä¶wait, then end up opening and exiting Favorites as the OS tried to figure out what the heck we were trying to do.
The Spotlight search seems better as well, and that's a great thing given how much use it gets from these thumbs.
Overall, iOS4.1 is a great update. We've said it before and we will say it again: It's what we felt iOS4 should have been. Of course things things can take time, and there is no way of knowing exactly how well something will work until it's out in the wild and being used by millions in various different scenarios.
Tune in tomorrow as we put iOS4.1 through the "regular day of use" test. We will use the software through a regular day and share how our first 24 hours with 4.1 went.