Upgraded my 3G to iOS4…here are some tips

by Rob Rutkowski on June 22, 2010

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Apple is now offering a pretty decent upgrade to the iPhone OS, timed to come with the release of the next iPhone itself.

At this writing, the phone isn’t released yet (just a few days away), but the OS is, so I upgraded my 3G with good results.

(NOTE: you can upgrade your existing 3 or 3G iPhone to the new OS for free.  iTunes will eventually do it automatically, but you can speed it up by hitting the ‘check for updates’ button in iTunes while you sync up. )

I had assumed the iOS4 was going to be tied to the hardware inherent in iPhone4.  Nope.  3’s and 3G’s are good to go, although I cannot personally vouch for performance on the 3.


iPhones have notoriously been missing multitasking.  No more.  I can tell you as an avid user of GPS Drive (navigation), something as simple as an incoming text message is enough to shut down my directions.  Usually this happens just as a critical turn or exit is approaching.

So, problem solved, right?  Not exactly.  Most apps are not yet written to the multitasking standard, but I expect to see a slew of upgrades coming soon.

Multitasking controls, once you discover them, are typically Apple, which is to say clever and intuitive.  You can start multiple apps simply by double-tapping the home button, which reveals a ‘shelf’ of apps at the bottom.  So far, things like Pandora, Yelp and Facebook Mobile will multitask.

In my case, 95% of my multitasking was already covered by the iPod app, which ran in the background on my 3G just fine.

Zoom, zoom.

No more “manual zoom” on the built in camera (walking closer).   Now there is a passable digital zoom, adequate at 2-3x but way to pixely beyond that.  Still, sitting in the bleachers trying to document my daughter’s violin recital will involve a few less ‘excuse mes’.


In a word, Swype.  Swype is a terrific keyboard software now available on a lot of Android phones.  It’s an excellent improvement to texting on a the glass surfaces of most smart phones.  You can learn more about Swype in my blog entry on the subject.

T9 (inventors of Swype) are in talks with Apple, so I expect this isn’t long in the making.

So, what else is new?

There are 34 enhancements in iOS4.0.  You can get a good primer on upgrading to iOS4 on the maclife blog.

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