A week with iOS 4

I’ve been living with Apple’s new operating system for the iPhone, iOS4, for a week now.  I rarely jump so quickly to a new major version of software on a device I use every day, but I seem to have a little more time on my hands than usual at the moment, so decided to take the plunge on launch day.  Was this a good idea?  Possibly.

I decided to risk the upgrade on Monday 21st June because the new features it offered were extremely attractive.  In particular being able to store apps in folders, and the support for multiple Exchange profiles for e-mail and calendar, along with a unified inbox.  The multi-tasking was less attractive to me, offering something more akin to a task switcher than true multi-tasking.

So, how has it been?

Benefits:

  • I love the new folders.  I can now get to my most frequently accessed apps with 2 quick taps on the screen.  I previously had apps on 9 screens, and scrolling across all of those to find the app I wanted was irritating.  It took a while to organise the apps the way I wanted, but once that was done it’s very quick.  I found it easier to organise them in iTunes than to do it on the iPhone itself
  • The e-mail handling is better.  The single inbox is neat, and it’s easy to access other folders in the various e-mail accounts I use
  • Calendar handling is also improved.  I’ve added a couple of additional Exchange profiles, using the excellent Google Sync to give me improved access to multiple calendars, and can now see all my calendars together in one place
  • The support for multiple Exchange profiles has also helped the handling of contacts.  I had various address books, all of which are now cleverly brought together on my iPhone, again via Google Sync

Disadvantages:

  • The most obvious is battery life, which is now considerably shorter.  I’m experimenting with switching off WiFi and Bluetooth when not in use, but this is irritating when you then want to use it again.  Subjectively the battery life seems to be down by about a third.  And it wasn’t great to start with
  • On upgrade day Google apparently had problems with Google Sync, so that was not a happy day.  The upgrade appeared to have lost all of my contacts and calendars.  Fortunately they came back gradually, about 25 at a time over a few hours.  To sighs of relief for me and many others
  • I have a Parrot MKi9200 hands free kit in my car.  This already had some idiosyncracies, such as playing the first track (in alphabetical order) whenever I plug the iPhone in.  Sadly Parrot didn’t recommend against upgrading to IOS4 until 3 days after its release.  They did this because it isn’t now possible to play music from the iPhone through the car kit.  They are apparently working on a fix for this (saying it’s also Apple’s fault).  They claim to have been unable to test this until IOS4 was released.  Not good enough, Parrot.

The other thing I’ve noticed is how many apps I actually use on a daily basis.  Double clicking the Home key shows you the apps that you have loaded, and you can then press and hold one of the app icons until they wobble, and then close ones you don’t want.  Each time I’ve done this I’ve found around 12 apps open.  If you’d asked me how many apps I use regularly I would have said about 4 or 5.  

So, overall I’d say it’s a reasonably good upgrade.  But it could have been better.  Have you upgraded? How are you finding it?

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