Apple iOS 4 reviewed

So what is the iOS 4?

iOS 4 is the latest update of Apple’s mobile operating system, which is the software used by all models of the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The main new features of iOS4 are: multitasking, iBooks app, unified emails, Spotlight Search (allowing support for Wikipedia and regular internet searches), a digital zoom for still photos, customisable wallpaper selection and the ability to sort applications into folders for easier app management.

You will need iTunes 9.2 to get the iOS4 upgrade. Simply plug your iPhone or iPod Touch into your computer, and you’ll be prompted to upgrade to iOS4, which is free.

Which Apple Devices Support iOS4?

The original iPhone and iPod Touch do not support iOS4 at all. The iPad does not support iOS 4 at the moment (that should change at a later date however). The iPhone 3G and 2nd generation iPod Touch both support limited versions of iOS 4 – only some iOS4 features are compatible. The iPhone 4, 3GS, and iPod Touch (3rd gen) all have: multitasking and customizable wallpapers. Multitasking does not work on the regular 3G iPhone.

The iPhone 3GS and 3rd generation iPod Touch get all new software features. Every new feature available in the iPhone 4 is available on the 3GS. However there are some hardware specific apps that are not available for example the iPhone 4 has a front facing camera so 3GS owners do not get the special app update for that.

How good is iOS4?

It’s pretty good! I tested out iOS 4 on a 3GS iPhone. There has been much criticism about iOS 4’s weak multitasking – and i have to admit the multitasking is rather limited compared to other smartphones.

Multitasking with apps like Skype or streamed audio in the background is handy. Using other apps and multitasking is more like pausing the apps in the background. For example an IM app i was using more so paused the app than keep it running in the background. You can switch to other ‘open’ apps by double clicking the home button – then the app will have to refresh itself for new data.

All being reviewed – the update is probably the most feature packed iOS update from Apple to date. The 3 highlights for me have to be multitasking, unified inbox and camera zoom. The backgrounds are nice although you have to be careful with custom pictures that the colour combination does not clash with colours of apps.

Many iPhone 3GS users are reporting big speed improvements across the board and i’m happy to say this was noticeable. Switching between apps by double clicking the home button is rather quick and swish.

In terms of the iBook app, who is going to read a book on a smart phone screen? I certainly am not.

In my opinion the iOS4 is definitely worth getting the update.

One major query i have noticed – the iOS4 update is not available for the iPad!!

Apple better hurry along and get the iOS4 update on the iPad as having old iPod Touches feel more advanced than the ‘magical’ iPad – all because of a software upgrade is well.. crazy.

The iPhone 4 and iPad apparently have the same hardware chip so i don’t see why Apple wouldn’t push the update to the iPad as quickly as possible.

Have you upgraded to iOS4, what are your thoughts?

David Cowling : Editor and Founder of I also run a Social Media Agency where I do consulting work and another blog dedicated to Instagram news. Connect with me: Twitter | LinkedIn | Google + or contact me here. Alternatively, you can send me an email at

  • laura

    i can't wait to be able to update my iphone