Apple's iOS 4.2 update boosts iPhone 3G perfomance

Apple's iOS 4.2 software update could quiet grumpy iPhone 3G owners by delivering missing performance gains

Apple's upcoming iOS 4.2 software update will deliver a big performance boost to the iPhone 3G, according to reports. But will it be enough to quiet litigious iPhone owners unhappy with Apple's last update?

Apple is expected to release its iOS 4.2 software update for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices on Nov. 12, according to reports. One notably improvement delivered by the software update will be to the iPhone 3G's performance.

According to tests conducted by Website TiPb (The iPhone Blog) the iOS 4.2 update will put some pep into the iPhone 3G handset that has been at the center of at least one performance-related lawsuit.

iOS 4.2 Improves Performance for iPhone 3G

TiPb ran tests on an iPhone 3G using a pre-release version of the iOS 4.2 called the Gold Master seed (the GM seed is typically identical to the final release of the operating system). The site found that while the iPhone 3G's hardware isn't that fast (compared to the iPhone 4) the iOS 4.2 update did make the phone speedier when it came to tasks such as typing, scrolling, and loading Web pages.

Response to Lawsuit?

There is speculation that the iOS 4.2 update is a response to the class-action lawsuit brought against Apple in October. That's when a California woman claimed Apple's iOS 4.0 upgrade turned her iPhone 3G into an 'iBrick'?

Less than a month ago, San Diego resident Bianca Wofford accused Apple of "unsavory, dishonest and deceptive" business practices because it released an "update" in the form of iOS 4.0 that was not an update at all, and then refused to correct the issue for months on end. Wofford claimed that Apple released iOS 4.0 around the same time as it released the iPhone 4 in a not-so-transparent effort to get older iPhone users to upgrade.

Wofford was not the only person to notice a difference in her iPhone 3G's performance after updating to iOS 4.0 -- a thread on the Apple support forum features 112 pages of iPhone 3G and 3GS users noting significant performance decrease after updating their devices. One unhappy user also uploaded a Youtube video -- a parody of earlier iPhone ads -- that showed the decreased performance.

Apple looked into the matter of the iPhone 3G/3GS's decreased performance -- after it took care of the iPhone 4 antenna fiasco, of course. Apple released an update to iOS 4.0 -- iOS 4.1 -- in September 2010, which reportedly drastically improved the performance of both the iPhone 3G and the iPhone 3GS. Our own PC World tests found a slight, but noticeable, increase in performance.

However, despite the iOS 4.1 release, Wofford still filed her suit. So perhaps iOS 4.2, which appears to run snappily on the iPhone 3G, will placate the plaintiff(s).

I'm interested to hear what you guys think -- if iOS 4.2 drastically improves iPhone 3G/3GS performance, does Ms. Wofford still have a case? And, for you iPhone 3G/3GS users out there -- will you be upgrading to iOS 4.2 when it's released?

Follow Sarah on Twitter (@geeklil) or at sarahpurewal.wordpress.com

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Sarah Jacobsson Purewal

PC World (US online)
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