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One month with iOS 4

Posted by GNC at 12:10 AM on July 28, 2010

It has been one month using the iOS 4 on my iPhone 3GS.  Without going back to the feature list again I wanted to list the features that have stuck in my brain and that I use.

  1. Wallpaper – I love being able to change the appearance.
  2. Folders - A great way to organize so many apps.  At first I arranged all my apps into folders leaving only the home page with content.   For me that meant about six folders and and 6 apps to see on opening.  I didn’t like at the aesthetic appearance of the folder icons compared to a normal app.  Why not allow some custom icons for folders?  Secondly, folders didn’t save me much time as the taps and swipes were about equal.  Then I read a blog post at MacSparky.com about the home screen of Jeff Gamet.  He put his favorite apps on the front page and then the folders on the second.  It took me a week or so, but now I love it.  My home page is clean and sharp containing the apps I use for 85% of my interaction.  The folders are wonderful on the second page for everything else.  Now just to memorize my own filing system.
  3. Background tasks – Love them, and will even more when a few of my apps update to include it.  Really nice.
  4. Quick switching – Overall this is a fail for me.  The positive?  I like the increased ability of the apps to remember where they were at before I stopped.  The negative?  Because of my home page layout it didn’t save me any touch interaction.  Follow me for a moment.  I am in Twitter and want to switch back to Facebook.  I double click the home button and then touch on Facebook in the quick switch tray.  That means three actions.  Without quick switching I click the home button once and ince FB is on my home page the FB icon.  Done in two.  Additionally, if I have used the browser, email, and calculator since FB, when I double click for the quick switch tray FB isn’t there and I have to flick the quick swith tray to the next page before finding it.  Done in 4 actions.  My final complaint about the quick switching is that it doesn’t automatically clean out the tray.  Currently I have 9, yes 9, switch trays full.  How is that supposed to be helpful and save time?  To clean it out I have to take them out one by one.  They should have an hourly clean out of that cache so that only the last 4 remain in the que.
  5. Mail Unified Inbox: Finally and well done.
  6. iBooks: Read my first book on it and overall prefer it to the Kindle app for reading.  There are some negatives, but I will write an entire article on the comparison.
  7. SMS App: Still missing bulk delete option.  Drives me crazy that it is not easily available in the app.  Why is there no sent or received folders to quickly find messages?  The conversation thread for each person is great, but I still struggle finding a certain messages.
  8. Stability: I have about 2 or 3 crashes a day.  By crash I mean I will be writing a text or browsing a page and then suddenly I am back at the home screen.  Poof.  Just like that.  Safari is the worst.  It seems to not update it’s cache properly as well.  For example, I am on a news site and then browse to an article.  When I hit the back button to return it will often give me the home page from a day or two prior.  Really weird.  Never had that with the previous iOS.  The problem began immediately upon upgrading before any new apps were added.  Right now it is an annoyance but if the update doesn’t fix it, I may get really annoyed.  On iOS 3 I did have a weird display issue with the app icons on occasion and that hasn’t happened with the upgrade.

That is about all that comes to mind, and as this is supposed to be my initial observations, I will stop.  Overall, I love the iOS 4 even with it’s glitches.  Using my wife’s 1st generation Touch is painful now in so many ways.  There are so many improvements to the iOS I know, these are just the main visible things that come from the mind of an average user.   There is definite room for improvement even before the developers start taking full creative advantage of all the new API’s and features.  It seems that Apple had some uncharacteristic upgrade problems with their OS and Phones this year.

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