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The iPhone 4 is significantly faster under the latest iOS 7.1 update

Posted: , by Chris P.

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The iPhone 4 is significantly faster under the latest iOS 7.1 update
Back in June 2013, Apple introduced to the world the first major iOS redesign ever with a flatter, more modern look. Compared with iOS 6, iOS 7 is also way flashier, and it initially introduced a plethora of sweeping animations that have often been accused of trying to cover up load times, though sometimes they're just genuinely long. 

As annoying as those may have been for some, nothing quite compared to the considerable performance losses experienced by iPhone 4 users -- the oldest iPhone to receive the update. Considering the aged hardware, that wasn't too surprising, and yet it still put some pressure on Apple, otherwise known for polishing its products, to remedy the situation through optimization tweaks. As it turns out, iOS 7.1 achieves that goal, and the performance boost is significant as Ars Technica points out. The folks behind have been keeping a close watch on anything related to iOS 7 performance ever the new software came out, and the team is back with more.

So what kind of improvements are we talking about? Not CPU or GPU, that's for sure -- the hardware underneath is still the same -- but app load times have seen a notable trim. Check out the table that Ars compiled:

The iPhone 4 is significantly faster under the latest iOS 7.1 update

As you can see for yourself, load times have been significantly improved, and are now much closer to their pre-iOS 7 state. We have shortened animation times across the board to thank for these results, and this is about as good as the iPhone 4 is going to get, as Apple is dropping support for it in the next major update. 

source: Ars Technica 

51 Comments
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posted on 11 Mar 2014, 03:13 7

1. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2365; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


iGreat!!!

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 08:13 7

22. livyatan (Posts: 657; Member since: 19 Jun 2013)


You obviously haven't bothered to read through that table.
iOS 6 still TRUMPS the iOS 7 in speed.
You call that progress?

iPhoney!

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 09:25 5

26. Kishin (Posts: 579; Member since: 30 May 2013)


At least they updated..4 year old hardware..

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 23:23

49. ncarlosmiguel (Posts: 205; Member since: 14 May 2013)


You mean they've updated all 5 of their phones. Really great effort on Apple's part.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 01:51

50. blingblingthing (Posts: 423; Member since: 23 Oct 2012)


@ kishin.
Is it really an upgrade when you remove the new features of the OS?

Reminds me of a BB OS6 theme I used on my 9630. Is wasn't OS6

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 09:39

28. itsdeepak4u2000 (Posts: 2365; Member since: 03 Nov 2012)


I read everything and I'm not iPhoney. I just looked at the improvements especially in the table.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 10:07 1

34. bestmvno (Posts: 113; Member since: 07 Mar 2014)


If you want the newest features, that's the way it's going to be. You can't really complain about that. More features = more resources used = more stress on the hardware. In this case the end user needs to decide if the latest supported features or speed is more important to them.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 03:14 2

2. Bootutu (Posts: 184; Member since: 11 Jul 2013)


They should have just left it with iOS6, the phone is barely usable with iOS7, even 4S and 5 are struggling.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 04:50 10

9. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7413; Member since: 14 May 2012)


The 5 is NOT struggling on iOS 7. It's still butter smooth.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 20:00

46. asun2 (Posts: 12; Member since: 03 Mar 2014)


And I thought you were a fandroid... sorry...

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 05:48 4

14. msa1988 (Posts: 417; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)


My 4S still runs perfectly. I don't have any issues with it.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 07:01 5

20. Tomatot (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Jan 2014)


4s doesn't run perfectly. it's OK but not perfect.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 09:56

32. msa1988 (Posts: 417; Member since: 30 Mar 2010)


Maybe yours, but I haven't had a single issue with mine. It never lags, never drops, never freezes. I can only imagine the ones who have issues have used all available hard drive space. Mine's only half used so nothing is slowing it down.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 07:19 1

21. Finalflash (Posts: 1460; Member since: 23 Jul 2013)


Lol now that the main selling season is over, time to reverse the strong arming tactics until next time. Good to see Apple hasn't changed a bit since the iPhone 3g on 4.0 days.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 03:16

3. t_dawg (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Jan 2013)


My iphone 4 is defenitly running faster. However, my phone keeps saying that there is no SIM card. I have updated it, turned it off several times and brought it to the Telus store and had them restore my phone and put a new one in. Anyone else had this issue? Might be time to upgrade

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 03:20

5. akosidan24 (Posts: 1; Member since: 11 Dec 2013)


have you tried to eject and bring back the sim ?

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 08:19

23. t_dawg (Posts: 5; Member since: 27 Jan 2013)


yeeup, and still no sign of a signal

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 03:19 1

4. darkskoliro (Posts: 936; Member since: 07 May 2012)


Finally an update worth doing. I'm gona download it now :D:D come back in a few hours with my thoughts.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 05:27 7

12. darkskoliro (Posts: 936; Member since: 07 May 2012)


I cant even tell the difference its still slow lol

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 05:59

15. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7413; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Updating the 4 that I have in my house in a few hours.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 21:26

48. darkskoliro (Posts: 936; Member since: 07 May 2012)


I have so much respect for the 4 tbh. A phone in that era that provided an amazing screen, very good phone camera, battery life that could last and most of all a ff camera that actually compares even with 2012 flagship devices from android haha.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 03:24

6. techperson211 (Posts: 448; Member since: 27 Feb 2014)


If you want to have your iPhone 4 run faster make sure you have at least 3 gb of memory left. Because maximizing your internal memory will have apps crashing and loading a bit long.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 03:38 2

7. TechFreak123 (Posts: 82; Member since: 25 Feb 2014)


It is still slower than iOS6 so what's the point?

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 03:48 1

8. androiphone20 (Posts: 1394; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


My friend's iphone 4 faster now, I guess she won't accept my offer to upgrade now :/

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 05:04 6

10. mixedfish (Posts: 58; Member since: 17 Nov 2013)


So for your friends deciding factor to upgrade her phone came down to loading on average .3-.5 seconds faster.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 05:29

13. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7413; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Seems to me he's advertising as usual.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 09:44

30. androiphone20 (Posts: 1394; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


"Updating the 4 that I have in my house in a few hours."
This right here is advertising

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 10:03

33. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7413; Member since: 14 May 2012)


That's not advertising kid lol. That's me saying I'm going to update the phone and see if performance did improve, like darkskoliro mentioned.

You're trying too damn hard right now. Do you seriously want me to put you in your place again? No? Then sit down and stay quiet. Thanks. :)

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 10:38

37. androiphone20 (Posts: 1394; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


lol what? Excuse you.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 10:41

38. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7413; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Didn't think so. Quit while you're ahead.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 10:50 2

39. androiphone20 (Posts: 1394; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


Listen junior, I don't have the time to argue with kids. Are you always this stupid or you're just making a special effort today.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 12:16

40. PapaSmurf (Posts: 7413; Member since: 14 May 2012)


Kids? Last time I checked you're still in high school so calm down there buddy. Like I said, don't start something if you're not ready for the end result. :)

I heard Walgreens is throwing chill pills on sale for $4.99. You should grab a few before they're gone.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 09:41

29. androiphone20 (Posts: 1394; Member since: 10 Jul 2013)


nope, she.just doesn't want to upgrade

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 16:50

45. Tsoliades (Posts: 206; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)


Both of you look silly right now.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 05:08 3

11. StraightEdgeNexus (Posts: 2689; Member since: 14 Feb 2014)


So all bugs and lags fixed after 9 months nice and running smoothly on old devices good(at cost of animations).

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 09:28

27. Kishin (Posts: 579; Member since: 30 May 2013)


What 9 months? It's been 6 months.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 06:13 5

16. Sniggly (Posts: 6698; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


Well, it's nice to see Apple *partially* fixing the situation, but iOS 7 still wrecked the 4 and did a number on the 4s. I am so, so glad that I pushed the 4s as hard as I did when it was the midrange iPhone, because Apple did what it always does: make the older generation iPhones as unusable as possible with updates more than a couple of generations ahead of their original software. It happened to the 3Gs, it's happened to the 4, and now it'll likely happen to the 4s, since it still has 512 megs of RAM.

The 5 should be fine for iOS 8, but iOS 9 will probably nail it to its coffin. It's just the way Apple does things.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 06:20 1

17. kalloud (Posts: 89; Member since: 21 Jun 2012)


Yeah and the iPhone 5s with its A7 64bit processor will become laggy with iOS 10 :-D

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 06:31

18. Sniggly (Posts: 6698; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


It very well might. Hell, a few years ago a gigahertz single core processor was mind blowingly powerful. Nowadays it's almost laughably bad.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 06:46

19. power_x (Posts: 204; Member since: 28 Aug 2013)


They would call it iOS X much like Mac OS X

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 13:40

41. iampayne (Posts: 209; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


Its called par for the course. You don't optimize for old hardware, especially when you have an annual upgrade cycle. Maybe if there was only a new phone every other year I would complain. But that’s the price of evolution, only the strong survive. The iPhone 4 needs to die.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 16:21

43. xche78x (Posts: 100; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)


And google is doing the total opposite with android 4.4 kitkat which caters to devices with even just 512mb ram giving them buttery smooth experience... Im on 6.1.3 on my iphone 4s and ipad mini and i refuse to update anymore while new apps still run properly. My previous iphone which is the 3G became almost useless when i accidentally allow it to update to 4.x.x

Also planning to upgrade to ipad mini retina, browsing phone arena on chrome sometimes bogs down my ipad mini and even crashes the app.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 09:05

24. jb4674 (Posts: 139; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)


Apple can go look where the sun don't shine. According to the chart in the article, I don't see any substantial difference between the performance numbers from ios 6.13 and 7.1. What exactly is the gain on this again? Apple needs to go back to the drawing board and design better software.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 10:23

35. rawbow (Posts: 407; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


So you have any 4 year old phone running kitkat genius ? OTA update is what I mean here

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 09:13 1

25. chocowii (Posts: 327; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)


Its like Windows Vista all over again.
Thats why iPhone 4/4S second hand prices are high with iOS6 than iOS7.X

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 09:49

31. IliyaBeshkov (Posts: 240; Member since: 09 Jul 2012)


I was going say the same thing. :)

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 10:25

36. rawbow (Posts: 407; Member since: 30 Mar 2012)


Loving the nice boost in animation speed on the iPhone 5 .. Did anyone notice that the control center has become way bouncy and fast to pull up

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 13:44

42. iampayne (Posts: 209; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


For everyone who is complaining about the iPhone 4 please tell me how the GS2 is handling Kit Kat....

This is a question coming from someone who believes the iPhone 4 shouldn't have been upgradable to iOS7 in the first place.

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 16:26

44. xche78x (Posts: 100; Member since: 11 Mar 2014)


Stop complaining that ios6 is faster, this is aimed for users who are already stucked on ios7.0.X. If you are on Ios6 and doesnt want to lose few more seconds opening apps, just stay there!

posted on 11 Mar 2014, 20:27

47. Crispin_Gatieza (Posts: 73; Member since: 23 Jan 2014)


I'll let you young whippersnappers in on a little secret, Apple doesn't give a fat baby's ass if you like iOS 7 on your 4/4S or not. They're hoping you get so fed up that you'll buy one of their newer devices.

posted on 12 Mar 2014, 02:30

51. Trex95 (Posts: 541; Member since: 03 Mar 2013)


Great update Apple my IPad Mini retina it's even more faster now.

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