Hey Apple, wanna know what’s wrong with iOS4?

Posted: June 23, 2010 in Apple, iphone, software
Tags: , ,

I didn’t expect to be writing this because after playing with the GM version of iOS4 for a while on my iPhone 3G and liking it, I expected the same to be true of iOS4 on a 3Gs.

I was wrong.  I see the new OS as a whole lot of really good features and a few not quite fully fleshed out ones.  I realize I may be getting some flack from the iMasses on this one, but i think some of the new features need to have OFF or DISABLE buttons for them, specifically the multitasking and as part of that, the HOME Button Double click.

Sure you could “jailbreak” your phone and turn off the multitasking, but is it really too much to ask Apple to put that in as an option.  The trouble is that if you don’t remember to turn off the apps they keep multitasking and draining your battery life a lot faster than you are used to.  Sometimes you want your app to just close when you exit out of it, but as it is now with iOS4 if the app is multitask-able it will stay running until you double-click your HOME button and then hold the app icon until the little red minus sign appears in the upper corner of the app you wanted closed and clicking it.  Sure it’s intuitive, and very Apple-esque in its nature but its still a few extra clicks that you have to remember to do or you may wake to a dead battery.

* Along with this, the HOME button is no longer user-assignable if you have a iPhone 3Gs.  Previously if you went into the General tab in the Settings you had a few choices as to what would happen when you double-clicked the HOME button. (as seen on the screen captures from an iPhone 3G which doesn’t natively allow multitasking)

Now it launches the multitasking dock at the bottom of the screen, and as I said earlier, there is no easy way to disable this.

And another thing… Why does the formatted space on an iPod touch decrease when you upgrade? It WAS over 7 gig for an 8 gig iPod and after updated it’s dropped to 6.83 gig.  How did i lose room on the hard drive?

Another feature I was dubious of when announced was the spell-checking.  I thought “yeah, we’ve had that for a while, so what’s the big deal?”  Actually what we’ve had is auto-correct, or at least a version of auto-correct that gives you the option of accepting corrected words or not.  When you have incorrectly spelled a word (or sometimes used an unknown word), you still get the option of correcting it by hitting the spacebar, which sadly has caused more grammatical errors for me than anything else simply because i am typing quickly and spacing between words not realizing I have inadvertently accepted a word i did not want.  (i didn’t mean to type “oh duck”) Now if you do spell a word incorrectly and don’t autocorrect it you get a red squiggly line underneath that if you click on will prompt you with potential words you could have meant. Basically the same word processing power you’ve had for years on your desktop or laptop computer.

* Another little annoyance is the way FOLDERS work.  Why does the little preview show up to 9 apps in each folder (3 x 3 grid) but you can actually put 12 in one folder?  The preview picks which ones to show you if you do go over 9 and hides the others until you click the folder which shows a 3 x 4 app grid of the apps contained.

Why not just limit the number of apps you can put into a single folder to 9?

Don’t get me wrong, It’s not all bad by any means.  I do like Folders – its enabled me to shrink my pages of apps to 3 on my iPhone.  iBooks has tons of potential.  The way Wallpaper works now is pretty cool and makes for such a personal look to your homescreen and pages.  The unified inbox in Mail is very nice, and threaded email messages is one of my favorite things about the new OS.  Most of the good features are not available on my older iphone, but in playing with them on my wife’s newer 3Gs, I can really appreciate the work and effort Apple has put into revamping and overhauling the OS, even though many of the best features will not be available unless you have an iPhone4.  Which for us canucks may not be until late summer.

For anyone who really doesn’t like the multitasking, there are probably people out there with 3G iPhones who are willing to trade iPhones with you. Me included.


  1. Phronk says:

    You have some good points, especially about multitasking. The battery life nightmare they were trying to avoid is still there, and they’ve made it impossible to avoid in favour of pseudo-intuitiveness (I say pseudo, because it’s still kinda weird to automatically keep everything running). There should at least be an option to turn it off.

    However, my phone still gets me through a whole day with pretty heavy usage, and as long as I remember to charge at night, that’s all I need.

    I’m not with you on the folder “problem” though. It would be silly to limit it to 9 items just so the nice looking square preview matches up with what’s inside. I’d rather have the limit higher than 12, actually, especially for that inevitable “leftovers” folder that everyone will have.

    Nice post though. Hopefully Apple listens to some of these remaining issues.


    • tcg says:

      Thanks Mike. The thing about the Folders is that its not Apple-like. Look at the way they handle apps that are minimized to the dock for instance, you get a thumbnail view of exactly what the app is doing. If its a movie it keeps playing, if its copying something or doing something you get a visual representation of exactly what its doing. Very WYSIWYG, which is normally the Apple way.
      Similarly with the 3×3 grid you see what apps are in that folder, unless there is more than 9 that is. I had more than 9 in a folder and kept flipping through the page back and forth trying to find one app in particular, which as it turned out was one of the ones without a thumbnail shown, but i didn’t know where until i opened each folder of “Games” to find it.
      Thanks for reading and commenting, i like hearing what people think because everyone has a slightly different take when it comes to design and function and i guess Apple and I are just not on the same page on this one.


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