I’ve had iOS4 upgrade on my iPhone 3GS for about 2 weeks now, and since I’m not unfortunate enough to have procured an iPhone 4, I thought I’d share a few reflections about my experiences.

First, the Bad

The biggest downside of the upgrade is that the new OS puts a severe beat down on the battery life.  Before the upgrade, I used to be able to listen to Pandora all day at work, make a few calls, and surf around on my phone while watching TV…on one battery charge.  Now, however, my battery life is at least halved, if not more.  If I start Pandora first thing at work, I’ll be getting down into the 30% range by late afternoon, necessitating an early evening charge.  *Sigh*

A few other disappointments:

  • Random buggy-ness: I’ve noticed that apps will randomly crash without warning
  • Multi-tasking management is kinda clunky–way too many double-clicks and holds to end a program (should give you the option when normally closing, me thinks…)
  • Camera “zoom” upgrade is a joke.  It’s exactly what you’d expect, and exactly what every app out there already did: make crappy, low megapixel pictures look even worse.

Now, the Good

While these are fairly serious issues, there are some definitely cool features to iOS4 that I think are worth the negatives.

First, while multitasking does hate batteries, it is really, really nice.  As I mentioned above, the management of it could be more intuitive, but on the whole it’s awesome.  I love not having to re-open app after app just because I need to check the spelling of something in Safari real quick.

Another small, but super-cool feature is that apps like Pandora and Audio Books are integrated into the iPod controls when running.  Therefore, if you have a nifty pair of ear buds with mini-player controls on the wires like I do, you can start/stop Pandora or your favorite audio book without having to unlock, open the app, and stop it.  I absolutely love this feature, and it’s almost worth every negative that iOS4 brings.

Lastly, I really appreciate the new email features.  With my job, I often need to have my Exchange account handy, but hate having to switch back and forth between accounts just to check my new personal email.  With iOS4, accounts can be seen together, but managed separately–plus, related messages are threaded (as in Gmail), which helps cut down on the visual clutter.

Overall: Worth It

As with anything, the rollout of software to legacy devices that is clearly designed for better hardware comes at a price.  However, given the benefits that iOS4 brings to my 3Gs, I think I can handle a few extra battery charges.