iOS 5.1 for iPhone 3GS: Final Impressions and Performance

Earlier this month, I wrote about my initial experiences with iOS 5.1, Apple’s latest iOS update, on my iPhone 3GS. As many of you know, I am one of the last tech writer’s on the planet that totes an iPhone 3GS as his main device. I’ve gone back to it even after buying the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for Verizon which is widely considered to be one of the best Android phones on the planet.

One of the main reasons for that change was because of how great iOS 5 has run on my aging device.

But how about iOS 5.1?

After spending several weeks with the new software, I am happy to report that my thoughts on the software have not changed at all. From the get go, I found that the over all experience was not only fantastic but that it was better than the experience found on iOS 5.

iOS 5.1 for iPhone 3GS: Final Impressions and Performance

Yes, this is my crazy homescreen.

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Sorry, Terry Myerson, but this operating system is far from “unusable.”

As I said, iOS 5 often hung up when I had a bunch of applications open or when I was trying to access something that was data or graphic intensive. Those have become unnoticeable with iOS 5.1.

The Music application often had a tough time, especially when my storage was nearly full. It would lock up or crash on occasion. That has not happened after the upgrade to iOS 5.1

I also told you that my battery life with iOS 5 started to get worse over time.

iOS 5.1 patched that up. I am now getting as good of battery life as I’ve ever gotten with my nearly three year old iPhone.

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And, as was the case when the update first came out, the static camera button works as advertised. In fact, I’ve been using it quite a bit. I never thought that I would appreciate something else added to Apple’s iconic lock screen but I am really enjoying this feature.

I keep a passcode on my phone and there have been times where I’ve missed a moment that I’ve wanted to capture on film because I’ve been fumbling around with my device.

Scrolling up with my thumb to access the camera from the lock screen has become second nature and so far, I’ve had zero problems from a slow down, bug, standpoint.

And yes, all of this has gone down with iCloud enabled. I know a lot of you have disabled it, but if and when you get iOS 5.1, try turning it back on. I think you’ll be alright.

I know a lot of you were having issues with iOS 5.0.1. I was too. So, if you’re on that operating system, you’re definitely going to want to upgrade to the new update. If you’re unsure about how to do that, check out our guide.

For those that are still sitting on iOS 4 or lower, I highly recommend that you make the jump. I’ve recommended it to hundreds of people already and not one person has come back telling me that it was a mistake.

For me, the leap from iOS 4 to iOS 5 was huge and I’ll argue, at least for us iPhone 3GS owners, that the leap from iOS 5.0.1 to iOS 5.1 is just as big. It doesn’t get much better than a getting a fully functional update, that brings great battery life and fantastic bug fixes along with new features, nearly three years after a phone’s release.

This kind of support is why it’s going to be hard to pass on the next iPhone.

How is iOS 5.1 treating everyone else?