iOS 6 on iPhone 4: First Impressions and Performance

Along with many other iPhone users I was very excited to install iOS 6 on my iPhone 4.

Although the iPhone 4 does not receive all the new iOS 6 features, the new software the proposed benefits outweigh any potential downsides. After using iOS 6 on the iPhone 4 for several days, here are my thoughts.

The iPhone 4 has been around for about two years now and in that time it’s seen a decent amount of software updates. With iOS 5 my iPhone 4 ran decently, but there was definitely room for improvement.

Some of the major annoyances that I experienced with iOS 5 were slow app performance, issues with notification center, and general system sluggishness. I was hoping that the upgrade to iOS 6 would fix some of these issues and to some degree it has.

Read: How to Update to iOS 6


Software Update

The upgrade to iOS 6 has been better than expected for a device that is two years old. Installing iOS 6 took about eight minutes after downloading the large update file.

Overall the software looks the same, but Apple includes a number of new benefits in iOS 6 for the iPhone 4.

Before the update my iPhone was running okay, but I could tell that it was starting to show its age. So far iOS 6 has breathed some new life into it.

Overall Performance

In terms of performance iOS 6 brings mostly been improvements. In iOS 5, messages loaded slow on occasion and i encountered general system glitches from time to time.

With iOS 6 these issues have been alleviated to a degree. As soon as the update finished I put the phone through a stress test. I opened 15-20 apps and used multitasking to switch between them in rapid succession. With the older software, at minimum it would of created a major slowdown but not so in iOS 6 which is very impressive.

Another thing that is noticeable is the overall operation of the phone. While iOS 6 is still not perfect it seems to be better in terms of the simple tasks such as swiping between homescreens, and the typing response on the keyboard. in IOS 6, theses tasks are more fluid.


Battery Life

Concerning battery life, iOS 6 is as good, if not better than iOS 5 on the iPhone 4. It doesn’t matter what version of iOS is on my iPhone, by the end of the day it is usually screaming for the power plug. But with iOS 6 the battery life stretches a little further.

Feature performance


Apple Maps


With iOS 6 Apple decided to get rid of Google Maps, and replace it with Apple Maps. Although there are issues with Apple Maps, the performance on the iPhone 4 has been fairly stable. Turn by turn directions are pretty responsive and GPS accuracy is as good as before. Traffic response has also been decent, but not much has changed between google maps traffic and “apple” traffic.


Reply by Message

The phone app has also benefited from iOS 6. There is the option to reply with a text if the user is unable to answer a call at that moment. This feature is nice to have since it isn’t always the most convenient to answer a call, and by simply swiping up a message can be sent back in seconds.

Notification Center

Notification Center

On the iPhone 4 notification center worked okay but it had a lot of bugs. One of my personal favorites was the freezing of the drop down menu in the middle of the screen. With this in mind, a lot of these issues have been resolved with iOS 6. Apple even added the ability to tweet or send a Facebook status from Notification Center which is a cool feature.


Settings Revamp

Another big advantage with iOS 6 is do not disturb. Do not disturb is a great way to have better control over notifications so they are less intrusive in certain situations. Whenever do not disturb is enabled the iPhone will not make any sound, vibration, or even light up the screen.

A small change that is great for users is better access to Bluetooth in the Settings. Before it was a pain to dig through several screens just to enable and disable bluetooth. The new bluetooth toggle is located in the main page of settings which is a good change.

There are also a lot of design changes for the built-in apps such as Music, Calendar, and App Store to just name a few. Also the YouTube app and Google Maps are no longer installed by default in iOS 6.

Should you upgrade to iOS 6?

Overall the iOS 6 upgrade is a must for iPhone 4 owners. The amount of features this update adds to a phone that is two years old is pretty impressive. Plus the performance has been great and although not all the features work like they do on the iPhone 5, it is nice to receive some of the upgrades.