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iOS 7 on iPhone 4s: Final Impressions and Performance

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iOS 7 has been out for a week now, and we’ve been giving the new version a thorough look-over to see how well it performs on the two-year-old iPhone 4s. You might have already read through our initial impressions of iOS 7 running on the iPhone 4s, and that should’ve given you a good idea on how well it ran on the older device.

However, we’re here with our final impressions and we’ll tell you what you need to know before updating your iPhone 4s to iOS 7, if you haven’t done so already (we know how antsy you are). It’s always a murky subject to deal with as far as installing new software on old hardware, but here’s what we think about iOS 7 running on Apple’s two-year-old iPhone 4s.

iphone-4s-ios7

Overall Performance

After playing around with iOS 7 on my iPhone 4s for over a week, I’m pleasantly surprised at how well it’s been performing. I haven’t noticed any lag or stuttering when navigating the various menus or opening and closing apps. It basically feels like the same experience as on my new iPhone 5s, but without the extra 176 pixels vertically, so I only have four rows of apps instead of five.

The only major thing left out of iOS 7 with the iPhone 4s is AirDrop support. With newer iPhones, iOS 7 allows you to use AirDrop to send files to other iPhones running iOS 7. It’s similar to the Bump app, but it’s now native in iOS 7. I’d say this is a slight bummer not having such a feature on the iPhone 4s, but AirDrop on the iPhone isn’t particularly widespread yet, so iPhone 4s owners shouldn’t feel like they’re missing out.

One thing that is included in the iPhone 4s version of iOS 7 is camera filters. Many comparison charts of iOS 7 features on certain iDevices have sprung up on the internet, and many of them say that the iPhone 4s doesn’t get camera filters, but indeed it does. Opening up the Camera app, you’ll see three circles in the lower-right corner. Tapping on that brings up different filters you can apply in real-time to your photos and videos.

2013-09-18 12.29.25

Battery Life

I’m not noticing any significant changes in battery life with the iPhone 4s running iOS 7. I’m still charging it the same amount, and even using battery-heavy apps hasn’t drained the juice out any faster than before. A FaceTime chat drained the battery from 90% to 71%, but it didn’t drain any more than it would have on iOS 6.

I’m not a heavy user by any means, but I’m usually having the charge the phone about every 36 hours. This time schedule hasn’t changed at all really since updating to iOS 7, so if you’re worried about battery life taking a hit, don’t worry about it.

Bugs

I’ve heard from any iPhone 4s users about a bug that causes crazy amounts of lag when typing on the keyboard in iOS 7. Pretty much entering in any sort of text, email, messages, etc. was extremely laggy for a lot of users. However, there’s easy fix, although it seems rather temporary, since it involves disabling a feature that you most likely use. If you disable Documents & Data in the iCloud settings, the keyboard should work as normal.

We’ve also heard from users that app icons will appear awkwardly on the home screen after updating and spotlight search doesn’t work properly, but many reports have cited that a simple reboot of your phone can do the trick.

However, these bugs shouldn’t scare you away, and if you don’t even use iCloud (like myself), then the keyboard lag issue won’t even be a problem.

iOS 7 Features I Love

iphone4s-ios7The New Look

The redesigned, flattened user interface of iOS 7 has gotten mixed results from users, but redesigns usually receive a lot of criticism no matter what. Personally, I really like the new look. It was rather surprising at first, with the weird gradients and the mess of colors all over the place, but after navigating around the OS for a while now, I quickly came to realize that it really works, and it gives iOS a much-needed boost in the looks department, especially since the UI hasn’t changed drastically since it was first launched in 2007.

Control Center

I like having iDevices jailbroken because of all the cool features that you can install. However, Control Center essentially gets rid of the need for SBSettings, which is one of the most popular Jailbreak apps around. Control Center provides an easy-to-get-to control panel of sorts with toggles for connectivity options, brightness, music playback, and shortcuts to a few of Apple’s stock apps, including a flashlight shortcut.

Multitasking Tray

The new multitasking tray in iOS 7 also gets rid of the need for another jailbreak tweak called Auxo. The new multitasking tray gives you the ability to swipe through preview cards of open apps and close them out with just an upward swipe — much quicker than the ways of older iOS versions. It’s also more visual, meaning that it uses more processing power. However the iPhone 4s handles the new multitasking tray wonderfully.

Improved Siri

Along with iOS 7, Siri received a nice makeover. She recognizes more commands this time around, and she can now grab information from more sources, including Wikipedia and Twitter, meaning that she can show tweets from a user that you specify. The Siri interface also has a new look, sporting a much modern feel this time around that actually makes me want to use it. I normally don’t use Siri a lot, but the new interface and the added commands may just be the boost I needed to start using it more.

The new Control Center, accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

The new Control Center, accessible by swiping up from the bottom of the screen.

iOS 7 Features I Hate

New Notification Center

This is something I wish didn’t change in iOS 7, but it was bound to happen. iOS’s notification center received a big redesign, giving you different views that you can change between, and the ability to act on alerts right from the lock screen. That’s sounds pretty good, right? Well, they got rid of the weather widget and replaced it with text-based weather alerts that don’t even give you the current temperature.

Furthermore, the new notification center simply might be too much for some users. A lot of us don’t need the new “Today Summary” or “Tommorow Summary.” Luckily, you can turn all that off in settings, but we still miss the weather widget.

Control Center

“What? I thought you liked Control Center?” I do, but it’s missing something extremely crucial: customizability. You can’t change any of the toggles or shortcuts in Control Center, which is frustrating considering that it doesn’t include a cellular data toggle. And if you never use the calculator app or the timer, there’s no way to switch them out for something more useful; they simply take up space. I’m hoping for a jailbreak tweak to fix this, but we still have yet to hear about an iOS 7 jailbreak for the newer iPhones.

Final Verdict

Put simply, iOS 7 running on the iPhone 4s is completely fine, and I was pleasantly surprised by its performance on the two-year-old phone. Should you upgrade to it? Go for it! The new look will bring new life to an old piece of hardware, and it won’t bring many hiccups either, so it’s a win-win situation.

However, if you’re jailbroken on iOS 6 and are happy with where you’re at, then I would suggest waiting it out until iOS 7 has a jailbreak available. We’re not sure when that will be exactly, but if it takes just as long as the iOS 6 jailbreak did, then we’ll waiting until February 2014 at least.

51 Comments

  1. Laura Ross Wood

    09/23/2013 at 2:53 pm

    Thank you for that typing lag fix! It’s been driving me CRAZY!!

  2. Mel

    09/23/2013 at 5:31 pm

    I’VE BEEN HAVING BATTERY PROBLEMS

  3. theboss

    09/23/2013 at 6:17 pm

    my battery life has got better !

  4. test

    09/23/2013 at 6:58 pm

    Got camera filters alright but when you use them, photos displays the pics as big black square. All you can do then, is edit or sync.

    • Bea

      10/07/2013 at 7:29 pm

      What if it stays black or grey even after u edit???? Help!!

  5. Liz

    09/23/2013 at 8:47 pm

    Thanks for helping with the lag time, I was going insane slowly.

  6. matteyghoukis

    09/23/2013 at 9:13 pm

    F that I’m not downloading 7, it looks cheap. Like Apple sold out in order to get others to buy an iPhone. They should’ve kept doing what they were doing, it’s whi I love the iPhone so much. I seen my brother in laws phone and this guy is grossly understating the frustration and cheapness this iOS 7 comes with. It’s very Dissapointing…! If you’re seeing this post don’t do the download!

  7. Marco

    09/24/2013 at 4:14 am

    How do you close the apps

    • Sunita

      09/24/2013 at 7:49 am

      You have to double rap menu button as normal and you will see the app show up and you slide it up and it closed

  8. Debra G. Carlson (@DebraGCarlson)

    09/24/2013 at 4:39 am

    my mum recently bought an awesome white Volvo XC60 SUV by working part-time off of a laptop. have a peek at this web-site……. http://www.Fb47.coℳ

    • vbatishchev

      09/24/2013 at 6:57 am

      Did she use iOS 7 ?

      • Heather

        09/27/2013 at 4:22 pm

        Haha!!

  9. Muhammad Hammad Khan

    09/24/2013 at 7:12 am

    Its a little bit laggy. Games wihch were working fine on 6.1.3 are now lagging. Also that keyboard lag is a bit annoying.

  10. rajesh

    09/24/2013 at 8:57 am

    facetime is not showing in iphone 4s

  11. Dan

    09/24/2013 at 10:18 am

    Thanks for the tip. I have been trying to figure that one out.

  12. M Ariful Islam Jesun

    09/24/2013 at 10:27 am

    I have a huge problem…I never updated iOS 5.0 while I buy my new IPhone 4s…but now the software update shows iOS 6.1.3 available to update not iOS 7…my question is iOS 6.1.3 requires 2.8 gb free space…after updating dis again do I Hv to update for ios 7 n again will it consume another 2.8 gb free space????? My phone is 16gb…guys plz I need ur suggestion😓😔😞😖plz help

    • Tim

      10/17/2013 at 5:49 am

      Why would your phone hold both operating systems? It wouldn’t. Once you update to IOS7 then 6 will be deleted. If you use proper english others might be more inclined to respond.

  13. David

    09/24/2013 at 10:31 am

    I updated my 4S on Friday and now the phone does not work properly. Wifi doesn’t work, apps crash within 10 seconds and the battery drains in a matter of hours. The download started the problems, I hope Apple can fix my phone and not expect to charge me big money since they caused this disaster.

    • Marco

      09/24/2013 at 11:07 am

      This is awful. My perfectly good iPhone 4 has been ruined by this new iOS. Who’s gonna buy it when i want to change it now?

  14. Bob Keene

    09/24/2013 at 12:09 pm

    iPhone 4s 16gb, update to IOS 7 and WiFi gets broken- will work sometimes, then shuts down, wifi toggle switch greyed out. Sometimes I have wifi, but no symbol in corner, go to Settings and it tells me that WiFi is “Off”…?
    Then screen locks up and whole phone crashes…. this is a mess…..

  15. Marty Bloom

    09/24/2013 at 12:35 pm

    Feature left out for 4s is the ability to add custom labels for phone numbers in contacts. So when syncing with iPad or MacBook which does have custom labels, the iPhone will drop the phone numbers in the contact card for any numbers that have or had a customer label. I ended up putting them in the notes field. Bummer.

  16. Jacquie

    09/24/2013 at 2:28 pm

    thank you so much for the little sentence about the keyboard lag. My was really bad, it took me 10 minutes to send a text that was only 3 sentences, but turning of the documents and data in icloud did the trick, works fine now! I would have never thought of it, thanks so much!

  17. Dale Jackson

    09/24/2013 at 6:38 pm

    I’m having a huge problem with my email since the update. I get who it’s from and the subject but that’s it it’s just white after that. I use this phone for work so not being able to see my emails is a real problem. Any suggestions on how to fix this.

  18. Jane

    09/24/2013 at 9:52 pm

    when i had ios6 i could couble click the bottom button on my iphone4 to close any apps that were open, now i cant do that, is there anyway with the new ios7, as having apps open drains battery quicker ?? Thanks

  19. jaki

    09/24/2013 at 10:05 pm

    I can’t close my apps, am using iphone 4 with ios7, and they don’t slide up to close

  20. Paul

    09/25/2013 at 9:24 am

    I installed iOS7 and the wi-fi on my 4s stopped working. Apple tech support couldn’t help and I will need to send them the phone ($199 because it is “out of warranty”) to get it fixed or replaced. Since they don’t know what causes the issue though, I am not sure I won’t have the same problem with another 4s phone if they have to replace it for me.

  21. Doug

    09/25/2013 at 10:56 am

    Upgraded to IOS 7 on my 4 but. Upgraded as a new phone..Where can I find my old apps??..Thanks

  22. Shan

    09/25/2013 at 1:44 pm

    After 7 updation in my 4s i lost my facetime icon in my settings.. Now i cant make any facetime calls.. Help me to solve the problem .. I cant set my facetime account, its totally missing in my 4s

  23. Miguel Callejas

    09/25/2013 at 2:19 pm

    It crashes, it is slow… it is not working fine.

  24. Marty Karl

    09/25/2013 at 5:09 pm

    IOS 7 has been a disaster for me. Battery life has halved for me running ios7 on a 4s phone, I have had to turn off almost every useful feature to preserve battery life. I am seriously considering ditching my iPhone and moving to an android device where life is longer and if i get caught short I can swap batteries.

    • Martha

      09/26/2013 at 3:56 pm

      I agree totally! My 4s was running perfect with IOS6! Now, I have no battery life and it pisses me off I have to be on a charger always. I’ve closed running apps and it still sucks…I think Apple just wants us to upgrade to the 5S.

  25. Robin

    09/25/2013 at 9:14 pm

    How do we close apps used to double clicking to close that doesn’t seem to work any longer?

  26. Karen

    09/26/2013 at 11:29 am

    Would just like to thank you, after reading this article I have now fixed the problem of the keyboard lag that has been driving me crazy for the last week

  27. Hunter

    09/26/2013 at 11:40 am

    I’m having the opposite experience using iOS 7 on my iPhone 4… I’m finding it very laggy and slow.

  28. edaf

    09/26/2013 at 1:15 pm

    hsolhodfhlcouaf

  29. Jay

    09/27/2013 at 4:43 am

    I love ios 7 on my iphone 4

    • Paul

      10/18/2013 at 8:35 am

      I love my ios 7 on my iphone 4s

  30. Tim

    09/27/2013 at 2:51 pm

    Cropping feature in my 4S phone does not work properly with ios7. I crop a picture and what shows in the cropped view is different from what I chose to crop. When I save, actual cropping is what I initially cropped. So I can’t rely on the intermediate cropped view to know how image will look. I couldn’t figure out how to report this issue to Apple.

  31. akhil

    09/29/2013 at 12:23 pm

    Excellent work Mr. Craig and a million thanks for your help with keypad!

  32. Albert Flores

    10/06/2013 at 3:29 pm

    I held off installing ios7 on my iPhone 4S because of all the negative posts. Well, I broke down and installed it, and it is performing perfectly! No keyboard lag or any app issues. Not sure where all the neg feedback is coming from. I am a happy camper!

  33. James Gerboc

    10/06/2013 at 4:54 pm

    How can you possibly get 36 hours out of an iPhone battery? If I switch on airplane mode for half the day I wouldn’t get 18 hours. Also, when reviewing ios7, it is important to discuss core apps, ie calendar, mail, etc. Some of us live and die by these apps which have also changed. Finally, a pretty interface is fine if its readable in all types of lighting. The new look has hardly been evaluated outside on a sunny day. I take offense to your comment about change being the main problem. These devices are tools for some of us, not toys.

  34. Mujahid

    10/07/2013 at 1:51 am

    What should I do. ?????
    Do I upgrade with ios7.
    Currently I’m on iOS 5.0.1 version.
    Plz recommend me

  35. Lauren

    10/07/2013 at 7:14 am

    My iPhone 4S worked perfectly until I updated. My wifi won’t work for more than a minute, it says it sent iMessages that have not been sent, it lags and crashes all the time. Luckily I’m due for an upgrade on my verizon plan but I’m never buying another iPhone again!

  36. Jeff

    10/08/2013 at 11:15 pm

    I was not happy with iOS7 on my iPhone 4S. Luckily, the Wifi was not working and I had some warranty left so I got a new factory phone from Apple with iOS 6.1.3 (yeah, the one approved by Jobs :DD !!) Bottom line, want to get back 6.1.3., thats about the only way now ’cause you can’t normally revert back!

  37. Peter

    10/09/2013 at 8:01 am

    What do you work for apple? iOS 7 on iPhone 4S is a F*cking nightmare. I used to like my phone, and now it feels like a droid X. Come one, the phone is only 2 F*cking years old, WTF?!?! What about those of us that can’t afford or have a desire to purchase a new $500 phone every 2 years?

  38. Dave

    10/21/2013 at 6:24 pm

    Updated to iOS7 on my 4s. Very poor results apple. Crashes, hangs, calendar sporadic and hangs or kicks out of apps. This stuff is supposed to work… lost customer

  39. aikanae

    10/31/2013 at 11:05 am

    This is the worst OS upgrade experience I’ve had with Apple so far. I hope this won’t become a trend. It took a full 24hrs before my apps showed up again, only they are all over the place. The settings have changed, but offer more and confusing at first. Gmail was broken. I tried to upgrade security in Gmail with a new 2 step procedure and wasn’t successful (wasted almost a day) and finally got the old security method working again. Notifications are nuts. Can’t see them all in one place. Automatic pass lock? OMG. Save me. The WORST? My battery life is LESS THAN 2 HOURS! No bluetooth, using app battery saver, closing down as much as possible. I’m heading to Sprint, who will blame it on Apple, then the genuis bar will send me back to Sprint, on and on …. looking forward to a jailbreak SOON.

  40. Naveen

    11/03/2013 at 10:24 am

    will be keeping ios 6 on my 4s

  41. Adeel Asif

    01/07/2014 at 1:38 pm

    i was about to upgrade my 4s, after reading all the comments i have decided not to, thanks to all.

  42. Dragosh

    01/22/2014 at 3:04 pm

    I wll buy next week a new phone, iphone 4s ,my first iphone experience.Can i upload from ios 5 to ios 6 or something like that ? i don’t want IOS 7,after i read all the comment above …

  43. BlueWave

    02/04/2014 at 7:10 am

    Decided not to upgrade, all my idevices were still on ios 6.

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