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iOS 6 on iPhone 3GS: Why I Am Worried



Earlier this month, when Apple released the third version of iOS 6 beta, it added some features to iOS 6 for the iPhone 3GS. Needless to say, as an iPhone 3GS owner, I was elated about the news especially because I was someone who was pretty disappointed about the lack of iOS 6 features that Apple had originally announced for the phone. However, while I can’t help but to be excited, I am also a little worried about the prospects of a heftier update.

The iPhone 3GS is over three years old, an ageless wonder. Somehow, the device has defied the odds as Apple has managed to update it with not only iOS 4, but iOS 5 and now, iOS 6.

Read: iOS 6 for iPhone 3GS Bringing Unannounced Features.

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iOS 4’s arrival was a joyous occasion. It brought spell check, Spotlight search and a host of other improvements that I have utilized over the years. iOS 4 ran extremely smooth and I really had no reason to complain.

With the arrival of the iPhone 4S came iOS 5, an update that I almost couldn’t believe was coming to the iPhone 3GS, especially after I saw countless Android phones get left behind.

I am hopeful iOS 6 will perform well on the iPhone 3GS.

Like with iOS 6, I was extremely excited that Apple was updating my iPhone 3GS with iOS 5 and I immediately installed it, not thinking about the consequences.

At first the software ran great. However, over time, iOS 5, especially after the iOS 5.1.1 update, my iPhone 3GS has started to perform pretty poorly. Battery life just isn’t like it used to be. The phone often gets hung up when loading text messages or application. Apps occasionally crash without warning. Before WWDC 2012,  I figured that iOS 5 would likely be the end of the road for the iPhone 3GS.

So now that iOS 6 has been announced, I’m worried. I am reminded of my friends who updated their iPhone 3G with iOS 4, only to be greeted with an extremely sluggish operating system that barely worked and was void of many of the key features that Apple included in the software.

iOS 6 will bring several new features to the iPhone 3GS.

I’ve already told you how sluggish iOS 5.1.1 has become on the iPhone 3GS and I can’t imagine another update, with more features mind you, is going to run any better using the iPhone 3GS’ aging hardware.

Read: iOS 6 Release Date: What Not to Expect This Fall.

In fact, I have convinced myself that it might end up running a lot worse than iOS 5. There are many iPhone 3GS owners that have suffered far worse than I have on iOS 5. Many regret installing the software.

And while Apple has done a very diligent job updating the iPhone 3GS over the years, I really hope that it is able to offer a smooth iOS 6 experience, an experience that is worth upgrading to for all iPhone 3GS owners, not just some of them.

Anyone else out there with an iPhone 3GS worried about iOS 6? Or are you confident that Apple will smooth over the problems and release a piece of software that runs better than iOS 5?



  1. Phone Fanatic

    07/24/2012 at 3:54 pm

    Do not worry just upgrade you iPhone.

  2. kenny

    07/24/2012 at 6:39 pm

    Just don’t worry too much cos my 3GS is running fine with the IOS5.1, needless to said about 4S with 5.1. New Ipad also running perfectly well with IOS5.1.

    I have 3 of this devices and each time after an updates, i don’t see the worrying reasons.

    Just update and enjoys it knowingly know APPLE will take ours complaint with a fix not like Android.

  3. Daren Samuels

    07/24/2012 at 7:33 pm

    I still use my 3 year old 3GS 32GB for business, and it is a workhorse. Performance was sluggish with iOS 5.1, but once I loaded 5.1.1 performance improved – and improved alot. I also freed up some memory by offloading some music, and I think that helped as well. I also have a 4S, and it of course performs much better that the 3GS. That said, the 3GS is still a solid and reliable machine and I think getting 3 years out of a device like this is impressive. Several of my friends have Android phones and they look pretty beat up after 18 months. Apple makes a great product.

  4. [anonymous]

    07/24/2012 at 9:07 pm

    I know this may be a bit of exaggeration, but I am already worried that my iPhone 4S will not function properly with iOS 6. The only evidence I have for this is that my old 4th gen iPod Touch used to be really speedy, mainly because it was a 32gb and I wound up not even using more than 8. So I update eventually, running fine on iOS 5.0.1. I then get my 4S and neglected my iPod for a while. Now I can hardly type on it, I can’t even get past the lock screen without a quick stutter. Sometimes I think I just took the speed of my 4S for granted and never noticed how slow my device was, but I at least remember a lag-free lock screen. I hope iOS 6 doesn’t mess with my heavy app testing hobby, I was really looking forward to that new App Store and hope a lag doesn’t get in my way.

  5. Cuhulin

    07/24/2012 at 9:17 pm

    I have been very happy with my 3GS under IOS 5. However, the phone itself is showing age….battery life is shorter, maybe due to IOS 5 but also probably from being so old. The volume control has come off. It just feels like it may be time.

    Probably will get an Iphone 5 when it comes out.

  6. Pierre

    07/25/2012 at 1:30 am

    I’m currently running IOS 6 (beta3) on my old 3Gs and I cannot complain. Speed seems as fast or faster than on 5.1.1 and stability is also no big issue (in fact, the update fixed a bug which caused the iPhone to shut off if the battery level fell below 20%).

    The only problem I have so far is the aging battery, but it is holding up as expected. Using the 3G connection and having push email enabled, I can surf some mobile web pages and my battery will last about 4-5 hours. I fixed this by adding a battery skin with the same capacity as a new IPhone battery and it will last me through a workday easily.

    Again, Ios6 is definitely not worse than 5.1.1, I’d upgrade to a beta again

  7. Manish

    07/30/2012 at 2:18 am

    I use iPhone 3GS on iOS 5.1.1 and really, it is not the same as when I used it on iOS 4.2. Now I feel a bit irritated cos applications don’t load as fast as it used to, the phone isn’t as responsive as it used to. The sluggish is there and it seems as if I’m using an irritating piece of machine which needs a lot of improving. I’m just hopiing the iOS 6 will concentrate more on performance for the 3GS rather than adding new features. Personally, I don’t want any new feature – I want the smoothless and ease of use I once experienced with iOS 4.

  8. Alexandra Ponce de Leon

    01/30/2013 at 8:47 pm

    is it normal that after udating ios 6 to 3gs my phone just dont start up. it will just re start ryt? how long will it take to start up again?

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