Why No iPhone 3GS iOS 7 Update Isn’t a Bad Thing

Earlier in the week, Apple unveiled its brand new operating system in iOS 7, a revamped version of its mobile operating system that is scheduled to land for iOS devices sometime this fall. It won’t be coming to every iPhone and iPad though and one of the biggest devices that’s missing out is the iPhone 3GS, Apple’s aging former flagship model. And while that might sound terrible to iPhone 3GS owners now, no iPhone 3GS iOS 7 update isn’t as bad as it seems.

Apple as expected debuted the iOS 7 update at WWDC 2013 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. And while there was talk of a new design for Apple’s software, Apple wowed the world with a complete overhaul of the software that consumers have grown to know over the better part of six or so years.


The iPhone 3GS won’t get iOS 7. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

iOS 7 is a piece of software that Apple is calling the biggest change to iOS since the arrival of the original iPhone back in 2007. And as we’ve pointed out, on paper, this appears to be the case. From a whole new look to the user interface, to new icons, to updates to the operating system’s core applications like Weather and Calendar, iOS 7 is a departure from iOS 6.

The software that was shown off at WWDC isn’t final but iPhone and iPad owners can bet on a hefty dose of new when iOS 7 arrives to replace iOS 6 later on this year.

There will, however, be some iDevice owners that are missing out on the full extent of iOS 7. As we’ve pointed out, devices like the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 won’t be getting every iOS 7 feature. At the far end of the spectrum are devices like the first iPad and the iPhone 3GS, the latter of which will be missing out on a major iOS update for the first time since it arrived back in 2009.

OS 7 isn’t coming to the iPhone 3GS and while on the surface that may sound like a bad thing to iPhone 3GS owners, it’s actually not, and despite what they may think, it doesn’t spell the end for this aging wonder.

Why No iPhone 3GS iOS 7 Update Isn’t a Bad Thing

iOS7 Isn’t the End for the iPhone 3GS

The fact that the iPhone 3GS isn’t getting iOS 7 isn’t the end of the road for the iPhone 3GS for one simple fact: Owners of the iPhone 3GS can simply remain on iOS 6.1.2 for the rest of time, something that enables the use of the Evasi0n iOS 6 jailbreak, a jailbreak that was blocked with the emergence of iOS 6.1.3.

Owners that didn’t make the jump to iOS 6.1.3 are set as through a jailbreak, iPhone 3GS owners can download a number of applications and themes that can mimic the experience of iOS 7.

For instance, those iPhone 3GS owners who want the look and feel that iOS 7 delivers can simply download a theme via Winterboard that gives the iPhone 3GS an iOS 7 type user interface. As time goes on, we expect more themes and the developers of those themes to refine them. And while it won’t be iOS 7 exactly, it’s going to offer those who want the look the opportunity to get it.

As for features, iPhone 3GS owners who jailbreak will be able to access applications like Auxo which is arguably a better Control Center solution than the one that Apple is introducing in iOS 7.

Those iPhone 3GS owners that moved to iOS 6.1.3 can’t be helped, at least not at the moment, but those that intelligently stayed on iOS 6.1.2 still have a wealth of new looks and features available to them, even if iOS 7 isn’t on the way.

Likely Better Off Without iOS 7

iOS 7 may have caused more problems than it was worth.

iOS 7 may have caused more problems than it was worth.

It was a bit of a surprise when Apple rolled out iOS 6 to the iPhone 3GS. Even back in September, the iPhone 3GS was considered ancient for a smartphone. But Apple is Apple and it decided to give owners a slimmed down version of the update.

New software doesn’t always mean a fantastic experience though and for iPhone 3GS owners, iOS 6 has been a bit of a mixed bag. While some owners have spoken favorably of iOS 6, others have been dealing with a myriad of issues including sluggishness, crashes, and just all around bad performance.

Given those issues, it’s not surprising to see iOS 7 missing iPhone 3GS owners. And quite frankly, they are probably better off. While it’s impossible to say, iOS 7 would have likely delivered just as issues as it did new features.

There is no denying that the hardware inside the iPhone 3GS is aging and thanks to the massive changes we’ve seen with iOS 7, it’s easy to think that it probably would have caused as many, if not more problems than iOS 6 did.

Something for iPhone 3GS owners to keep in mind in the buildup to the iOS 7 release later on this year.