iPhone 3G Speed Test: iOS 4.0 Versus iOS 4.1

iPhone 3G Speed Test: iOS 4.0 Versus iOS 4.1
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iOS 4.0 was so slow on our 3G, we promptly downgraded after updating. Earlier this week, Apple announced, among other things, that iOS 4.1 fixed performance on the iPhone 3G. We put their claim to the test.

In the video above, the iPhone 3G battles itself in an epic speed test to find out if Apple’s claims are true: Is iOS 4.1 faster than 4.0, or is it just a wash?

Music by Julian Wass

Note: This is far from a scientific examination of both versions of iOS 4. We only had one iPhone 3G to work with and couldn’t run through the trials at the exact same time. As a result, some of the actions are not perfect, but they nonetheless demonstrate some performance differences between iOS 4.0 and iOS 4.1.

Double note: To clarify, iOS 4.1 isn’t yet available through iTunes; what you see, however, is the final 4.1 release running on our iPhone 3G.

The video demonstrates the results, but here they are in all their glory:

  • Messages: iOS 4.1 Wins (By a Little)
  • Maps: iOS 4.1 Wins (By a Lot)
  • Photos: iOS 4.1 Wins (Just Barely)
  • Safari: iOS 4.1 Wins (Just Barely)

While the speed advantages ranged from marginal to significant, iOS 4.1 clearly outperformed iOS 4.0. It’s still significantly slower performance than you’ll get from a 3GS or iPhone 4, and we’re still not sure it’s a big enough improvement that 3G owners will want to ditch iOS 3. The most obvious difference was UI responsiveness. The UI didn’t get stuck nearly as much on an interface element or when trying to enter text. If you are set on using iOS 4, the upgrade is worthwhile for that alone.


  • Whether you are running OS 3.1.* or iOS 4.1, you really need to jailbreak, then install “NoSpot”. This removes the SpotLight feature, doesnt just hide it. On both versions on a 3G I have seen massive improvement in speed! Helped me love my iPhone again 🙂

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