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Why You Probably Shouldn’t Install iOS 8 on an iPhone 4s

by Todd Haselton | September 19, 2014September 19, 2014 7:30 am PST

Yesterday during the TechnoBuffalo Show, our weekly podcast and Hangout, one of our commenters said that he or she was unable to run iOS 8 very well on a third generation iPad. Our Editor-in-Chief Sean Aune said his rule of thumb is that he usually doesn’t install new iOS builds on devices that are more than two years old. Now we know why, as Ars Technica has put the iPhone 4s running iOS 8 through its paces. The results aren’t pretty.

The site found that every single task, whether it was opening the camera, Safari, booting the phone, even opening messages, was slower on iOS 8 than it was on iOS 7.1.2, often by a large margin. “iOS 8 can add as much as 50 percent more time to the same task compared to iOS 7,” Ars Technica explained, attributing some of that slowdown to decreased frame rates while application animations were loading.

We suspect this is the same problem our aforementioned podcast listener was experiencing on his or her iPad. The good news is that this could potentially be fixed in an update to iOS 8, though when that might launch is not immediately apparent. The bad news is that this device is officially supported by Apple for iOS 8, which means there’s a problem with quality control on some level.

We haven’t heard many complaints about iOS 8 on the iPhone 5 and it runs just fine on our iPhone 5s. If you’re running into the same slowdowns you might want to consider moving back to iOS 7.1.2, even though that might mean sacrificing hundreds of new features.

Ars Technica

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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