With the introduction of the new iPhone 5s and 5c phones came the new and massively redesigned iOS7. The new iOS was a departure from skeuomorphism and the cartoony feel of the first generations of iPhone operating systems. The new iOS is sleeker, flatter, and much more powerful on the iPhone 5s, but if you still own the oldest supported versions of iPhone, like the 4 and 4s, iOS performance was less than stellar.
The performance issues are to be expected, iOS 7 is designed to operate best with the newest iPhone hardware. However, will the previous versions of the iPhone be relegated to sub-par performance with no hope of maximizing the meager performance their older hardware configurations allow? Read on to find out how to maximize the early iPhones for increased iOS7 performance.
iPhone 4 Tweaks
With the introduction of iOS7, Apple understood that many iPhone 4 users would want to upgrade to the new operating system even though their phones are barely able to support the new OS. To smooth the transition, Apple turned off most of iOS7's visual effects. But for many iPhone 4 users the performance slowdown is rooted in more than just graphical eye candy.
One of the first adjustments that can free up system resources is to stop iOS7 from checking for new data on behalf of third-party apps. To change this setting, open your Settings app and select General. Tap the Background App Refresh selection and change the switch at the top of the new menu to the off position.
The next step to freeing up resources on your iPhone 4 will be the same as your home computer, free up space. Operating systems need free space to maximize performance on home computers and smartphones alike, so leaving a portion of your available space free is important. To check iOS7 free space, tap the Settings app, select General, and tap Usage.
If the performance of your iPhone 4 is still substandard with the new OS after the first two adjustments are made, consider a fresh install. While this is a drastic step, and should only be used if iPhone performance is unbearable, sometimes a fresh start with a clean install is needed. Be sure to make a new backup of your phone's settings in iTunes and then restore your iPhone to factory settings. Once the process has been completed, restore your apps and try out the phone again.
Stay With iOS6 For As Long As You Can
If you own the iPhone 4, save yourself the trouble from slow performance and stick with iOS6. Yes, Apple will no longer support the old OS and yes, if you already upgraded to iOS7 there is no way to revert to the old OS.
The issue is that the iPhone 4 was not designed to operate an OS like iOS7 and iOS7 was not designed to work on the old hardware of the iPhone 4's A4 processor. To illustrate this point, a popular technology website recently compared operations on the iOS6 iPhone 4 and iOS7 iPhone 4 and noted that all operations are at least one second to one and a half seconds longer on iOS7 than iOS6.
Hold on to your iOS6 for as long as you can, or, if you have already upgraded to iOS7 and the old iPhone 4 just cannot keep up, upgrade to the new iPhone 5s and see exactly what the new OS can really do.