iOS4 (critically, iOS3.8)

I always get nervously excited about the release of a new OS.  And this one for iPhone was no exception.  I’d been awake since about 5am (as usual), knowing full well it wasn’t likely to see the light of day until those lazy Californians were showered and in work.  Historically, 6-6.30pm (our (proper) time) was the time slot for such a release.

Twitter went down.  FaceBook became unresponsive.  iTunes started promising contact to the mothership.  After a couple of false starts, it began downloading.

Backed up the phone as per normal, and then the long wait for the download began.  Inevitably, with millions of people trying to contact the server at the same time, mine crashed with about ten minutes to go.  I waited for a bit and gave it another shot.  This time the download worked, but then while iTunes was doing its business of updating the apps and music and video, it crashed completely.  But restarted itself.  And carried on …

Stiff upper lip, Steve.  Remember you’re English.

Eventually, it worked.  Couple of automatic reboots later and I have it.  And what a HUGE disappointment.  I’d waited HOW long for THIS?

For starters, us mere mortals with the cheap and nasty iPhone 3G weren’t blessed with multitasking, but we already knew that.  If you recall, Jobs slipped it in as an afterthought at a keynote.  If he’d mentioned it at the beginning, he wouldn’t have got out alive.  He had time to mention it before hot-footing it into the busy San Francisco morning.

Camera zoom wasn’t really handy, because the world and his wife had already spent 59 pence on an app which, frankly, did a better job.  So there are some developers this morning who’ve already swallowed their teeth in grief, knowing they now had to come up with something else.

One thing Jobs never mentioned at WWDC was the wallpapers.  With 3G, there are NO mainscreen wallpapers – just the usual black void.  I find this a little annoying.  Jobs has said today that the 3G hardware isn’t up to the job of displaying wallpapers properly.  This gives me more reason to get rid of mine.  Compared with the phone app, video, and all the other toys, wallpapers are a really small beer.  But that’s not the point.  If you’re gonna produce arguably the best stuff on earth, you’ve got to make it right first time.

Of course, everything runs a lot slower now.  The 3G was only ‘blessed’ with 128MB of RAM, and iOS4 doesn’t perform very well at all with this – the iPhone 4 has 512MB.  Like running Vista on a ZX Spectrum.

Hope to have some iPhone 4 unboxing photos for you very soon (courtesy of @mikki_h)


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