One of the lesser-advertised benefits of iOS 7.1 is improved responsiveness and performance on the iPhone 4. And right on queue, Ars Technica has taken a look at what kind of speed bump the nearly four-year-old smartphone has received with this software update…
According to the report, actions such as launching apps or pulling up the Control Center are noticeably smoother on the iPhone 4 running iOS 7.1. In previous versions, virtually all areas of the user interface experienced jerkiness and lag to some degree. Not that that is unexpected from the old Apple A4 processor.
Apple has also shortened the duration of system animations on iOS 7.1. The chart below reveals that launch times for several apps, while not exactly comparable with iOS 6.1.3 levels, have dropped from iOS 7.0. Messages, for instance, opened in 2.8 seconds on iOS 7.0 and in just 1.5 seconds on iOS 7.1.
In a few instances, iOS 7.1 very nearly catches up with iOS 6.1.3, which is impressive given the gap between the two operating systems in some of these apps [above]. It’s not a complete recovery from the original iOS 7.0 release, but it’s about as good as Apple can do with hardware this old.
iOS 7.1 will more than likely be the final software update that the iPhone 4 receives. A number of minor updates could follow in the coming weeks and months, but they would in all likelihood focus on bug fixes only at this point. If you are planning to upgrade to iOS 8 in the future, you should probably consider looking for a newer iPhone.