Sure, we all want the latest and greatest operating system running on our iOS devices, but if you’re the proud owner of an iPhone 4S, you might want to think twice before upgrading to iOS 8.
Ars Technica has done some field tests using an iPhone 4s running iOS 8. Although the operating system runs decently, there are definitely some drawbacks that might stop iPhone 4s users from hitting update right away.
As seen in the chart above, iOS 8 performs more slowly across the board when opening apps. Safari takes almost twice as long to load, and even rebooting your 4S under iOS 8 takes an extra 3.4 seconds.
The iPhone 4S also can’t make use of many of the new iOS 8 features. AirDrop and Handoff are not available, nor are modern graphics frameworks such as OpenGL ES 3.0 and Metal, as the iPhone 4S GPU is too old to make use of them. The article also notes that new enhancements like QuickType, while compatible, are quite cramped on the 4S’s smaller 3.5-inch display.
The Bottom Line
If you’re happy with how your iPhone 4S runs under iOS 7, you might want to wait for a bit. As with the release of iOS 7, Apple will likely release a “point one” release of iOS 8 in the near future that may improve performance on the older iPhone 4S. While we’re not going to tell you outright not to update to iOS 8 – that’s always your decision – it is important to consider the pros and cons of the move before you pull the trigger.