iPhone 4S Users May Experience Performance Issues with iOS 8

According to a detailed analysis of Apple’s newly released iOS 8 on iPhone 4S by ArsTechnica, the device’s smaller display and slower processing power may not be enough to run Apple’s latest mobile software at its full potential. While the iPhone 4S gets many of iOS 8’s biggest additions, including support for extensions, it seems to be missing out on several features that depend on newer hardware.

Iphone 4s

Some of the features that are omitted in iOS 8 for iPhone 4S include AirDrop, TouchID, Handoff for applications (except iPhone call forwarding to other devices which works fine), support for OpenGL ES 3.0, the Metal graphics API and 64-bit ARMv8 apps. Additionally, the device’s 3.5 inches display may not be big enough to fit enough information such as predictive typing, new Mail sorting options, Notification Center widgets, or Spotlight suggestions.

“The 4S’ screen has always been small, but iOS 8 can make it feel cramped. Look at the Mail app, for example: you give up one strip of horizontal screen space to fit the typing suggestions and another strip at the top to show that Mail compose “windows” can be minimized to let you dig through the rest of your inbox. Both features work on the iPhone 4S, but they also leave you with only a very small bit of screen for what you’re writing.

It also needs more speed. The iPhone 4S made the jump to iOS 7 relatively gracefully, though, and it’s fine with rendering all of the fancy transparency and translucency effects. We were expecting speed to stay roughly the same in the jump from iOS 7 to iOS 8, more or less as it did when we moved from iOS 5 to iOS 6 on the 3GS. Testing some application launch times under both operating systems reset those expectations.”


The article concludes with the question of whether to upgrade to iOS 8 or not, “Despite the problems we ran into, we think the answer for most people will still be yes”. 

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  • Coach

    I currently own a 4s (looking to get the 6+ in a few weeks) but after thinking the update would be an issue and now reading this…

  • Shameer Mulji

    For those that have an iPhone older than iPhone 5, I wouldn’t recommend upgrading. Either stay on iOS 7.1.2 or upgrade to iPhone 6 / 6 Plus. Just because you can run it doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

  • Kellie

    My update was fine on the 4S. Any difference was unnoticeable.

  • AndreTen

    No performance issues with my iPhone 4S on iOS 8.

  • The excerpt says A4, but the 4s actually has an A5. Just wanted to give you a heads up!

  • Thanks Daniel

  • Tom Fenske

    No issues here!

  • aaloo

    My 4S is running as smooth as always on iOS 8.

  • aaloo

    It’s working fine on mine. No lag. No crashes. Not sure what you mean by your last sentence. If I can run it, then it does mean that I should run it, right?

  • Shameer Mulji

    If it’s running great for you fantastic. But I know for many who have a 4S, it runs a little hokey. And you can’t revert back to iOS 7.1.2. Personally, if you’re on a 4 or 4S, you’re far better off upgrading it at this point. Just my 2 cents.

  • aaloo

    Yeah, you are right. I can imagine it not running as smoothly on every 4S. It can’t be installed to 4 by the way.