App Review: Improving iOS4 Performance on iPhone 3G


Hello everyone, a quick introduction!  I’m Marc and I am one of the new writers here at iPhoneinCanada.  I’ve been a Windows guy for most of my life until I got my hands on my iPhone 3G.  The amazing user experience convinced me to walk into the light and I picked up my first Mac about a year ago.  I think that one of the best things about the iPhone is the apps, so I have the great pleasure of reviewing iPhone apps and posting here once a week.

Many iPhone 3G users who have upgraded to iOS4 firmware have experienced performance lags when opening or closing apps, zooming photos, scrolling, or even when just typing text.

iPhoneinCanada recently wrote about an email from Steve Jobs indicating that a software update is coming soon to fix the problem.  During last Wednesday’s keynote, Steve announced that iOS4.1 would be released the week of Sept. 6th to address some of these issues.

iOS 4.1 Fixes

If you’re a little reluctant to update to iOS4.1, you will find that one way improve performance is by cycling power to your iPhone.  I timed this recently to be an eternal 2 minutes and 31 seconds on my iPhone 3G.  That’s a bit too long for me, and on top of that, I might miss an important call or text message during that time.

Thank goodness that there’s an app for everything.  To help get my performance back without having to cycle power, I use an app called Memory Status.  It’s $0.99 in the App store.

I have been a long-time user of this app and it’s been living on my homepage for years.  While there are other memory cleaning utilities out there that are free (Memory Sweep / Scan), this is one of the more nicely designed apps that I have tried.

The program opens to display a pie chart depicting the current RAM memory allocation.  The larger the “wired” or red part of the pie, the less memory available to run programs.  Pressing the Cleaning button on the menu takes you to where you can recover that precious memory.

App Screenshot - Memory Status 01

There are two levels of cleaning available on the Cleaning screen with Level 2 being the one that frees up the most memory.  Having my iPhone powered up for a number of days running various apps, choosing Level 2 cleaning took only 52 seconds.  I have found that cleaning will often will take less time than this.

App Screenshot - Memory Status 02

On average, I run this program once a day since I upgraded to iOS4 to keep my 3G running as smooth as possible.  I also run it prior to launching large, memory intensive programs such as Tom Tom or perhaps my favourite game.

I hope you found this app review helpful.  For info on speeding up your 3GS or shiny new iPhone 4, check out this post.

What have you found that improves your iOS4 performance?  What other types of utilities have you found to be useful that you couldn’t live without?


  • Now this sounds like an app every non jailbroken iPhone 3G user should download! Welcome aboard! 🙂

  • Tired_

    How does this differ from respringing or hitting RemoveBG in SBSettings? Other than being slower, I mean.

  • Oshawapilot

    SMS / Text messages don’t get “missed” when your phone is off, they queue on the network (usually for up to 48 hours or so depending on your carrier) and get delivered when your phone comes back online.

    So worrying you might miss a text during a reboot isn’t really a valid concern.

  • Marc W.

    You’re right, and my phone calls would go to voicemail. Thanks!

  • Marc W.

    I have not jailbroken my iPhone 3G. So this app helps me avoid re-booting because I can’t re-spring. Thanks for the comments…

  • Marc W.

    You’re right, and a missed phone call would to go voicemail. However, re-booting for me takes way too long. Thanks for your comment!

  • Marc W.

    I have not jailbroken my iPhone 3G so I can’t re-spring, and you probably would not need an app to help you there. But for me this app (or Memory Sweep / Scan that I linked to) helps me avoid re-booting. Thanks.

  • Isak

    I’d like a utility that actually get’s me an iPhone 4 from Rogers…….not someone saying “i’ve got a few coming in tomorrow and i put your name on one” And then after not calling me and beeing hard to reach….letting me know when i go to the store to check that he didn’t get any…. I got more ” there is about 2-3 week waiting list but i’m pretty sure i can get you one this week, i’ll keep you posted” And then after a week and a half without no contact….it’s still the same 3 weeks. Rogers sales rep’s.. You Suck.

  • Marc W.

    That app would be great! I’m in the Windsor, ON area and have also been unlucky in getting my hands on an iPhone 4 from Rogers. I’ve called our local Best Buy and Future Shop pretty much every week since launch (because of the same frustrations with the local Rogers stores) and lately almost daily as I was told by employees they get unannounced drop shipments. If I wasn’t already in a Rogers contract with my 3G, I could have been using an iPhone 4 from Telus at least 2 weeks ago. I heard that I may be able to get my hands on one through my employer’s corporate cell plan co-ordinator. I’m hoping to find out this week when I return after labour day! Thanks for your comments and I hope your iPhone 4 dreams come true faster than you think they will…

  • Acarscad

    I’ve found that the best way to speed up my 3G was to downgrade to 3.1.3 and jailbreak it.
    iOS4 was so painfully slow, it was basically unusable, and I had to eat my ‘what’s the point in jailbreaking?’ words to use my phone.
    Apple forced me into this by teasing me with features like folders and threaded mail on a device that couldn’t handle the new operating system.

  • Chrome262

    go to the apple store, check all the rogers, its how i got mine at fido. i had calls out to all of them, and finally found out their delivery schedual, and checked on those two days at lunch, and got two of them. apple store has a rogers rep so you can get them on contract if need be.