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?