iOS 5 On iPhone 3GS – How Well Does It Run? Which Features Are Not Supported?

iOS 5

When Apple released iOS 4 last year, iPhone 3G users complained that iOS 4 slowed down their iPhone forcing some of them to take the drastic step of downgrading to iPhone OS 3.1.3.

So even though iPhone 3GS users got the good news yesterday that iOS 5 will be compatible with their iOS device, despite rumors last week that they will be left out, there were still some apprehensions about couple of things.

  • Will iOS 5 slow down iPhone 3GS? (due to its lower processor compared to iPhone 4 and lower RAM – 256MB Vs 512MB)
  • Will all the features be available for iPhone 3GS users?

You can checkout the video of iOS 5 beta running on iPhone 3GS published by a Polish developer to get an idea:

Based on the video, folks at 9to5Mac have compiled the list of features that are supported and the ones that are not supported on iPhone 3GS:

The developer concludes:

In my opinion, iOS 5 beta works flawlessly on iPhone 3GS”

Though it’s still early days and we still need to find out, which other features are not supported on iPhone 3GS, things are looking quite positive.

Please share your views in the comments section and if you’re a developer who has got iOS 5 beta running on your iPhone 3GS then please tell us your experience below.

[via 9to5Mac]

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  • Jay

    gr8 ..,.. i hope it actually does work flawlessly
    waiting to check out the new features

  • SALVADORIAN SOLDIER REPRESENTING UNITED STATES

    SURE MAN! I DO BELIEVE THAT IOS 5 WILL BE COMPATIBLE BUT SOME APPS WONT QUITE RUN AS GOOD AS LATEST IPHONE VERSION.

    PROBABLY 50/50 WILL BE UP TO RUN ON CLASSIC FIRMWARES.

    NOT TO HAPPY ABOUT NEW IOS RELEASE FOR MY COLLECTION OF IPHONES:(

  • Kiwiholden

    How long will it take for someone to find reference to the iPhone 5 in the iOS 5 code…

  • asger

    i’m sure it will work fine on my 3gs, but with all that background download and so on, I think it will drain my battery. because of that I think Apple have to increase the battery life on iphone5 drasticly

  • Crow

    So I’m guessing everyone gave up on updating ultrasnow unlocks.

  • Diondon

    So i don’t have to throw away the faithful 3GS eh?

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ fas

      Reference to next gen iPad already found.

  • http://www.chidozie.webs.com Doz (help make poverty history)

    If this is the case, then ios 5 is absolutely useless for the 3GS. And it implies that Apple is finally having their wits end, which is really sad ‘cos they revolutionized the cell phone system.

    Currently, my 3GS can perform nearly all of the afore-discussed ios 5 functions under ios 4.3.2.

  • HACKER

    OF COURSE IOS5 WILL WORK FOR 3GS AND IF SOMETHING DOESNT WORK THEN THERE WILL BE A TWEAK AVAIABLE IN CYDIA SO IT CAN WORK LET ME REMIND YOU ALL THE THINGS THAT DIDNT WORK FOR IPHONE 3G BUT THEN IN CYDIA THERE WAS TWEAKS AND APPS FOUND SO EVERYTHING COULD WORK LIKE MULTASKING AND GAMECENTER AND EVEN FACETIME WORKS ON IPHONE 3G AND EVEN ANDROID PORTED ON OLD IPHONE 3G SO THIS CONCLUDES APPLE DOESNT GIVE CORRECT INFORMATION ON WHAT WORKS CUZ WITH THE HACKING COMMUNITY AND DEVELOPERS BEHIND US THEY WILL PROVE APPLE WRONG AGAIN AND AGAIN AND IM PRETTY SURE U CAN DISABLE FEATURES SO YOU CAN EVEN HAVE FASTER SPEEDS

  • Ralph

    SOMETIMES I LIKE TO SHOUT AND NOT USE PUNCTUATION TOO

  • alexsgocart

    Im trying the iOS 5 on the 3GS and so far it runs great, but there is no multitasking and i got the notifications bar to come down once but now i cant get it to come down anymore. I will mess with it more to see.

    • iantrich

      Alex, I’m having the same problem. Have you found any solutions yet to get multitasking and the notifications? I’m using a 3GS with no developer account, used the weather widget hack to bypass activation.

      • mmmraj

        hmmm if u used the weather widget hack to activate it.. den u shud not have a problem getting into the notification bar..

        i used the emergencycall911 and den lock/unlock the phone to activate…
        and i have no notifications bar and no multitasking… maybe coz i am using the old bootrom 3gs

  • MICHAEL

    I KNOW ALL THE TWELVEYEAROLDS LIKE TALKING WITH CAPS TOO OMG

  • Johnny Virgil

    I upgraded last night. Notifications work. Multitasking still works. Haven’t figured out yet how to do geolocated reminders. And no idea how iMessages is supposed to work – tried emailing a friend with OS5, no sign of a message. But backing up to the cloud currently.

    Speed seems fine. A bit of a hiccup when starting an app, where it starts bringing up the screen, *beat*, then it finishes coming up.

  • chris

    It works fine on my end, the only glitch i get is when I try to change the background, after i install some from my handy app, they dont show up in the settings…

    but other than that, everything works fine…

  • Richie

    Have they figured out a setting to turn off the “always search for wifi hotspots” that was introduced in iOS 4.0 — it drains the battery. Most of the time I leave the wifi off. I would like to see a proper clipboard app as well, so I can copy between apps.

  • Mark

    Richie said…

    Have they figured out a setting to turn off the “always search for wifi hotspots” that was introduced in iOS 4.0 — it drains the battery. Most of the time I leave the wifi off. I would like to see a proper clipboard app as well, so I can copy between apps.

    Turn off “Ask to Join Networks” under wifi settings.

  • Jonas205

    My iPhone 3GS became extremely sluggish after upgrade from iOS 4 to iOS 5. Even after reset or reboot, the phone is so slow i can barely use it. Saying iOS 5 is iPhone 3GS compatible is a stong oversatement. I will downgrade

  • Mr P

    Well I upgraded without thinking and I have to say that on my 3GS is now running so slow I’m going to look at downgrading! Very disappointed!

  • http://www.goldstackers.com.au goldpelican

    Upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iOS5 – runs like a dog. There’s several seconds of lag to open applications – in Safari, if you open the browser, you need to wait a few seconds for it to display the previously cached page. Have also had the phone spontaneously reboot which I’ve never seen before.

    Attempting a restore now.

    Also (temporarily) bricked my iPad doing the update – had the cable running through a laptop docking station, had error code 1611 on trying to restore – plugging the cable directly into the laptop’s USB port resolved that if it helps anyone.

  • lulu

    Don’t upgrade your 3GS to iOS5 !! Everything is so slow
    I tried to downgrade to 4.3.5 but I get error 1604… :(
    I feel so frustrated now…. My iPhone feels like an old Windows Mobile :(
    I would have preferred to stay on 4.3.x.
    Shame on you Apple !
    You could have at least give users the choice to downgrade if they wanted to….

  • primus

    Heres the big tip. IOS5 on 3GS. I had 5-10 second lag since upgrade. I wiped the iphone and did a restore. still no fix.
    Now heres what worked for me. I was backing up contacts and calendar to iCloud. I turned these off and now its like a new one!!. Give it a try and let me know how you go.
    Turn off iCloud….

    • CR

      Glad this worked for you, but I never enabled iCloud when I upgraded and have the same poor performance on my 3GS, 10 second delays for almost everything and it can’t keep up with my typing for text messages – even with no iCloud serviced enabled.

  • Ed Ruder

    iOS 5 *is* pretty noticeably sluggish on my 32GB 3GS iPhone.

    - Sometimes scrolling around in Mail is *super* choppy and slow, freezing for several seconds. Perhaps more so when Mail is checking for new mail?
    - Filing an email into a folder sometimes aborts before I select the folder. Happens commonly, perhaps 50% of the time.
    - I’ve had apps crash often (Safari, Messages, Mail, Pandora, others)–way more often than they ever did (which was rarely) before the upgrade.
    - Opening Settings can take several seconds, while staring at a gray screen.

    In general, I like the new features, but I feel like there is an update or two from Apple (and perhaps third-party app developers) that needs to address these performance & stability issues for the 3GS and iOS 5 before it can be considered to be “working flawlessly”!

  • Will

    Since upgrading both mine and my girlfriends 3GS phones are SLOW, often get texts late and app’s run slow or shut themselves down, phone reboots on its own (4times) and its just not right. I turned the icloud off and rebooted and still get the same thing SLOW.
    I hope they have a fix for it soon because i like the new features 5.0 has.

  • Kery

    Using iOS 5 on 3gs.
    From my view, it has slightly lag when scrolling the icons compared that 4.3.x. Maybe due to the winterboard themes which is not very compatible yet with iOS 5 .
    The battery drained like 20% more compare than 4.3.x. The battery may drained more when using heavy apps such as 3D games. So i just plug my 3gs into my lappy when playing games.
    Same concept as “old brain computer” with the “new implementation”..i figured out the memory used was more than before. So i try turn off any fetch or push app that i was thinking im not using it so much. Memory Cleaner Apps – “Cleaner” works charm when i felt my phone having lagging.
    App running very well, also when opening apps, no lag..

    2 things in my mind :

    1. Downgrade back to 4.3.3 for untethered and wait another 1 or 2 month to upgrade into iOS 5 again (maybe at this time apple will come out with updates)
    2. Just use this iOS 5, and trying to keep myself up to date with the iOS 5 including the apps.

    Thats all =)

  • Danielle

    I just updated my iPhone 3 and now none of my apps work!!! Help!!!

    • Patrick

      Exact same problem here. Anyone have any suggestions?

  • Anne

    I’ve just upgraded and my 3GS is still working perfectly. The only feature that doesn’t seem to work is the camera app on the lock screen-it’s not there. The photo editing features work though.

  • Brian

    Yup! I noticed that my phone lags after flashing with ios 5. That’s when I started searching for a confirmation. Alas! It’s true..After I saw all the posts before me. Sad!

  • Gary

    HELP!!! Updated my 3GS to the 5.0 and lost my calender and it won’t let me sync!!! Gives my an “over” error on my memory. What is this “other” that’s jamming me up??? Help plz!!!

  • http://www.gsmhosting.in naresh

    but bro ios 5 runing in 3gs but its untethered ya tethered ???????????

  • bob

    5 sucks on 3gs, slows everything down. I have a 25mb FiOS wifi connection and all the apps are slow everytime I open them. Not happy. Anyway to go back to 4.?

  • todd

    Just got pinged for iOS5.01 update.

    see if it helps

  • Maureen

    Has anyone noticed that their camera takes really blurry photos when zoomed after upgrading to OS5 on iphone 3GS? Any solutions???

    • Sue

      My camera takes really blurry photos – zoomed or not. HELP!

  • psyhunterson

    my 3Gs runs terribly on iOS 5. whenever i open contacts, it gets 4 seconds (!) to open a contact’s information! Plus, the magnifying glass it opens when you correct while typing, it’s really slow! Another of my issues is the cover flow performance in music. The motion isn’t fluid anymore. It’s jerky. Battery drain problem another issue. I went to new performance report field in settings and saw that everyday I have incidents of “memory full” reports. I have turned off calendar settings and ALL iCloud options but the memory problem remains. The worst problem is that of my contacts. When I really need to choose a contact’s number, the 4 seconds to open it feels like an eternity of frustration!

  • Jonathan

    My iPhone 3GS is working amazing with ios 5.0.1 it’s amazing no problems what so ever.

  • Krista

    My 3Gs has gotten slower and slower since I updated to iOS 5!!! It’s getting so bad that I wish I could downgrade to 3.whatever. I don’t use icloud, I have only a couple of apps using location services, I regularly shut down apps running in the background, but it’s still ridiculously slow. It takes 2 or 3 seconds when I go into Safari before the page shows up. It takes a few seconds when I go into music before I can back out into my list of playlists. when I unlock and type in my passcode, I usually type in the whole thing until the keyboard clicks click on top of each other and catch up. It lags while I’m playing games, while I’m typing text messages… and my apps are crashing all the time. It’s so obnoxious.

  • Jest

    If ur jailbroken have every app in ur quick slide and don’t remove them, and use sbsettings to free memory and respring and free memory again. This works for me when thing grind to a halt.