Apple iOS 4.1 GM full review

Apple iOS 4.1 on Apple iPhone is the most solid, responsive iOS release to date.

Now that we've been using the GM mobile operating system release for the past 24 hours, we can safely say that iOS 4.1 on iPhone (including the 3G) is the most solid, responsive iOS release to date - with some cool new features to boot.

Apple iOS 4.1: Performance

The Apple iOS 4.0 mobile operating system was really fast on iPhone 4, but painfully slow on Apple iPhone 3G. The difference was so noticeable, we even started to wonder if Apple was purposely driving upgrades. Now that Apple iOS 4.1 is out for developers, we can put my paranoid suspicions to rest - this new version restores the former glory of iOS 3 to older 3G handsets and then some. The user interface is snappier than ever, gone are the random graphical glitches, and apps load quite a bit faster. As for iPhone 4, iOS is smooth, responsive and stable - performance has improved only slightly, but any enhancement in that area is always welcome.

Apple iOS 4.1: HDR

The Apple iOS 4.1 mobile operating system's HDR is an excellent addition to the iPhone 4's already terrific camera. In some quick tests, we've already seen that HDR photos generally look better than non-HDR ones. Obviously the results really shine when there is a lot of light and a lot of shadow in the frame, but we'd say roughly 7 times out of 10, turning HDR on improves picture quality. The only down side is it takes a couple extra seconds to take the photo (as it's actually taking three photos in rapid succession), but this is a very minor gripe.

Apple iOS 4.1: Game Center

Game Center has some serious potential in Apple's iOS 4.1 mobile operating system. Right now, there aren't any games to try it with, but we really can't wait. It brings to mobile gaming what Xbox Live has to console gaming in a lot of ways (and doesn't cost an arm and a leg). Apple is really pushing iOS as a legitimate gaming platform, and Game Center is the next step. Although we've never used it, from most accounts OpenFeint is awesome and did it first. But with Game Center being so integrated into iOS 4.1 (APIs included in XCode, Game Center on the home screen, being able to use your existing iTunes account), we imagine a lot more people will adopt Game Center.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Apple iPhone 4: compare mobile phone deals


Apple iOS 4.1 GM: Specs

  • iOS 4 works with iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPhone 3G. Not all features are compatible with all devices. For example, multitasking is available only with iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS