I want to slam my iPhone into a wall
September 7, 2010 5:13 PM   Subscribe

Resources for speeding up iPhone 3g and replacing the battery, or should I find another smartphone?

Yes I made the mistake of upgrading my iPhone 3G to slo-s 4. It crashes constantly, it lags, and the battery life is terrible. I've tried a few "fixes" recommended online, but they don't really do much.

I do a hard reset at least once a day (it takes about as long as windows to boot up again). This only speeds it up temporarily.

I don't know what's involved, but it seems like people say restoring (how?) and jailbreaking the phone is the best solution. Also recommended is installing a new battery, bit I'm not sure where I would buy the battery. Am ok attempting this with good instructions that don't involved soldering.

I fantasize about holding a contest to see who can come up with the most creative solution to destroy my iPhone and then throwing an iPhone destruction party. But I should probably find a suitable replacement first, I suppose.

Honestly I mostly use it for Internet and camera. I hate talking on the phone. Sometimes I wish I could just pay for a data plan and skip the phone allrogether, though that won't be feasible when I have to do phone interviews, for emergencies, or if I actually need to call someone. But I digress.
posted by mbird to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Get the latest version 3 software and restore. There are countless straightforward tutorials on the internets.
posted by Biru at 5:17 PM on September 7, 2010

iOS 4.1 is supposed to be out this week, and preliminary reports from people who tested the "Gold Master" are that it does fix the 3G performance problems. (dont quote me on that, your mileage may vary, etc)
posted by jmnugent at 5:18 PM on September 7, 2010

I jailbroke my 3G, and it made everything slower - in fact my jailbroken 3G with iOS 3 often ran slower than with iOS4.0. Makes sense because jailbreaking allows the phone to do more things which can slow it down or make it unstable.

And the iPhone 3G is still worth $200+ on eBay, so I wouldn't plan that destruction party just yet.
posted by meowzilla at 5:27 PM on September 7, 2010

iOS 4.1 is supposed to be out this week

Tomorrow (Wednesday, 9/8). And it directly addresses this problem.
posted by The Michael The at 5:30 PM on September 7, 2010

Apple will replace your battery for $80. But you can buy a battery for about $20 and do it yourself. Some included kits and instructions at that price.

4.1 iOS is due tomorrow and as jmnugent says, it the videos I've seen show the iPhone 3G operating much faster (at 3.x speeds) for the basic stuff. However, the processor is somewhat long in the tooth so it won't make things GS or 4 fast.
posted by birdherder at 5:31 PM on September 7, 2010

Downgrade to 3.1.3. This worked fine, at least as of a month or two ago. No jailbreak necessary.
posted by alms at 5:34 PM on September 7, 2010

I did a little googling on this issue, and discovered that leaving wifi off when I'm not using it, and turning off a bunch of other extraneous stuff (spotlight search, which I never use, for one) made a huge difference in battery life and speed.
posted by padraigin at 5:54 PM on September 7, 2010

First, if by "do a hard reset" you mean holding down the home button and sleep/wake button until the phone turns off and then back on, stop doing that. That is equivalent to troubleshooting your computer by yanking out the power cord and then plugging it back in. Hard resets are good for one thing and one thing only: if the phone is totally non-responsive and can't be powered off by normal means (i.e., holding down the sleep/wake button only and sliding to power off). Hard resets can cause OS or data corruption by not giving the phone a chance to cleanly quit all processes.

Second, iOS 4.1 will relieve the slowness introduced by iOS 4. In the meantime, if you haven't already done this, go to the Settings app > General > Home Button > Spotlight Search, and tap Notes and Messages to uncheck them. Go into each of your mail accounts in Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars and turn off Notes syncing. Go to Settings > Safari > Clear Cookies. Close tabs in Safari if you aren't using them.

As for the battery life: if the iPhone is out of warranty, and if the phone's only problem (that requires hardware service) is determined by Apple to be the battery, the whole device can be replaced for $79. Apple does not open iPhones and replace batteries. If you go the self-service or 3rd-party route, your phone will be unserviceable by Apple, for any reason and at any cost.

You may be able to improve your battery life by performing a software restore. Because restoring the phone erases everything on it, you'll need to plug it into iTunes and use the Info tab to sync your contacts, calendars, bookmarks and notes into external programs like Outlook (PC) or Address Book/iCal/Safari/Mail (Mac). Also import the photos off your phone using whatever software you'd normally use to import photos from a digital camera. Then in iTunes, under the Summary tab, press Restore, and continue, back up, transfer, agree, etc., until the process starts. The latest iOS will download if you don't already have it on your computer, and then it'll be written to your phone. When it's done choose "set up as new device"! If you choose to restore from a backup, some of the issues that had their origins in software may be reintroduced, bringing you right back to where you started. After setting it up as a new device, sync your contacts, calendars, apps, music, etc. back onto the iPhone using the relevant tabs in iTunes. After all is said and done you will have lost your settings, text message history, call history and third-party app data. But you may see an improvement in your battery life.
posted by tepidmonkey at 6:08 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]

I feel your pain. I couldn't believe that the stupid 'death grip' antenna issue got so much press, whereas the fact that millions of 3G phones were made slow and unstable was given a free pass.

Anyways. Hopefully 4.1 will render this irrelevant, but I did find that doing a full restore thru iTunes fixed things for about a week. I'm guessing there are memory leaks in 4.0 that gradually eat up resources and cause the problems.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:41 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wait for 4.1 (hours from now, really), see if that helps. If not, jailbreak and downgrade. Neither of these will probably help with the battery; they just get old and fail. All batteries get weaker with time and use.
posted by chairface at 10:19 PM on September 7, 2010

> The Michael The: "Tomorrow (Wednesday, 9/8)."

Interested to know where you read this information. Not that I'm doubting you, but I like to think I keep pretty up to speed on Apple rumor websites...and I haven't seen any articles anywhere pinning it down to today.... ?
posted by jmnugent at 7:29 AM on September 8, 2010

Interested to know where you read this information. Not that I'm doubting you, but I like to think I keep pretty up to speed on Apple rumor websites...and I haven't seen any articles anywhere pinning it down to today.... ?


Though this is Apple, so we don't know for sure until it actually shows up. Today, tomorrow, whatever, I just hope it fixes iOS 4 on the 3G.
posted by The Michael The at 8:23 AM on September 8, 2010

Update: it's out now via iTunes.
posted by The Michael The at 10:47 AM on September 8, 2010

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