Sluggish iOS 4 performance on the iPhone 3G? We have the fix

After information surfaced yesterday that Apple is investigating sluggish performance on the iPhone 3G when running iOS 4, a Neowin reader posted what could be a quick and easy fix and the best part is, it actually works. 

To remedy the sluggish performance (or at least one cause of it) go to “Settings->General->Home Button->Spotlight Search-> deselect every option” and this will stop background indexing on the phone. Several users reported that the fix showed immediate results and Neowin has observed improvements on two separate iPhone 3G devices.

While the fix may not work for all units, it is clearly working for some whose iPhone 3G has become sluggish after the upgrade. It’s a relatively simple fix and there is no harm to the device by testing it out. 

If you try this solution and it works out for you, let us know as were interested to see if this is the fix that Apple is looking for. Even if this is a solution, it makes you wonder how such a simple problem made its way past quality control.   

Thanks for the tip NathanMillson 

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I just hope that if Apple decides that there is no fix for the sluggish performance problem on the iPhone 3G that they at least give us an easier way to get back to OS 3.

"Even if this is a solution, it makes you wonder how such a simple problem made its way past quality control." It's bc apple doesn't care about "older" technology. They probably only tested the OS with 3gs and 4's.
I just did this "fix" with mine. It seemed to help a little but even pulling up new text messages you have way more sluggishness than there should be.

Turned it off on mine and didn't really notice much difference in speed. I'm gonna leave it off thought 'cause I never use search and maybe it'll improve battery life?

I noticed on my 3.1.2 3G disabling helped with battery life. Thanks for the tip. Theres no way that disabling this feature I don't use could possibly cause any ill-effects...

It annoys me when people consider disabling useful functionality to be a "fix". A fix would mean patching the indexing service so that the code no longer results in the un-desired behavior.

Right. Stop the indexing service from .. indexing, but not by disabling it?

iOS4 should have kept to iPhone 4+ / iPad systems, 2/3G/GS systems work much better on 3.x almost unanimously. Would you call that a fix?

Works on iPod Touch 2G. Even iBooks works in an acceptable way now (used to be so sluggish the page peel didnt even work!)

Big Daddy Cool said,
its a bloody old fix , read it a week back on sinfuliphone.com

Since when is a week considered old?....

Myself, as well as all the previous people who posted, didn't know, so no need to chime in with a useless statement.

Astra.Xtreme said,

Since when is a week considered old?....

Myself, as well as all the previous people who posted, didn't know, so no need to chime in with a useless statement.

Since forever

Aaaw! My 3G is back!

After I upgraded to 4.0, I was tired of waiting so much for something that previously I wouldn't even bother!

Thanks for the fix!

My 3G has sped up a little. But it's still random pauses for over a minute in safari. While loafing pages. Scrolling pages. Even if I press the home button it does nothing until after a min or so later. It's then fine.

I still think...due to the quality of display after iOS4 upgrade, atleast on iPhone 3G, staying on 3.1.3 is the best thing. There are hardly any benefits of upgrading to iOS4 on iPhone 3G. The only thing you will miss is the folders...but I guess its price worth paying.

iphone 3G with 3.1.3 is as good as iphone 4 with iOS4.

scrolling from one page of apps to the next is as fast on both phones for me.

Did this on mine about a week ago and still no joy in improvement. The only times I get a speed increase is if I do a hard reset.

Llawnroc said,
Did this on mine about a week ago and still no joy in improvement. The only times I get a speed increase is if I do a hard reset.


Like me. Install iOS4 and without backups. Next a reset all settings and hard reset.
Run very good with less ram memory than iOS3 but run very well.

I already downgraded my 3G to 3.1.3 and performed a Jailbreak.. It's more than suitable for my needs, so I won't upgrade again.

It should be noted that search in each application still works with this fix. Just disables the results on the home screen search. Tested contacts, mail, SMS, all seem to have search results like normal with spotlight disabled.

Its not feeling lightening fast but it probably has helped a bit.. As most people will have had this enabled on 3.0 released too maybe this is just masking the real problem?

Maybe my phone just feels slow after I played on an iPhone 4 yesterday...

Hurmoth said,
Sluggish iOS 4 performance? Must be holding it wrong

One irony of the iPhone4 antenna issue, is that the human body can be use to augment reception strength instead of damper it. Some phones are designed this way, so that when you are holding the phone your body is getting you a bit better reception. At the very least Apple should have known better than to use an antenna grounding system that dampens the signal.

(Anyone with a remote keyless entry on their car, if you want to unlock your car or flash its lights from farther away than normal, hold the keychain remote to your chin snuggly, and hit the button, it will significantly increase the range the remote works from.)

thenetavenger said,

One irony of the iPhone4 antenna issue, is that the human body can be use to augment reception strength instead of damper it. Some phones are designed this way, so that when you are holding the phone your body is getting you a bit better reception. At the very least Apple should have known better than to use an antenna grounding system that dampens the signal.

(Anyone with a remote keyless entry on their car, if you want to unlock your car or flash its lights from farther away than normal, hold the keychain remote to your chin snuggly, and hit the button, it will significantly increase the range the remote works from.)

What? chin? I ain't puttin' that thing anywhere near my face... tomato cans work well too. I seen focused pringle can antennas as well. Satellite dishes are AWESOME!

It's Apple's search system. Scroll left on your home screen and you'll find a search function which can look through all of your items to find something for you. If you don't have all that much clutter hidden around you don't need it though. I think I've used it once or twice ever.

Intrinsica said,
It's Apple's search system. Scroll left on your home screen and you'll find a search function which can look through all of your items to find something for you. If you don't have all that much clutter hidden around you don't need it though. I think I've used it once or twice ever.
Yea, I can count the number of times I've used it on one hand. It's great, but I always forget about it because it's hiding over there to the left.

doom71 said,
What is spotlight search?

Something that searches everything, but isn't the most efficient search code, and not well integrated in the iPhone.

Android and according to demos, Win7Phones have more of an integrated search, where you don't have to ask for a specific local data search, and the phone just 'gets it' and returns local and non-local data.

Have tried it on mine, will have to see if it helps! Since the update my phone has been pretty much useless, just thought about upgrading to the iPhone 4 earlier but not many O2 stores in the UK actually have stock.

What if it doesn't work? here is how you go back to 3.1.3

http://lifehacker.com/5572003/...to-downgrade-your-iphone-3g%5Bs%5D-from-ios-4-to-ios-313

But I hope it works for you and you don't have to go back to 3.1.3

One thing I experienced was that Apple tried to make iOS4 software more suitable for the iPhone 4 retina display and hence iOS4 on iPhone 3G looks horrible.

I just downgraded from iOS4 to 3.1.3 on my iPhone 3G yesterday and I felt heavnly

I would appriciate if newowin or someone else here actually comment on that...display of the fonts etc on iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS after iOS4 upgrade.

Dhaval

tehmemories said,
If you have the 3G Touch, you cannot uncheck "Calendar".

You can only have 1 option selected, can't have none.

Yeah, that's also used on Windows netbooks with crappy SSDs to reduce drive use and that way increase performance. I don't use spotlight on my iTouch a bit.

amon91 said,
Yeah, that's also used on Windows netbooks with crappy SSDs to reduce drive use and that way increase performance. I don't use spotlight on my iTouch a bit.

What IT idiots are recommending this?

After the initial 1-2hr investment the search service uses when the computer is new or the OS is loaded, the search service in Windows reduces HD access by up to 10% during regular use.

(Hint here is that newer applications take advantage of the search services in addition to Libraries and other content pulled from the search cache instead of digging through the FS all the time.)

Whatever goofs recommend settings like this for Windows Netbook users need a smack upside the head.

thenetavenger said,
What IT idiots are recommending this?
After the initial 1-2hr investment the search service uses when the computer is new or the OS is loaded, the search service in Windows reduces HD access by up to 10% during regular use.
(Hint here is that newer applications take advantage of the search services in addition to Libraries and other content pulled from the search cache instead of digging through the FS all the time.)
Whatever goofs recommend settings like this for Windows Netbook users need a smack upside the head.

Windows search indexing is worthless, a waste of time and electricity. Apparently not unlike your IT skillz.

3rd impact said,
Also, go to “Settings->General->Home Button->Reality Distortion Field-> deselect every option”


no such thing on the iphone3g!

toufas said,

no such thing on the iphone3g!

Actually, you can find it on every Apple device. To see through the RDF, one just has to concentrate really hard and say "I will not overpay due to niche marketing" three times while you press the Home key.

excalpius said,

Actually, you can find it on every Apple device. To see through the RDF, one just has to concentrate really hard and say "I will not overpay due to niche marketing" three times while you press the Home key.

Oh you.

Holy cow! this actually worked i dont have 2 wait on the notes app any more. i can browse my email within a couple of seconds. browser reacts almost instant! ( i used to have to bash the 'x' about 5 to 6 times before it reacts.. now its the first time again !! )

Dead'Soul said,
tried on 2g itouch, will check...

does it help the 2g touch?
i have not upgraded to ios4 because of the reported battery life problems

AoM_Scott said,
Is anybody actually a bit user of Spotlight? I know I don't have that much information on my phone to lose something..

I never understood the need for it either, with iOS 4 we now have folders, so it is even easier to keep track of apps.

I wouldn't be able to use the phone without it!

I've 22GB of audio on there. If I'm looking for something specific, spotlight is the fastest way to get to it. I usually use it to access a contact name, in addition to find something from a specific work email.

TrOjAn. said,
It is also sluggish on my iPhone 3GS. Fix works for me though

Apple, just give us the chance to go back to 3.1.3 or older... -.-


yeah i wish they let us go back down to 3.1.3 or whatever like windows/mac can,
eg: win98se LOL

TrOjAn. said,
It is also sluggish on my iPhone 3GS. Fix works for me though

Apple, just give us the chance to go back to 3.1.3 or older... -.-

If you jailbroke before you could. I hated 4.0, so I went back down to 3.1.3.

TrOjAn. said,
It is also sluggish on my iPhone 3GS. Fix works for me though

Apple, just give us the chance to go back to 3.1.3 or older... -.-


If this fix works, why go back to 3.1.3? 4.0 is much better, especially if this fix solves the only issue I've seen with it. *shrug*

Anyway, if this is effective, I think iOS 4.1 (which is supposed to solve 3G slowness issues) has optimized Spotlight indexing part of the package.