10 Things to Consider Before Upgrading to iOS 4

News Analysis: Apple has released iOS 4, featuring multitasking, folder support and much more. But before users download the software, there are some things they need to keep in mind.

Apple has officially launched iOS 4 to iPhone 3G and iPhone 3G S owners. The software will also be available on the iPhone 4 when it launches on June 24. The mobile OS hasn't been out for very long, so most customers might not have had the chance to download it. But since it's free, it's likely that the vast majority of iPhone owners (and, eventually, iPad owners) will be downloading the software to their devices.

But before that happens, there are some things that users should know about iOS 4. Yes, it might be the most advanced and capable mobile operating system Apple has ever released, but it also comes with some quirks and considerations that every iPhone owner should know about before they download it to their mobile devices.

1. There could be battery issues

With any release of a new mobile operating system, battery issues are a concern. Apple claims that the new version of its operating system should improve iPhone battery life somewhat. But whether or not that happens remains to be seen. A major issue with multitasking, arguably the most important addition in iOS 4, is that it has a negative effect on battery life. Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that Apple's multitasking will not. Those who are concerned about their iPhone battery life should wait and see what other iOS 4 users are reporting. If it's bad news, they should stick with their current software.

2. Jailbroken phones won't stay that way

Each time users download a new version of Apple's mobile software, it removes jailbroken software. Realizing that, those who have jailbroken their iOS installations will want to stay far away from iOS 4. Not only does Apple disapprove of jailbreaking the iPhone, the company also makes it harder and harder in each new version of the software to break free. Those who desire more control over their iPhones would be smart to stay away from iOS 4.

3. App considerations

Some folks use mobile applications sparingly. Others try to download as many apps as they can. Realizing that, it's important for every iPhone owner to determine which group they fit into. Since Apple only recently sent the new SDK to developers, some apps haven't been updated to support iOS 4 just yet. So, before users download the new software, they should check the iTunes listings for their favorite apps. If they work with iOS 4, great. If not, they should stick with a previous version of the software until the developers get around to updating their apps.

4. Mail will be different

In iOS 4, e-mail will be a far more useful application. After downloading the software, users can create a unified in-box to tie in all of their different e-mail accounts into a single pane to quickly view their latest messages. They can also delete an entire e-mail conversation at once, rather than sift through messages and delete those they don't want one by one. The app will even allow users to open attachments in third-party applications. That feature should especially benefit those who use office apps like Documents to Go.

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger

Don Reisinger is a longtime freelance contributor to several technology and business publications. Over his career, Don has written about everything from geek-friendly gadgetry to issues of privacy...