(Poorly) Supporting Legacy Devices

Everyday I use two devices from Apple: an iPhone 3GS and an original iPad. The 3GS is basically an iPod that sits in my car all day, but I use an old iPhone so that Instacast can update itself when I park in my garage. That old original iPad is in use as a dedicated baby monitor, so its pretty much on all night long.

It’s great that Apple decided to continue to support both of these devices, at least it is great in theory, because in practice I kind of wish they hadn’t. Both devices are running iOS 5.1.1 and both are laggy and buggy. Updating apps on either is an exercise in patience and control to not throw the device against the nearest hard surface — entering the password for iTunes alone can even cause stuttering.

Don’t even get me started with how shitty the implementation of iTunes Match is on the 3GS, because only a masochist would like it. 1

Now we learn that Apple is offering iOS 6 support for the 3GS, but not the original iPad (which is newer and faster). I know why they are doing this: you can still “buy” a 3GS new — so they feel compelled to support it. Ok, but why not also support the iPad?

My guess: because Apple knows that iOS 6 is going to run even worse on the original iPad than iOS 5 does. So really Apple is doing iPad users a favor by not supporting it.

But what about the 3GS getting iOS 6? Why support these legacy devices, if said support is going to be pretty poor anyway? I never remember the original iPad being laggy and buggy, nor do I remember the 3GS being that way when it came out. Both seemed to work perfectly up and until the moment that iOS 5 was loaded on them (to be fair there were issues with iOS 4, but I can’t remember if that was the 3G or 3GS).

My point is: if you are going to do something, don’t half ass it.

As a daily user of a 3GS and an original iPad, I can say with 100% confidence that I would be better off not having put iOS 5 on either device, because iOS 5 optimization for either device feels and works like an after thought.

I am scared at what iOS 6 might bring for 3GS woes and I really do think Apple should abandon devices faster (for the user’s sanity) if they aren’t going to make sure that these new updates work just as well on the legacy devices.

  1. Which brings me to another point. If a masochist, by definition, is someone who gets pleasure from pain/etc, then wouldn’t it stand to reason that they should never endure something painful because failing to endure pain would be more painful for them, thus giving them more pleasure? Ah who cares…
Originally posted for members on: June 27, 2012
Follow along on RSS, App.net, or Twitter.
~I would appreciate it if you considered becoming a member.~