Apple iPhone users, have you gotten yourself the much ballyhooed iPhone OS 3.0 update yet? I'm sure you have - who wouldn't want landscape QWERTY in Mail and Messaging, among other new features. iPhone 3GS buyers, the new OS came pre-installed on your shiny new devices, so if you weren't sure you can tick off the "Yes" box on your mental questionnaire and continue reading.
I bought a 3GS for review purposes and also upgraded my 3G review model - and my wife's 3G - to OS 3.0 the day it came out. While the new OS' features are great, the operating system's performance is not. Not even close.
Both my wife's 3G and the new 3GS I've been reviewing are plagued by near-constant freezes and touchscreen lag under OS 3.0. I usually get the full freeze, which may actually be more of an input freeze than an OS freeze: I'll be doing whatever and the phone will suddenly stop responding to my taps and swipes. Locking and unlocking the phone snaps it back into action, but I've literally experienced the problem at least a half-dozen times per hour of use over the past two weeks, so that little dance is getting old. Her phone, for whatever reason, seems to get stuck on email and text composition screens more than anywhere else.
And that's the thing: A quick look around the Web shows myriad OS 3.0 complaints with not much in the way of rhyme or reason when it comes to which phones are afflicted by which symptoms. Some folks are suffering a quiet but horrible high-pitched whine. Some folks are suffering corrupted home screen icons that bug out in a most confusing manner. And a few poor iPhone 3GS owners are reporting overheated, discolored phones and oleophobic screen coatings that are wearing thin from too much virtual fishing. I've also read sad tales of reduced battery life and poor audio quality during calls and video recording/playback.
I can't speak to many of those alleged complaints, having not experienced them myself, and some folks aren't reporting any problems at all. A few days ago I tweeted about my 3.0 problems and the replies I got back were more or less split evenly between angry complaints and proclamations of successfully upgraded bliss when it came to iPhone OS 3.0.
Alas, the iPhone OS 3.0 bug report is probably just a very high-profile example of a trend that has become the norm in today's consumer electronics marketplace: Get your product out the door as fast as possible, knowing full-well it's shipping with bugs that you hope to stomp via firmware update soon after it hits the stores. Apple, like all other manufacturers, deserves negative press in the face of bugs. Here's hoping they get them resolved and push a fix-filled 3.1 update out to all iPhone users in very short time.
In the meantime, let us know in the comments: If you've got an iPhone running 3.0, how's it working for you? If you've got a 3GS, has it overheated, turned a funny color, or exhibited signs of that fancy display coating wearing off under your fingers?