Running iOS 7 on the iPhone 4

The Upgrade Dilemma

I was a little concerned about upgrading my iPhone 4 to iOS 7 this week. I’ve never upgraded iOS versions on the first day of availability. I was excited about the new look and I was well aware that several new features were not supported on the iPhone 4. No surprise since several features of iOS 6 also were not available on the iPhone 4.

My big concern was performance. I read some reports that users were encountering stuttering scrolling. Other users didn’t have any major problems. I decided to go for it.

iPhone 4 running iOS 7I upgraded on Wednesday and after two days of normal use haven’t noticed a decrease in performance as compared to iOS 6. The iPhone 4 is a three year old phone and the fact that it runs iOS 7 as well as it does really is amazing. I’m sure the iPhone 5, 5c, and 5s all run iOS 7 very smooth and can display the cool new effects. If you’re not ready to upgrade yet, then you can give your iPhone 4 new life with an iOS 7 upgrade.

My upgrade process

I did backup to iCloud and also to iTunes (because I’m paranoid). Then I downloaded iOS 7 and did a DFU restore (basically restoring my phone as it was when new, except with iOS 7 instead of iOS 4.)

For those that may not know, after activating my phone, I simply restored my settings from my iCloud backup and all my apps, messages, pictures and other settings were back on my phone, just like they were before upgrading. I did have to perform a “reset of all settings” because my on screen keyboard was very slow to respond. I would type  a few letters and it would be 10 seconds before they appeared. A “Reset All Settings” deletes your preferences. It does not delete your apps or data. You can access it at Settings->General->Reset->Reset All Settings. Afterwards the keyboard behaved normally.


I don’t have any actual testing benchmark data or detailed tests. My opinion of the iPhone 4’s performance after upgrading is purely based on my use. More specifically how long it feels like it takes apps to open, switch between apps, scroll, and other tasks. If you have an iPhone 4 and are on the fence about upgrading because you think it will slow your phone down, then my experience indicates no noticeable difference in speed from iOS 7.

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