Unlike the iPhone upgrades experienced by 2G and 3G users over the past 2 years, my upgrade to the new 3G S was simple and quick. After sync’g my 2G iPhone to iTunes (creating a fresh backing up) I was able to connect my new 3G S iPhone to iTunes, select the phone number to move to the phone, activate it and restore all my apps, music, video and data. The restore (about 7.5GB) took about 20 minutes.
After the restore was complete I was able to send and receive calls from the new phone! That is a huge improvement over last year. (Your mileage may vary). Another HUGE benefit to me is that I am still able to use all of my 2G iPhone’s features except to make phone calls. Using WiFi I can send and receive calls via Skype, take and upload pictures and of course play music and videos. Rather than sell my 2G iPhone I plan to use it as a spare entertainment device for my son.
When you restore data to the iPhone 3G S there are a few things you need to do update on the device. They include:
- Set email account passwords
- Set Voicemail password
- Reconfigure over WiFi “pairing” for apps that sync wirelessly
Almost everything else worked immediately without any configuration changes. To update over WiFi application pairing check the preferences panel in each application and follow their pairing instructions. For THINGS, which I use daily on the Mac, I was able to simply “un-pair” the old iPhone and configure pairing with the new device.
Should I upgrade?
The challenge of explaining the benefits of the 3G S to an interested listener is that the phone consists of two upgrades; OS and hardware. On the OS side, v3.0 of the iPhone OS provides a number of benefits including support for Cut & Paste and Spotlight search as well as a ton of minor upgrades to bundled iPhone apps (i.e., Camera, Mail, etc.). Application developers also have an amazing number of new features accessible to include in their applications via the iPhone v3.0 SDK. I have been beta testing V3.0 on my 2G iPhone for 2 weeks and the improved OS is a wonderful upgrade (free to iPhone owners) and well worth installing and testing before you decide to replace your 2G or 3G device.
One really nice feature of the v3.0 OS is “Find iPHone”. This is the ability to locate your phone via Apple’s Mobile Me service. If you have an active Mobile Me account, you can not only locate your phone on a Google Map, you can also send your phone a message. The phone will play a tone for up to two minutes with the message displayed as an alert on the screen. You can also remotely erase your phone if it truly is lost. I was able to test the map location feature on the 3G S and the alert message on the 2G (see picture above).
The hardware benefits of the new phone are nothing to scoff at either. The 3G S sports a faster processor and double the RAM. You can also select storage sizes of 16GB or 32GB. Most of the apps I tested load and run much faster than they did on the 2G. The higher resolution camera with “touch to focus” provide better, sharper pictures and the compass is an excellent addition if you use Google Maps frequently. I also noticed a huge improvement in cell coverage on the 3G S. Phone calls that would drop or not connect from within my apartment worked very well on the new phone.
In summary, if you have a 2G phone and you want both the hardware benefits I have outlined above upgrade to the new 3G S. If all you really want are the software benefits, upgrade to the v3.0 firmware and try it out for a week or two. That will be more than enough time to decide if you need the speed the 3G S provides.