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Should You Install iOS 4.1?

If you have an original iPhone or a first-generation iPod touch, the answer is “no,” because the device doesn’t have the hardware oomph for iOS 4 and isn’t compatible with it.

In the case of the iPhone 3G and the second-generation iPod touch, iOS 4.1 comes with good news—many people, including myself, have found that it runs much faster on the iPhone 3G than iOS 4.0.x did. I’ve read one positive report from a second-generation iPod touch user as well. Apple did not specificy in their release notes if the iPod touch was helped by the update.

For an iPhone 3GS, third-generation iPod touch, or iPhone 4, you won’t see any particular speed enhancements from iOS 4.1, but there are several new features and bug fixes. To learn more about what’s new in iOS 4.1, read my TidBITS article, iOS 4.1: Does it Work? Should You Install It?.

If you are updating from iOS 3 to iOS 4, note that its best to have a recent backup of your device before you begin the update. It seems that the update will erase your device and then restore from the backup. It also seems that you’ll need to re-sync any media after updating from iOS 3 to 4.

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