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iOS4 gets easy fix for older iPhones

Owners of older iPhones experiencing poor performance after upgrading to iOS4 have been offered some relief in the form of a simple, reversible fix.

Following widespread reports that Apple's latest mobile operating system iOS4 was causing sluggish performance on older 3G and 3G2 models, Neowin reader Nathan Milson as come up with a simple fix which seems, in most cases, to speed things up a bit.

It turns out that the Spotlight Search function, which automatically indexes every file on the device (and its contents) is causing the ageing gadgets to struggle when it comes to everyday business.

It's not a permanent solution to the slow-down, which should be fixed by the imminent iOS4.1, but it might stop you tearing out your hair for now if Aliens Vs Zombies is running at a snail's pace.

You'll need to open up the Settings App, then select General > Home Button > Spotlight Search. Once there, if you de-select all of the available options you should see a significant improvement in performance.

One typical Neowin reader who tried the fix said, "Wow!!! There was an immediate performance increase. I missed this kind of speed."

Many iOS4 users have demanded that Apple should let them restore the phone to the previous 3.13 version of the operating system but, as usual, Apple has its fingers in its ears.

There are ways to force the iPhone to accept an older OS but they involve tricking the hardware into thinking it is broken, and are not for the faint hearted. Lifehacker has a good tutorial on the matter but don't blame us if it all goes Pete Tong.

Let us know if you are having problems with you older iPhone, and if the Spotlight fix makes a difference to you, in the comments below.