iOS4 … Hold Off A Bit

Author: BigBoss  //  Category: General, Jailbreak, News

Update: 6/23 – I have discovered that the email issues is invalid. It was caused by the exchange unlock extension by Zataang. It turns out you must enter a passcode at least once before exchange unlock kicks in or the email issue below will occur. I have rewritten the exchange unlock extension and synced it into Cydia.

The memory issues also seem to be non-existent on the the 4.0 final. 4.0 is actually running very well jailbroken.

Update: 6/22 – After using 4.0 release version, the memory issue below (#6) seems to not be happening. I cant tell if it’s fixed or just hasnt happened yet. The mail issue did occur one more time (issue #5 below) but fixed itself. There may be indications of a real issue here. I will update if I find more. I have released “remove recents” for anyone else that thinks having recents in the task switcher is a bad idea. It’s in Cydia now for 4.0 jailbroken users.

iOS (iPhone OS) 4.0 is on its way out most likely Monday sometime. After using it a while as a developer, I suggest you hold off for a couple weeks and allow for a stable jailbreak before updating. Here is a comparison of my iPhone 3gs running iOS4 and iPhone OS3.0 (Yes, 3.0. Nothing Apple has released since original 3.0 has been worth the effort of updating). Yes, some of you Apple Lovers out there will probably hate me for what follows. But it’s the way it is.

Before I begin, I should make sure to note that iOS 4 is not yet out. There is no such thing as iOS4 GM. There is a “GM Seed”, which is fancy, lame, hype-talk for “Beta 5″. Yes that’s right. It’s just beta 5. It even says so in the file system. It will probably expire. There may be changes.  You should consider it more of a release candidate. It is not a gold master. Therefore, many of these issues may be solved in the final release Monday. I will update this post a couple days after release if I find this to be the case.

Onto the comparison:

1) New in iOS4, Apple has a fancy task switcher that looks nice as the screen slides up letting you see the running tasks. On my 3.0 3gs, I had a nice, but not as fancy app called Circuitous that did something similar. The only difference: Apple adds all recent apps to the launcher. Yes, that’s right. You cannot tell the difference between which tasks are running and which ones aren’t. After launching a few things, the task switcher shows 10, 15 icons. You have no idea what’s running, whats not, where things are. It’s a horrible mess. (Note: I have solved this problem with my own extension which will be out by the time iOS 4 is actually released in Cydia for jailbreakers).

The task switcher is activated by double tap of home. At the same time, Circuitous on the 3.0 installed from Cydia also can be set to activate via double tap of home, and sit at the bottom of the screen so it works in a very similar fashion to Apple’s new task switcher. Circuitous does not keep all recent tasks in the bar, making it actually useful. Better yet, when paired with backgrounder app, Circuitous will actually background existing apps.  (More on this in #2).  Needless to say, Apple’s task switcher does not background existing apps. All apps built for 4.0 always partially stay running. Not so great for memory conservation or overall performance.

2) Multitasking. Everyone thinks that multitasking is now here and things will be different. “Finally” right? Well, not exactly. Unfortunately, there are only certain things that can be multitasked and most apps dont really multitask, unless you are one of the stock apple apps, then they continue to run until you are out of memory. That’s right. Every single one of apple’s apps stays running when you close it. Clock, Camera, Calendar, Stocks etc. So you load up stocks for a seconds to check something. Close it out and guess what? It’s still running.  To you purists out there (like me), this makes you having to open the task switcher every couple seconds and delete the extra running tasks. But you cant even tell what’s running and what’s recent. To make matters even worse, you have to hold an icon for a second to even get the delete button up. GAH! Unlike Circuitous, which shows all icons with the delete button immediately…. Finally, using backgrounder with Circuitous on a 3.0 provides a much better solution. You can background most apps and switch between them easily with a double tap home. 3.0 definitely for the win here.

Note: I am also solving the problem of: all Apple apps staying running when you dont want them to and plan to work with Backgrounder dev to solve the backgrounding issue so that we do have true multitasking in the task switcher.

3) Backgrounds. Excited to have backgrounds? Well of course we had this already with Winterboard or BossPaper.  The difference? Apple background gives you just one wallpaper from your photos. On 3.0, I have a rotating slide show via BossPaper and it takes up no more resources than apple’s static image.  Win to 3.0 here. (Note: BossPaper will be ready on iOS release for 4.0 release for jailbreakers).

4) Folders. Ok the Apple implementation of folders is about 10 times cooler than mine via Categories. Although, Apple’s has a severe limitation. You can only put 12 apps per folder. Categories, while a pain in the ass to use compared to Apple’s, allows you to put up to 500 apps in a folder. Imagine having 240 games installed. With Apple’s folders, that clutter is then cleaned up to “only” 20 folders. 20 folders! Plus, all the folders basically have the same looking icon. If you add ashikase’s categoriessb to categories, it loads instantly and keeps springboard’s feel nicely. Personally, I miss categories even when using Apple’s folders. Something will need to be done here.

Note: I cannot guarantee Categories will be available on iOS4 release. Categoriessb, I do not think is ready yet either. I hope to get Categories ready shortly after though.

5) Mail. Ok the mail app features sound pretty nice. I really enjoy the thread tracking feature. The consolidated inbox is nice also since I have 4 email accounts. However, the mail app has been extremely unstable. Not only that, it suddenly stopped working. It refused to connect to the mail server – all 4 accounts couldnt connect to any of their servers. My password was also deleted out of settings on all 4 accounts. While this was happening, safari was still working so the network was fine. Just the mail app couldnt connect. Reboots didnt solve it. I had to use “settings, general, reset” and reset all settings. Then I had to reconfigure all my mail accounts, passwords, passwords to wifi, springboard icons, etc. Was loads of fun.

6) Memory footprint: About every 2 days now, iOS4 has a couple runaway daemon processes (system services) that start leaking memory like a sieve.  Looking into it, one day, configd was using 50mb memory. Restarting the service fixed it for a while and it was back to its normal 1.5mb. (A reboot would be necessary for most users). The next day, Commcenter freaked out and was using 40mb memory. Later that day, APSD service was leaking more than 40mb memory. It’s a nightmare.

7) For you jailbreakers out there, most extensions that you like had to be rewritten to work on iOS4. Most of these are not yet ready.

The device not jailbroken does not compare to any 3.0 jailbroken. I suggest holding off a couple more weeks and waiting for a solid jailbreak before even trying iOS4.

BigBoss Authors: Mark Bruce & Kory Lee

67 Responses to “iOS4 … Hold Off A Bit”

  1. Andrea Says:

    Are you working on mobilesubstrate update?

  2. Alex Sebenski Says:

    Thanks for the info BB.

    Those memory leaks totally scare me and I completely agree that iOS4 unjailbroken won’t be able to touch our 3.X jailbroken iPhones.

    I’ll be patient with my iPhone 4 purchases and iOS4 upgrades.

  3. bubba Says:

    Thanks for putting your thoughts down for us all to hear. I’m running the GM non-JB on a 3G, and had the same issues you mention with regards to memory usage (basing this on battery life which goes down every few days, and fine after a reboot). Also, thanks for your work on fixing the things that Apple still hasn’t gotten right.

  4. James Says:

    I agree with you my jailbroken 3.0 is still better that IOS 4.. Anyways can’t wait for your extensions. Your the man! For giving us some great hacks

  5. LanMan Says:

    Anyone have any success with installing Firefox 3.6.3 upon an IPAD running IOS 3.2 and Cydia?

    I’ve been able to get the file [firefox 3.6.3.dmg]
    downloaded to [ /var/mobile/Library/Downloads ]
    but even after I ‘purchased’ iFile and (supposedly)
    extracted the file(s) using ZIP Viewer I am still unable to figure out how to get the [ Firefox 3.6.3 ] file (of 53.3mb) to install.

    I’ve been successful in SSH’d into my IPAD (under the root account) but it would appear that this isn’t a debian [.deb] package with which I should have been able to install via [dpkg -i] so (at the moment) I’m stuck as to how to proceed! ;-(

  6. Beyondregion1 Says:

    I just read your comparison, Big Boss. Whoa!! It makes me glad that I very quickly downgraded my iPhone 3GS from “iOS 4 GM” back to a jailbroken 3.1.3. From what I saw on what may actually be Beta 5, I was quite disappointed. I’ll definitely stay on 3.1.3 until you guys (the almighty devs) give the go-ahead.

  7. Sven7 Says:

    All valid points, especially the bugs. And I’m really looking forward to your extensions.

    BUT the whole “multitasking” and “task manager” thing in 4.0 is not supposed to work like in traditional multitasking. You’re not supposed to care about what’s running and what’s not and it shouldn’t matter. Okay, the whole thing’s not working very well so far, but IMHO that’s the overall goal. You can disagree with that goal, but for most people it might even be the better solution.

    I would guess that of all non-jailbroken iPhone 3.x users, in 80% of all cases when they wish there was some task switching method available (apart from switching to a prominent “active” but “backgrounded” task like a call, the music player, navigation etc.), they actually just want a way to go back to the last used app and then possibly forward again.

  8. ChaoticMayhem Says:

    Wow. Great informative read BB. Heres to hoping Apple fixes a few of these problems that the Beta 5 release has. I for one will have the new iPhone 4 preinstalled with iOS4.So with its new micro sim i will have no choice but to try and get used to the new OS seeming i cant just pop my sim back in my 3GS.

  9. Mark Says:

    Awesome write up! Thanks for looking out for us.

  10. Steven Says:

    My understanding was that no apps – absolutely none – stay “running” in the background on the new iOS4. Certain aspects (services) of the apps keep running, if needed. I would assume the example you gave – Stocks – wouldn’t use any background services (I can’t think of any it COULD use). It stays resident in memory, yes, but on a device where there is no swap file, if your memory isn’t always full then its wasted. Your memory usage should optimally be 100% at all times, as I understand it.

    Resident in memory is not the same as “running”.

    Apple keeps all recently opened apps in memory, until that memory is needed, then it writes a savedstate to disk. They don’t burn CPU cycles unless they are running a very specific service. I thought it was a brilliant solution.

    I’ll probably still jailbreak, though!

  11. DilJalay Says:

    Any Hope for the 3g 3.1.3 base band 5.12.01 boot loader 6.04 unlock? alot of guys stuck with this devil.

  12. John Says:

    Would there be a way of installing 3.1.2 or 3.1.3 on the upcoming iPhone 4? I’m really happy with the 3.x.x jailbreak with all my Cydia apps already and I think iOS4 will only cause problems, especially regarding memory handling and memory leaks.

  13. Zapp Jackson Says:

    Um…MobileSubstrate. Not made by anyone at BigBoss.
    It’s made by saurik, and evidently already works with iOS4.

  14. gef Says:

    Hi its nice to see some thing like this i know like me i try to hold off most updates now till some one says its safe to update .. nice write up thanks

  15. Jimmy Says:

    I get my ebay microsim adapter for $5.99.

  16. Simey Says:

    was tempted to try the iOS4 GM, but this has put me straight. cheers BB for the valid info.

  17. eweezy Says:

    after the first day i missed sb,w ur folders… backgrounder tho i use kirake…. new looks pretty but functions poorly… had mail issues also… i only have one account…
    haha id like to put stock folders inside the boss folders so they arent so ugly

  18. eweezy Says:

    and i was soo happy when i installed your task ender…. really they r that slow… if thats not fixt itsa joke… sorry for double dip

  19. Anonymous Says:

    iPad does not and cannot use the Mac software.

  20. Emre Sumengen Says:

    That’s a very nice comparison with solid leads. I certainly agree that a task switcher must not work that way, no matter what the goal is… At least there could be a little indication to which are the background processes and which are merely shortcuts.
    But, although introducing a limitation, new multitasking method IS more efficient wrt. power usage… You know, that backgrounder keeps bg apps running at full speed, as if they are in the foreground. With Apple’s implementation, only required thread(s) are kept alive, thus keeping both performance and battery. I wish we could have two worlds in a package.

    And, about folders… I doubt having 20 folders is worse than having 20 pages of icons in a category (for the mentioned 240 games).. But it would absolutely be nice to have the ability to change their icons…

    Mmm, by the way, what’s wrong with 3.1.3 or others, that you kept in 3.0, honestly? I’m running 3.1.3 with Spirit and have no problems on my 3GS, hence asking…

  21. Emre Sumengen Says:

    Oh, and sorry for the 2nd post but I prefer Proswitcher and really thing everyone should give it a try :) It’s both nice looking, intuitive and easy to use :)

  22. Kartal Says:

    There are the reasons of jailbreak. iPhone is an stupid phone without jail. After jail maybe I’lll buy a new iPhone.

    Thanks BigBoss

  23. badillo34 Says:

    great take your time pal i be waiting you guys make my day

  24. Chris Says:

    thanks for the info, will be stuck with iOS4 for only a short time I hope.
    you guys are great.
    Keep up the excellent Work, we need you.

  25. Adrian Says:

    Thank you so much BB. I just have to ask, do you think that the new jailbreak will be kinda different? I mean, I run my iPod touch on black ra1n for 3.2.1 and I’m happy with it. Would there ever be a way to just download the jailbroken softwear to you device and just jailbreak it like that?

  26. Matt Says:

    Okay I think this article is pretty biased. It’s like conspiracy theories in the way the some basic truths are exaggerated to make a point. I just want everybody to read this article in an objective way as opposed to listening to every word of it. For instance:
    “All apps built for 4.0 always partially stay running. Not so great for memory conservation or overall performance.”
    The apps do not partially stay RUNNING. Most are simply stored as saved states which does use a little extra RAM yes, but the apps do not use CPU cycles like RUNNING apps do. And in terms of memory conservation and performance, it’s a whole lot better than anything jailbroken would offer.
    The memory leaks do sound scary but i’ve also heard that mobile substate and it’s add ons do as well.
    At least you addmitted that apples implementation of folders was better. 12 is a limitation but alot of people might not want many more apps than that.
    I think tech users will still want to jailbreak and most likely always will even after the next couple of major updates. However, people who only ever jailbroke to fill in features will be a lot less likely to. The jailbreak community will grow smaller after ios4. Catgories will lose a lot of users as well..

  27. Mes Says:

    There is always a hit when an OS discards non-running but memory resident appls. Decisions must be made, sync points written, system clean-up. Nothing is totally free. It might be small and the user impact debatable but it does exist. The ONLY way to remove the hit (percieved or not) is with massive memory or a faster processor.

  28. Thinley Says:

    Hi, does anyone know how to unlock an already unlocked iPhone 3gs which relocked due to automatic itunes update to version 3.1.3? Thanks!

  29. Smitty Says:

    I believe if you updated to 3.1.3, then your modem firmware was updated and now you can’t unlock. Check Bigboss jailbreak table

  30. German Peter Says:

    No problem:

    But my suggestion is: wait till 4.0 and what the “international JB-gang” -;) will present next days.

  31. Thinley Says:

    Thanks a lot Smitty. C

  32. Thinley Says:

    Thanks a lot Smitty. Can you please tell me whether i should return my iPhone 3gs to USA[bought from US] since i stay in India or is there a way to downgrade Apple software version to 3.1.2 or better yet is there a chance to update to ios 4 and then unlock iphone 3gs? Or should i restore it to factory version and then try blackrain or spirit on it? Thanks!

  33. Praveen Says:

    ‘Thinley’ wait for ios4 ,you may get unlock for that

  34. BigBoss Says:

    Right. I didn’t say the apps use CPU. But they are using memory. But you got it slightly wrong. On a platform with no swap file you need all the free memory you can get. Otherwise another app that needs the memory has less to work with. The task switcher issues here may not impact battery life but do otherwise impact performance

  35. BigBoss Says:

    The tasks are running in the sense that they show up in the process table. Their thread may very well be blocked but on a device with limited memory, do I really want to have any of it used for tasks I’m done with? I may load weather or stocks once a day. Do I really want these using any resources after hitting home? I think not.

    As far as jailbreaking, we will not lose a lot of users here. The few we do lose is offset by the new jailbreakers entering the community as iPhone sales increase. 10% of 100 million is smaller than 8% of 150 million. There are tons of great add ons, and iOS4 doesn’t come close to killing the jb need. But that’s not what this article was about.

  36. Chais Says:

    I have to disagree. The jailbreak comunity i feel will continue to grow! Having complete control of my iPhone is the major reason I own one! Jailbreak comunity in my oppinion will continue to grow not shrink.

  37. Ruben Says:

    You and Apple which… Did apple send ya?

  38. Ruben Says:

    ^ coment was @Matt

  39. MJ Says:

    I like the way the new device looks and some of its new apps and features (FaceTime) but I will ALWAYS JB my iPhone! Whoever said that the JB community will go away doesn’t get it. My 9 year old Daughter is already JB’ing…Because it has a purpose, a better iPhone!

  40. MJ Says:

    My Bad BB! Thanks for all the help and making my life a little better during these difficult times…

  41. Saspjr Says:

    Thanks BB 4 the info I love the 3xx version anyways by the way guys I know apple add slot of thing in os4 but I don’t think anything will comparing when u have a jb iPhone BB it will be nice if you can make category n category sb work I love thiose apps honestly I care less about os4 u devteam guys are the best without jb I will never buy an iPhone or iPod touch cause no matter what apple does it will never comparing with the jb world this is my opinion u have to see the jb world let’s us do so much with differents apps n themes specially videtones . JB with devteam will always grow strong I mean if u are happy with ur os4 without jb good for you but alot of user here as well me love devteam and BB they did a awesome work helping us to have a great phone to enjoy every day thanks BB for the info u are great all of you guys from devteam

  42. anon Says:

    I’m still running 2.0 on my 3g because i paid someone $150 to jailbreak it and don’t wan tto pay for it again.

  43. Anonymous Says:


  44. MaggieAco Says:

    I’m happy to say that I’m still running my iPhone 3gs on firmware 3.1.2 and am very lucky that I’ve had no problems what so ever. The way I see it iOS4 is nothing new, that we JB community don’t have now! So I’m not in a hurry to upgrade firmware or phone for that matter until all glitches are resolved. Because I’m pretty sure we will be hearing of glitches with iPhone 4. So wait I will for the Devs to give the okay. You Guys Rock!!!

    Multitasking: Honestly this is something we jailbreak community have had since Backgrounder.

    Backgrounds: Yay for Winterboard and Bosspaper. Who needs apple’s simple backgrounds?

    Folders: Like BigBoss said we already have Categories. Nothing new or better here.

    Mail: I’m fine with the way I have my email accounts set up now, and truly like to be able to access the

  45. tom Says:


    I really disagree your arguments : I’m running 4.0 GM jailbreaked 3GS, and my machine is really stable.

    The thing is, you have to install 4.0 and define your Iphone as a new iPhone, otherwise, it will be buggy.

    The mutlitasking is not a mess, if you install “remove recents” from cydia : it will kick off the apps wich are note programmed for mutlitasking. Doing so, you’ll have only few apps in your “running app dock”

    Mail is perfect and is running 100% okay
    Folders is much more better than categories and works perfect !

    You just have to wait for mobile substrate to be updated.

    For me, 0S4 is a leap forward and makes this machine more perfect. And jailbreaking is making this machine “the best smartphone ever”, even for professional use (which is my case)

    So, enjoy jailbreaked 0S4 device !

  46. and-o-mat Says:

    Hi there,

    will there be a version of lockcalendar for ios4?

    …i really hope so, cause thats definately the most important addon for me…

    best regards and thanks for everything! :)

  47. Matt Says:

    Ok bigboss. I don’t mean any harm. I respect your work. I am just saying that you need to give ios4 a bit of a chance. I reiterate my point from my first post: people will always jailbreak. There will always be some extra capability we want that apple is restricting and the JB community will be there to offer those capabilities. However, the jailbreak community WILL Shrink in term of % of iPhone users. I know about 5 people who jailbreak. 3 of them have said after ios4 they will no longer be jailbreaking their iPhones.

  48. Thinley Says:

    Thanks a lot! My iphone 3gs had relocked and has been useless for almost 2 months now. Phew, finally i can see some hope, possibly with unveiling of ios4 next day. Anyway thanks for your kind solution! I hope that the experts in jailbreak community will soon come up with a stable and free jailbreak for the iPhone 3gs ios4.

  49. Kian Says:

    Thank you so much for the information. My original plan was to update as soon as there was a jailbreak and unlock solution was released (I am currently on AT&T, but I have heard rumors of the unlimited data plan for iPhones being canceled, and I hate their coverage). Anyway, thanks again and i will wait until you awesome devs get Apple’s job done right. Without you guys the iPhone world would be alot harder.

  50. Reznor9 Says:

    It seems from some reports the GM seed was the same build as the official. So it wasn’t really a beta 5? It was the gold master release?

  51. Smoochy Says:

    For 100$ I jailbreak you to 3.13 :]

  52. Anonymous Says:

    thats it!

  53. Israel Leite Says:

    WILL THIS NEW FIRMWARE FIX THE GRAY WIFI(Reads wifi only works in the freezer) PROBLEM?

  54. A8ZE Says:

    The iOS4 which was released yesterday … I wonder if you could make an update to “SBSettings” not working with this one. Otherwise, could you give a date? Thank you in advance Boss!

  55. AVA Says:

    Hi BB, i never jb my phone before and i already update to OS4. Is there anyway i can jb it?

  56. A8ZE Says:

    Yeah, via redsn0w (last version)

  57. Leonick Says:

    Yea apples multitasking is multitasking done wrong, background + proswitcher or circuitous or something is a lot better.

    As for the folders, looks nice but 12 apps limits is ridiculous.

    So BigBoss, just thinking here, as the code and components for it is there, do you think it might be possible to at least allow categories have apps added to them by drop apps on them just like with apple folders?

    Also, do you think it’s possible to break apples 12 app limit and let it slide up and down just like with categories?

    Just thinking here, i am not hacker/programmer, at least not for the iPhone/iPod touch.

  58. Michael Says:

    Hi, I know your working hard but is there any information to when the 3rd gen 4.0 jailbreak will be ready?

  59. Smash Says:

    We need hack that will allow more then 12 apps in folders. I’d buy that for a $1 :)

  60. Shengis14 Says:

    Not for a while, geohot has a bootrom exploit that means it’s pwned4life but it’s tethered, he’ll probably combine it with a higher level exploit that so that it’s untethered though

  61. Brownie Says:

    U got f***ed In the ass dude lol

  62. PeezaPi Says:

    As the title says “hold off a bit” does not mean never.

    1. Yes apps running in background may be more efficient in ios4, but apps are being fixed to take care of that and I’m sure they’re working on “backgrounder” to take advantage of that much in the same way Apple handles it.

    2. I have 32 games in my games folder and the millisecond it takes to scroll to the one I want beats the hell out of having 3 game folders on ios4 anyday IMO.

    3. As he stated, there has been no reason for him to upgrade to any newer os. I agree, I’m on 3.1.2 because that’s what my 3gs came with and so far there hasn’t been a reason to go to 3.1.3 or even ios4 for that matter.

  63. PeezaPi Says:

    Sorry doesn’t look like the reply worked…

    Above post was reply to Emre Sumengen

  64. Paulo Camilo Says:

    Thank you, and please, keep up the excellent work !

    But I didn’t hold it, and I’m regret it very much !

    I’ve a IPod Touch 3G 8G (MC model) with iOS 4.0, and I’m absolutely desperate to jailbreak this crap like before: I miss the previous 3.1.3 performance with all the wonderful Jailbreak stuff: SB Settings, Activator, Backgrounder, Infinidock, etc.

    It’s a really shame that I’m a stupid early adopter: I regret this sh… upgrade so much. And I didn’t manage to go back….

    Help please ! Anyone ?

    Thanks again

  65. Michael Says:

    Were all feeling like this, our lives arent complete without the jailbreak. Keep up to date and discuss with thousands of other people at

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