Why Your iPhone 3G Didn't Get Backgrounds With iOS 4

Illustration for article titled Why Your iPhone 3G Didn't Get Backgrounds With iOS 4

Today we finally got to officially download iOS 4 and update our iPhone and iPod touch devices. There was a catch though: iPhone 3G users don't get to use all the new features—like backgrounds or multitasking. Here's why.


Gizmodo reader Erica wrote Steve Jobs an email asking why her iPhone 3G doesn't get to do everything a newer iPhone can:

Hey Steve! I just upgraded my iPhone 3G to iOS 4 and was really looking forward to setting a background on my home screen. Guess that's not happening, but I'd like to know why.

See, I get why you don't include multitasking. My iPhone gets pretty hot when certain apps run, couldn't imagine how multitasking would fry my phone.

But the background thing, I don't see how that would be memory intensive and/or battery draining. It doesn't seem like that feature needs to be exclusive to the 3GS and 4G.

I hope this email finds you in good health.


Steve's reply?

The icon animation with backgrounds didn't perform well enough.

So basically our old iPhone 3G devices are too weak and pathetic to handle the pretty backgrounds of iOS 4—unless they're jailbroken, of course. [Thanks, Erica!]


This seemed like a reasonable answer from Steve, until I read comments about JB phones that can do this without a hitch.