compatibile iphoneReports are coming out that the iOS 5 beta works just fine on the 3GS, which is a relief since just a couple of weeks ago it was rumored that the 3GS wouldn't work at all. According to Apple (emphasis added):

iOS 5 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, iPad, iPod touch (fourth generation) and iPod touch (third generation) this fall. Some features may not be available on all products.

Unfortunately, Apple doesn't spell out what, exactly, won't work on the slower iPhone 3GS and third generation iPod touch. But some research from 9to5Mac and Banolka on YouTube gives us some ideas, at least in the beta.

What we know works:

- Notification Center
- Twitter Integration
- Newsstand and Periodical Store
- Grid Lines and Exposure/Brightness Settings in Camera app
- Reading List in Safari
- Volume Up Button to Take Pictures

And what doesn't (but it's a short list, so far):

- Image editing (red eye, cropping, magic wand)
- Reader is missing (we've heard mixed reports on this)

So, it looks like 3GS users are in good shape going forward, but, of course, all of this may change as the beta period goes on and we get closer to release this fall. What might be most difficult to implement for the 3GS is a feature that doesn't even exist yet. We reported earlier today that Nuance/Siri Voice Features might still be included in iOS 5 and I wouldn't be surprised if that particular feature was not enabled on the relatively underpowered 3GS.

Top Rated Comments

Chundles Avatar
143 months ago
Reader is not an "Always there" feature. Just like in Safari on the Mac, the website needs to be recognised as an article to enable the Reader button.

It's there when it's needed but you won't see it on every site.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
smalltimewine Avatar
143 months ago
Hopefully some will take this as a lesson to assuage the usual "sky-is-falling, let's crucify Apple" reaction to mere rumors.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Biolizard Avatar
143 months ago
The iPhone 3G was an anomaly because the only internal change was the 3G chip. Going forward it seems like every iPhone will get a spec bump so the 3rd version of iOS for a particular model of the phone will hopefully be a much smoother affair than the 3G+4.x.x debacle.

That said, the gap between the 3GS and 4 isn't great (faster clock speed + double RAM - having to power retina display) so I'm more interested to see what iOS 6 means for the iPhone 4 this time next year.

Edit: Also, remember that this is a beta so we don't know how far it's been optimised yet; any devs with a slow 3GS just need to moan at Apple so users need not wait until 5.2.1 ;-)
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gpat Avatar
143 months ago
That's no surprise to me. The 3GS had some kick-ass hardware for 2009. You know, the "S" was for speed.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BaconTime Avatar
143 months ago
I had to chuckle a bit reading these threads where the overwhelming consensus was that the 3gs "couldn't possibly handle" the demands of ios5, yet somehow the iphone 4 would plow through it with ease.

"iOS 5 for iPhone 3GS?"
https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1163470

"No iOS 5 for iPhone 3GS?"
https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1158210
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nobita Avatar
143 months ago
What? This sucks. Maybe put a cap on the size of the images we can edit, but to remove it completely? I wonder what else Apple refuses to give us.

It's a beta. It means all features may not have been implemented.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple ar headset concept 1

Apple's Headset Said to Feature 14 Cameras Enabling Lifelike Avatars, Jony Ive Has Remained Involved With Design

Friday May 20, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Earlier this week, The Information's Wayne Ma outlined struggles that Apple has faced during the development of its long-rumored AR/VR headset. Now, in a follow-up report, he has shared several additional details about the wearable device. Apple headset render created by Ian Zelbo based on The Information reporting For starters, one of the headset's marquee features is said to be lifelike...
iPhone 14 Purple Lineup Feature

Will the iPhone 14 Be a Disappointment?

Saturday May 21, 2022 9:00 am PDT by
With around four months to go before Apple is expected to unveil the iPhone 14 lineup, the overwhelming majority of rumors related to the new devices so far have focused on the iPhone 14 Pro, rather than the standard iPhone 14 – leading to questions about how different the iPhone 14 will actually be from its predecessor, the iPhone 13. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max are expected...
sony headphones 1

Sony's New WH-1000XM5 Headphones vs. Apple's AirPods Max

Friday May 20, 2022 12:18 pm PDT by
Sony this week came out with an updated version of its popular over-ear noise canceling headphones, so we picked up a pair to compare them to the AirPods Max to see which headphones are better and whether it's worth buying the $400 WH-1000XM5 from Sony over Apple's $549 AirPods Max. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. First of all, the AirPods Max win out when it comes ...
studio display 3

Apple's Rumored 27-Inch Mini-LED Display Now Said to Launch in October

Friday May 20, 2022 8:07 am PDT by
Apple now plans to release a new 27-inch display with mini-LED backlighting in October due to the Shanghai lockdown, which has resulted in production of the display being delayed, according to display industry consultant Ross Young. In a tweet, Young said Apple is in the process of moving production of the display from Quanta Computer to a different supplier and/or location, resulting in a...
HomePodandMini feature green

Kuo: Apple to Release New HomePod in Late 2022 or Early 2023

Friday May 20, 2022 8:55 am PDT by
Apple is working on an updated version of the HomePod that could come in the fourth quarter of 2022 or the first quarter of 2023, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Kuo says that there "may not be much innovation in hardware design" for the new HomePod, and there is no word on what size the device will be and if it will be a HomePod mini successor or a larger speaker. Apple would ...
airtag purple

Best Apple Deals of the Week: Save on AirTag, AirPods 3, and iPads

Friday May 20, 2022 8:01 am PDT by
Solid markdowns on the AirTag, AirPods 3, and a few iPad models were introduced this week, and below you'll find all of the best deals of the past few days that are still available to purchase. AirTag Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. What's the...