Want your iPhone 4 to run faster? Install iOS 7.1

Speed tests show that Apple's older iPhone gets a performance bump from the updated OS, though it still ran faster with iOS 6.

iOS 7.1 will help your iPhone 4 load apps a bit quicker.
iOS 7.1 will help your iPhone 4 load apps a bit quicker. Sarah Tew/CNET

Good news for iPhone 4 owners: Apple's iOS 7.1 update, released earlier this week, should make your handset feel a little snappier.

The bad news: It still won't run as fast as it did on iOS 6.

So writes Ars Technica, which conducted basic iPhone 4 performance tests with iOS 6.1.3, iOS 7, and 7.1. Specifically, the blog clocked load times for various stock apps like Camera, Messages, and Mail, and also the time to complete a cold boot.

The results: iOS 7.1 boots a bit more quickly than iOS 7 (43.1 seconds versus 45.1 seconds), but still slower than iOS 6 (31.1 seconds). As for apps, they also load a bit faster, though in mere tenths of a second in most cases. The biggest gain was found in Messages, which took 2.8 seconds to load under iOS 7 but just 1.5 seconds under iOS 7.1.

Here are the full results of the tests:

Ars Technica

Unfortunately, despite these modest gains in the stock apps, Ars Technica notes that "iOS 7.1 doesn't perform any differently in CPU, GPU, or browser-based benchmarks than iOS 7.0. Apple sometimes takes these medium-sized updates as an opportunity to further optimize Mobile Safari's JavaScript engine, but that's not the case here."

In other words, if you want an iPhone that's faster overall, you'll need a faster iPhone.

If you've noticed any changes to your iPhone 4's performance after installing iOS 7.1, share your results below. And if you haven't yet installed the update, will this speed up (sorry) your decision to do so?

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