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iPhone 3GS and 3rd-gen iPod touch users around the world were relieved when Apple confirmed that the recently-announced iOS 5 would support the aging handset, after a reputable analyst took the time to state publicly that there would be a slim chance that the 3GS would work with iOS 5. Yes, iOS 5 will almost work perfectly (and fast) on Apple’s 2009 phone, but with a few limitations of its own.

iOS 5 logo

AppleRumors.It, an Italy-based iOS-related website, has posted a video of a side-by-side comparison between iOS running on an iPhone 4 and the same system running on an iPhone 3GS.

As you can tell from the video above, the operating system works just as smoothly on both phones, which is quite surprising, and both run all of iOS 5′s new features, such as Reminders, Twitter integration and more. That said, there are 3 features, according to reports, that aren’t present on the older device:

  • Shooting of HDR pictures, which wasn’t present on earlier firmwares on the 3GS either.
  • Picture editing capabilities, such as red eye removal and cropping are nowhere to be found.
  • Reader in Safari, which displays web pages in a clean easy-to-read view, seems to be unavailable.

If you’re a regular iPhone user, chances are you won’t even notice that these features are missing, since they’re so minor. Apple is known to slightly cripple newer versions of iOS on older devices, presumably due to hardware constraints: iOS 3, for example, ran on the first-generation iPhone and iPod touch, although without MMS support, which is now commonplace, but was a great deal at the time. That was one year before support for the now-ancient device was fully cut off with iOS 4.

If you’re an Apple enthusiast, however, you should keep in mind that the 3rd-generation iPod touch, as well as the iPhone 3GS, are likely next on Apple’s chopping block to have their support cut off. That means no additional updates, not even security updates or critical bug fixes, which will be pretty frustrating for any user. If you’re thinking of buying new hardware, however, you should hold off until the next-generation iPhone comes out, which according to reports, will be this fall. That will give you access to the latest iOS way into the future (even if that only means a few months).

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