Downgrading to iPhone OS 3.1.3

When I first watched the keynote a few months back about the iOS 4, I was very excited about all of the possibilities. Then at the end of the keynote I was a bit depressed to learn my 3G iPhone won’t be able to handle most of the new features. When the release came out I upgraded looking forward to the features I would be able to use.

At first it seemed to be working well. Then as the days went on I noticed it got slower and buggier. Craig pointed me to a post that said to reset it 3 times in a row, so I tried that. Slight improvement but only temporarily. I even tried reinstalling iOS 4, and still the issues persisted. This was the first time in owning an iPhone that I wanted to throw it across the room or through a window. Below are the issues I ran into.

Typing
The keys would be severely delayed and act as if they were sticking, making it extremely frustrating to work on the phone.

Maps
This became also completely unusable. The locate feature which worked excellent before, would now take upwards of 2 minutes to find me, and was off several times. The redraw on the maps would hang and sometimes never load.

Mail
Also very slow, when it checked mail in the background it would bring the entire phone to a crawl.

Safari
This was a first ever on my phone. I was loading a website in Safari and the entire phone crashed and reset.

iTunes
Anytime any process was running in the background, especially Mail, iTunes would skip and stutter through songs. It would also hang while trying to move to the next song, it would take a second or two audibly but then the artwork would not change for another 10 seconds and if I pressed the next button again it would completely hang.

All of these were enough for me to say mercy, and downgrade to 3.1.3. I found the .ipsw file from my back up and followed the instructions on Lifehacker.

I have successfully downgraded and restored from a back up I did two weeks ago. My apps all load quickly, no crashing, typing works again and Maps finds me every time and updates very fast. At some point in the future, I’ll upgrade to the iPhone 4.