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Currently, running an iPad 16GB Wifi only model with iOS 4.3.5. I have been noticing some slow redraw issues using Safari, generally when scrolling down length pages. I am seeing the checkerboard background, then the page renders. Would upgrading to the latest version of iOS fix this or make it worse?

Is there a way to roll back to iOS 4.3.5, should I find iOS 5 latest version to be worse?

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No. You cannot revert from iOS 5 to iOS 4 (Apple even closed the SHSH blob method made famous by the Jailbreak team). Typically this has always been the case. Once you update, you are bound to that version till a new one is released. –  cksum Feb 28 '12 at 21:43
    
Before you upgrade you should have a look at the thirty pages of gripes at Apple's forum about Safari crashes after upgrading to iOS 5. I'm just barely happier with iOS 5. The crashes are pretty annoying. –  Kyle Jones Feb 29 '12 at 2:28
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

The version of Safari that ships with IOS 5 has much better performance than the versions that ship with iOS 4, as reported in this blog post and this article. This increased performance may address the checkerboard rendering issue that you've mentioned. HTML pipelining was introduced in iOS5, and may help with the latency that results in slow rendering. Anecdotally, viewing web pages in Safari does seem a lot faster after I upgraded to iOS 5.

Regarding a rollback to iOS 4 if you don't like iOS 5 - cksum's provides some detailed info in this Apple.SE answer.

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In addition to the +1 vote - I feel the same when I can work with iPad one models side by side - iOS 4 and iOS 5. You will need to disable some notification side things if you want total max Safari speed, but I'd say the chance of regretting the upgrade to be low. You still will get laggy scrolling on some pages - especially with 5 tabs open, but I don't think it's worse and likely better on iOS 5. –  bmike Feb 29 '12 at 0:33
    
@cksum - sorry about the typo in your username! :) –  JW8 Feb 29 '12 at 0:54
    
Original model iPad, 64 gB, wifi here. Safari is far more prone to crash under iOS 5 than it was under iOS 4. Repeated crashes while loading a website rise to the level of being an annoyance. Not enough to make me attempt to roll back version, but had I known, I might not have updaed in the first place. –  Wayfaring Stranger Feb 29 '12 at 14:52
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The checkerboard is displayed to make the scrolling smooth while the page loads. It may be faster or it may not but you will probably still see the checkerboard on your original iPad. It is not a bug, it is just what happens when the iPad needs to load what is off screen. There are plenty more reasons to upgrade to iOS 5, though, even if this particular issue isn't resolved.

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