iOS 4.2 New Text Tones: iPhone 3GS Disappointment

By Peter Chubb - Nov 24, 2010

iOS 4.2 is now live, which you may have guessed by the range of subjects covered on this update. The main features were AirPlay, AirPrint and finally multitasking for the iPad. However, one thing that did go unnoticed was the new text tones, but iPhone 3G / 3GS users have been left disappointed.

The reason for this is because they do not have these extra tones, which Phones Review helped point out. I should have noticed this when I updated my dad’s iPhone 3G last night, but did not even think to check if these new message tones were missing.

The heads-up to this issue was found by TiPb, and they can already see that iPhone 3G and 3GS users are not happy with Apple. It seems that this is another kick in the teeth for those who do not have the most up-to-date iPhone.

However, there are those who would argue that the new text tones are rubbish, and I would have to agree. How many times do we need to say that cheaper and older phones have better message and ringtone alerts?

iPhone 3G and 3Gs owners, do you feel as if Apple has screwed you over let you down once again?

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Also See: WWDC 2018 event dated early for iOS 12, new iPad Pro?

  • hOttOddY


    I spent hours upon hours in my studio crafting custon text tones waiting for this update. What a waste to find all this out. I did find a way to add custom text tones but you have to jail break your phone and perform some serious trickery. If you're feeling brave here is a link on how to do it.

    Hope this helps.

  • notwithU

    Yeah I'm disappointed, I think this is a huge feature and something I've always thought the iphone was lacking. Such a hugely popular phone and only a hand full of text tones? And I couldn't assign specific tones to certain people?! Horrible. That's for gypping us older phone users once again Apple.

  • Tom

    As much as I like the iPhone and apple products im finding that all those years ago when Microsoft was taken to court for holding a monopoly should now be practised on apple.

    How can apple expect a user to upgrade early or when they release a new phone when they dictate to mobile operators what the price they should charge should be and for how long!!

    Do they forget that people are mostly locked into a 2 year contract and paying heavily already without having to pay extortionate fee's just to upgrade because "Apple" say they have the latest and greatest in technologies.
    Other phone makers have caught up and are working to overtake Apple, and if Apple continue to try and alienate people for personal greed they will begin to lose out as people siply cannot afford to carry on paying out.

  • Captain tetanus

    I too am bummed by the lack of new text tones. Why did they have so few in the first place? If you’re in a group of people no one knows who just got a text! Everyone has to look and see! Also, why don’t they let us add our own?

    My iPhone 3Gs 16gb is not old just because the iPhone 4 exists. I’m still under my two year at&t contract!! Phone should at least not be considered old until contract is up!

    Apple owes us support. It ain’t free. iPhones are pricey. Service for them is pricey. We are free advertising for them if we’re pleased with them.

  • nick

    the thing that pisses me off is that on the apple website under the 4.2os tab is that when they go on about the new text tones it has a little asterisk that says ‘iphone only’………what it should say is ‘iphone 4 only’ thanks again apple

  • Lets not forget the "track my iphone" function, yet again only offered for the iphone 4. That is rubbish.

    Its like oil companies making a new type of cheaper more efficient gasoline that your car CANT use since its not the 2011 model.

    I am extremely disappointed with apple, plus im stuck with this stupid 3GS for another 2 years. Thankfully, it probably wont last as long as my contract.

  • Ben

    would it be better if Apple dont update any of their software for you all and just bring out new phones everytime instead like nearly all other mobile phone companies? and to be honest if all you have got to worry in life is the fact your iphone didnt receive an up-to-date text tone then your laughing really aren't you? I wish all i had to worry about is a text tone on my phone

    • Tom

      Yes Ben, all other companies do release new phones with new features. But lets not forget other phones are cheap to buy and if not they are free on cheap contract tariffs which dont set the user back by some £1200.

  • CAM

    Apple products are known for their superiority in performance, quality, reliability, aesthetics and for never cutting corners. That is why I was surprised to learn that my iPhone 3GS, despite having updated software, does not have the new text tones. I hope that this was an oversight on Apple's part, and not an intentional and misguided attempt to incent the purchase of a new iphone 4, as the iphone 4 is already superior to the 3GS in other capacities. This just feels like a cheap shot, something its competitors would do. Apple is better than this.

    • MinneappleBob

      The hell they are!

  • Amy

    Not so much "screwed over" but a bit dissapointed.. It's the ONLY thing I miss about having an iPhone compared to other phones… ability to have personalised ring/text tones.

  • AppleRep

    Of course they are not going to provide the latest and greatest to the older phones, it’s called “out with the old in with the new”, another way of selling iPhones, that’s all it is! Wake up and smell the apple!!

  • Rob

    I don't care about not getting the new text tones, what really bugs me is not being able to use custom ones.

  • Paul Bunyan

    Bastards…I carry my phone and I sound like a whole damn farm walking walking down the street when I get texts. Cow Bell, Glass, Dumbass Clown Horn. “There goes farmer Joe!” Screw Apple…

  • Lee

    Pffft any they wanna stop people jailbreaking.

  • Carl

    In order to get the most out of your Iphone 3G or 3GS, we must jailbreak them!!!!

  • angrybirdsowner

    im gonna sell my iphones , to get myself android
    cant even customized ur message tones, and now only iphone 4 getting the new text tones update?
    fuck that

  • Dr Riz

    Time to liberate my iPhone. Jail break here I come.

  • wp7user

    Yeah, Apple has let me down, so, I bought a Windows Phone, sold my iPhone to pay for it. I couldn't be happier, especially since now I have all of the mobile me perks for free, plus wireless sync to my PC on my home network. Thanks Apple for 3 years of crappy updates!

  • Graham

    I was very disappointed with the statement that all iphones would receive the new text tones. It clearly states this on their website. Not all features are available for iPhone 3G and 3GS, which is fine by me at this stage, however, in the disclaimer it does NOT mention that the new text tones are NOT compatible with iPhone 3G and 3GS. No mention is made whatsoever. I believe that this is grossly misleading and very unlike Apple.

    • Ron

      Very unlike Apple? You're that naive to think that Apple hasn't been grossly misleading in the past? Every iteration of iPhone does give extra features, but they're extra features that have been available on other smartphones for years! (Cut and paste, multitasking, custom SMS tones, etc, etc). Apple makes a great product BUT it's very locked down and not very customizable, unlike pretty much all other phones.

      • brad

        its just like macs, for years you can only use there stuff on there hardware. its called a monopoly

  • gary

    Do you know you can customize your message tones?

    • Mike


      • kakalakjak

        In the contacts…pick your contact and edit, assign text tone is now an option.

        • Aaron

          But it doesn't have a custom option

  • gary

    Dont feel that they have 'screwed me over' but it is dissapointing that you need an iphone 4 to benefit from most of the updates. I dont see why they couldnt give the updates to 3g/3gS users.

    e.g. u cant use mobile me unless u first register on an iphone4, ipad or touch (4th gen), but it is physically possible to use it on the 3gs… ive just got a friend to register me using his iphone 4, then was able to set it up on my 3gs.

    So its clear that it is possible… its just apple's attempt to get people to spend more money and upgrade.

    So much for the 'free' updates when you cant use them unless u buy their latest devices

  • Chris V.

    This is not how you keep customers. When I got my 3GS, it was because there were no 'real' alternatives. Now there are plenty of equally capable phones. I might have to go to the dark side… …DROID.

    • Kyle

      it that must not be named!!!!!!

  • tony

    My wife is UPSET! I got the new tones on my i4 but she didn't on her i3, thanks Apple!

  • mkinney

    yes huge dissapointment

  • BAWLs2theWAWLS

    I do feel screwed over. I waited like two months for iOS 4.2. I was sooooo excited about the new text tones. I don't care if they suck. I was just excited for something that is so new to the iPhone. Text tones haven't been update since the first iPhone. Such a disappointment. :((

  • symine


  • No.

    Why would you feel that Apple has "screwed you over" when they have consistently been providing updates that add functionality well beyond what you originally paid for, all free of charge?

    • Melissa

      I don't know if I would agree with terming it "screwed you over" – but if the updates don't actually update (say on your 3gs) then they haven't really been "consistently" providing "updates that add functionality" if your phone can't get them. Despite the maybe sillyness of the new text tones – I would have to agree that it would be nice to have more text tones on my 3gs.

    • Mike

      Not sure I agree with "Free of Charge" – iPhone comes with a monthly price tag. It's the reason these updates are "free" for iPhone users, and you pay for them if you have an iTouch. Nothing in life is free.

    • Lady R

      Because they are encouraging over consumerism.

      The updates that Slow Down my Phone , constantly are added to make my iphone 3G slower.

      Though simple things like text tones that are easy to add they refuse because some people in marketing tell them it will make more people convert.

    • Marsha

      I love apple! I always will. but it's true I was looking forward to this feature. And I would hate to believe the iPhone 3GS couldn't handle the new text sounds ( I believe it's just another small incentive to make you upgrade faster ) this update is for three types of devices iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad so if you look at their website -> iPhone -> 4.2 update -> and go to text tones it says iPhone only ( not iPhone 4 only so it left me and I'm sure others trying to find out why the update didn't fully take ) I would not have been looking forward to the feature if it had said iPhone 4 only like in the past.

  • They all suck so it wasent a big deal for my wife.