Apple’s finally launched iOS 6 for its devices , launching this fall. We all love new stuff — and iOS 6, the new software for iPhone and iPad, is packed with cool new stuff. But before you get too excited, is your iDevice a bit long in the tooth? Read on to find out which features you won’t be able to get on your iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS or 3G, or older iPad.
The features that are most likely to be missing from your iPhone or iPad are Siri and some elements of the new Apple Maps app, as well as restrictions on photo sharing, FaceTime and Safari. Here’s which features are missing from which phones.
As the most recent model, the iPhone 4S has all the features of iOS 6 present and correct. So there’s the new own-brand Maps app, updated Siri and Safari, Facebook integration, 3G FaceTime, and a new-look phone app. Plus there’s the photo stream to share snaps to the web, and a new data-storing Passbook. The 4S is also the only Apple device to support officially certified Made for iPhone hearing aids.
The iPhone 4 gets many of the new features in iOS 6 — but not all. Kicking off with the Maps app, the iPhone 4 won’t get sat nav-style turn-by-turn directions or the 3D Flyover mode. We’re not too fussed about missing out on Flyover — the 3D-modelled cities in Android’s Google Mapslook lovely but are distracting when you just want to get around.
But turn-by-turn directions are far more useful and are a serious omission. Instead, you’ll have to turn to third-party apps such as TomTom or CoPilot.
The other thing missing from the iPhone 4 is Siri. Apple’s voice-controlled personal assistant has a tonne of new features in iOS 6, but none of them are coming to the iPhone 4, 3GS or older.
The iPhone 3GS will get iOS 6, but as with the iPhone 4, turn-by-turn navigation, 3D flyover and Siri are missing. The 3GS also misses out on shared photo streams, 3G FaceTime and VIP smart mailbox. And there’s no offline reading in Safari, but you can still stick with the likes of article-saving apps Instapaper and Pocket (formerly known as Read It Later).
But we’re more worried about what the update will do to the phone’s performance — just because the new software will work on the phone doesn’t mean it’ll improve things. We remember when previous updates arrived on the iPhone 3G and 3GS, and slowed those older phones down to a horrifying extent. We suggest waiting to see how other 3GS owners get on before updating.
iPhone 3G and original iPhone
No iOS 6 for the 3G and original iPhone, but come on — isn’t it about time you got a new phone anyway?
On to Apple’s tablets. As with the 4S, the new iPad is the latest model and so is blessed with the full range of iOS 6 features — including, for the first time, voice-controlled smart-aleck Siri.
The iPad 2 gets iOS 6 and all the new features and apps, including turn-by-turn navigation and 3D flyover in the new Maps app. But there’s no love for Siri: the chirpy voice-controlled personal assistant remains exclusive to the iPhone 4S and new iPad.
The original iPad adds iOS 6 and the new Maps app, but misses out on turn-by-turn directions and the 3D Flyover mode. There’s no access to shared photo streams, no 3G FaceTime, and no VIP smart mailbox. Like the iPhone 3GS, if you want to save an article to read later, you need a third-party app because Safari won’t save articles for you. And of course, Siri says no siree.
Which new Apple features are you most excited about? Are you disappointed that your phone is missing out? Which features would tempt you to splash out for a new phone? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.