The new iPhone 5 is upon us, and with it comes the latest Apple operating system, the iOS 6. The new version of iOS brings in a bunch of feature improvements, as well as the well-known disappearance of services like Google Maps and YouTube. While this is certainly optimized for the new iPhone 5, the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are able to get this update as well.
The 3rd Generation iPod touch has been removed from the list of updated devices, now featuring only the 4th and 5th generation iPod touch. Only the first generation Apple iPad will miss the update. The iPad 2 and the new iPad will get it just fine.
As with the previous updates, certain features will not be available across all devices. Let us look at the major features and which one will make it to older devices.
Let’s start with Siri. She began with the iPhone 4S, and will definitely not go to older devices officially. You can now ask Siri a ton of new stuff ranging from movies, sports and restaurants. The new and improved Siri will be available for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, the new iPad, and the 5th generation iPod touch.
iOS 6 will feature the birth of the new Apple Maps, which definitely looks as beautiful as Apple pegs it to be, but certainly not as functional as what Google maps was. Street view is gone, and they no longer make use of Google’s keyword search, so looking for your favorite stores in the new mapping application becomes a horrible experience.
They make use of Yelp’s database, which is hardly as curated, refined nor as accurate as the Google maps we know and love. Sure, they will keep updating the service in the future, but for now, it’s a huge setback in actual functionality. At the very least, you can have some fun with the Flyover feature for a few minutes.
Both the Flyover and turn by turn navigation is only available from the iPhone 4S up, the iPod Touch 5 and the last two iPad devices.
You asked for it, and Apple finally gives in to it. Facetime can now be used with your carrier network, provided your carrier network does not block it. Unfortunately, only the 3rd generation iPad and the last two iPhones support this feature. At the very least, you can now receive all your Facetime alerts across all of your devices.
AirPlay is a new service that can be used on 2nd generation Apple TVs. You can only make use of it if you have an iPhone 4S, an iPhone 5, an iPod touch 5 or the last two iPad devices. AirPlay basically allows you to share or “mirror” the display on your Apple device to your Apple TV.
Twitter can say they consider Apple their mentor and Facebook is their rival all they want, but Apple wants to be friendly with Facebook, too. The new iOS 6 is fully integrated with Facebook, allowing closer collaboration with Facebook contacts, events, timelines, locations and posting. Sharing through Facebook has never been easier on an Apple device.
Apple’s answer to Google wallet and ISIS does not require new hardware. The new Passbooks app will allow you to manage gift coupons, passes, tickets and loyalty cards you can get from supporting establishments. This will not be available on the larger iPad, but fits the smaller devices just fine. This is ultimately better for the Retina display devices, since it requires the scanner to scan the screen. Clearer is always better in this case.
Cloud Tabs take device integration a step further, allowing you to browse open tabs across many of your Apple devices using the Safari browser. This allows you to continue your browsing session when you leave one device for another. This works for all iOS 6 enabled devices.
People who love Apple devices certainly love taking pictures. That is why services like Instagram became so popular. Apple takes the camera’s function even further by allowing it to take Panorama Shots. Unfortunately, only the 5th generation iPod touch and the last two iPhones are able to make use of this feature.
A feature that sounds more like “lack of accessibility” allows you to disable certain parts of the display from registering any touch inputs. It also encompasses easy access features for the disabled. This feature is widely available for all devices, but the hearing aids for iPhone is only available for the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5.
Take note that there are plenty of location based services in the iOS 6 which is much like the iOS 5 will not work in many countries. Apple made an extensive list of what is available for your country if you want to make sure a feature will work where you live. iOS 6 will hit your device through an OTA as soon as it is available if you are on iOS 5. If oddly enough, you are on iOS 4 and below, and if your device qualifies for the update, then you can get yours from the iTunes app once available.
Image sources: Apple.com