HTC One X+ and One VX launched exclusively on AT&T

While Samsung’s strategy is to hit every carrier and every market possible, HTC is quite content with making themselves exclusively desirable for AT&T users in the US. The 2nd largest carrier in the US has once again arrived at an exclusivity deal with HTC’s latest products.

AT&T once held the HTC One X as an exclusive for their network. Now, the HTC One X+ and the HTC One VX join the ranks of the carrier’s exclusive HTC phones.

The HTC One X+ is the upgraded version of the HTC One X. This phone makes use of Quad core technology despite the fact that it will be running on AT&T’s vast LTE network. Much like the HTC One X, the new unit also has a 4.7 inch display, which is just a notch smaller than the rival Galaxy S3. It sports an 8 megapixel camera at the back, with improved low light capabilities from its predecessor.

It also comes with Google’s new Android Jelly Bean, which means the new phone will be able to make use of the Jelly Bean’s exclusive features, such as Project Butter and Google Now. It is one of the very few phones of today to come out of the box with Jelly Bean installed.

The new HTC One X+ is built to last longer thanks to the Tegra 3 processor’s power saving 5th core, and the expansion of the phone’s battery capacity to 2100 mAh. Unfortunately, even though the processor was upgraded, the RAM remains the same at 1 GB. The upside is that the new Jelly Bean powered phone has a whopping 64 GB of internal memory right out of the box for the default package.

HTC is also launching a smaller phone aimed for those on a lower budget. The HTC One VX performs well under pressure with a tried and tested dual core Snapdragon processor. It is basically a shrunk HTC One X, maintaining the top of the line features like Bluetooth 4.0 and NFC technology.

The 4.5 inch display is still very generous, giving you enough space to manage your tasks. The new HTC One VX comes with Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, but a Jelly Bean update is promised for the future.  A smaller display uses less power, so the phone is only built with an 1810 mAh rated battery.

The HTC one VX only has 8 GB of internal storage, but you can expand the memory further with a micro SD card. Both phones come with Beats Audio, so you can be sure of the sound quality for both devices.

AT&T nabbed a couple of good phones for the holiday season. The HTC One X+ is certainly a promising phone, being AT&T’s first quad core LTE device. For those who want something smaller than the HTC One X, yet still be able to perform heavy duty tasks, the HTC One VX fits the bill quite well.

Image sources: htc.com, htcsource.com, att.com

Maps Tip: Google Street View is back on iOS 6… in a way

It is no secret that certain aspects of Google Maps have been missed in the new Maps in iOS 6. The most notably missed feature is the Google Street View, and of course, the accuracy and sheer functionality of Google Maps.

Sure, the new Maps app in iOS 6 had some great features as well. One of the most notably useful features not found in the previous Google Maps based solution was the turn by turn navigation found in the new Maps app. Apple tried to replace the Google Street View with the Fly Over effect.

While the Fly Over is certainly an eyeful for areas supported, its usefulness is nowhere near Google Street View. After all, the average Joe will need to view the location on the street level where they will be when they visit the location in question. They can’t really tell street level landmarks so high up in the sky. Fly Over is basically just eye candy.

Apple apologized about the lack of pure functionality in their Maps app. It still lacks a lot of data, misplaces a lot of locations, and labels landmarks incorrectly. Their navigation system is still a hit and miss, but at least it is there. For basic mapping solutions, in case you need to look up an address correctly, Apple’s Tim cook directs you to 3rd party solutions, even mentioning Google Maps.

Google Maps is not yet available as an app in the App store. It can only be accessed via Safari by going to maps.google.com. The mobile site works mostly like the desktop version of Google Maps, but it was missing one of the key features that navigators were looking for: Google Street View capabilities.

Thankfully, Google remedied that fairly quickly by launching an update to the mobile Google maps application by introducing Google Street View to the mobile code. Users can now look up many locations and view it on the street level.

The problem is, porting Street View to the mobile site is a monumental task. What Google has placed on the mobile version is what you can call a “lite version” of Google Street View. There were still many locations that were not included in the mobile version but available in the desktop version. It can also run a bit slow and does not have the same zoom level as the desktop version. Apple’s safari browser can only access this much, but it is still a very welcome improvement and a sigh of relief that Google is doing something about it.

Meanwhile, Apple is steadily working to try and figure out all the things wrong with their maps application. Word is that Apple is tasking their staff to locate and report inaccurate map data or map anomalies to the maps division. Since people are avoiding using the Apple maps application, they have to turn to their own resources to be able to gather mapping and location data for the improvement of their maps offering. If all goes well, Apple maps may yet take center stage.

Image sources: cnn.com, apple.com, digitaltrends.com

Apple iPhone 5 is plagued by purple flares in photos

Apple and their newly released iPhone 5 is getting a lot of publicity. Unfortunately, it is not for the usual reasons. Apple has been unofficially labeled as the benchmark of all smartphones in the past years. That is the reason why there are so many blogs detailing how X phone fares against the Apple iPhone.

The iPhone 5 is certainly a technological marvel in its own right. It is a great achievement for the company in terms of weight and size. The display finally increased in size without compromising the quality of the images. It is highly tricked out so the phone outruns other phones in benchmark tests and gaming quality. The iPhone 5 is certainly an upgrade from an older iPhone. It just doesn’t feel much of an upgrade from other smartphones in this era.

Despite how much work and effort Apple claims they have put into the development of the new iPhone 5, it seems an awful lot of quality control was missed. The new device apparently sold more and had more demand than any of the iPhones in the past, but it also is the most problematic iPhone in Apple’s history.

In another classic case of Steve Jobs’ infamous “you’re holding it wrong”, Apple support has once again billed a clear hardware error as something “normal”.

Discriminating users of the new iPhone 5 has identified an issue with the phone’s camera. The Camera apparently shows some purple shaded flares when taking some white lit photos. Most of the time, it happens when the photos are taken from a certain angle, where the light hits the lens diagonally from the front.

Flares are normal indeed when taking photos in brightly lit environments or simply taking photos with a bright light source in the photo even for a professional camera. In fact, light flares are used artistically by professional photographers in their line of work.

The problem is, when a bright, white light is used for a flaring effect, it is expected that the flare will be white, or something very close to white, not the Barney colored effect the new iPhone 5 camera produces. The purple haze can ruin a perfectly good shot.

Tests taken by other users with their older iPhones fail to replicate the issue, so the purple haze is definitely linked to the iPhone 5 camera. The issue has been linked to the sapphire camera lens cover on the new iPhone 5. Once the light hits it at the right angle, the purple hue of sapphire is applied to the photo taken.

Some users claim that the issue might be fixed by a software update that will allow the processor to calculate and compensate for the purple hue to normalize the resulting image. The problem here is that Apple refuses to see it as an issue. They consider the purple flare as a normal occurrence on the iPhone 5 camera.

We can expect this level of quality on a cheap phone with low quality camera, not from a phone worth $800 and heavily marketed as the most perfect thing in the world. In fact, they even glorify the camera in the keynote, claiming it to be better than any smartphone camera in producing exact colors. I guess our eyes are just light the wrong way, then. Regardless of the cause, Apple suggests we avoid taking pictures with lights.

Image sources: cnet.com, gawkerassets.com, apple.com

Apple iPhone 5 data leak plugged with a carrier update

It would seem that Apple has no shortage of problems recently. It looks like their new iOS 6 was buggier than they had initially thought. When the update came to compatible devices, there were numerous issues regarding the Wi-Fi connection. Either it was not connecting, or even though it connected, it had issues with the connection, preventing it from actually being useful.

Then there was the Apple iOS 6 Maps fiasco that Tim Cook had to publicly apologize for. It was simply one of the worst product launches they made, pitching an incomplete and buggy app as a “main feature” of the new OS. It was so bad; they had to actually point their users to download 3rd party mapping solutions.

Apple also had problems with user complaints with the new iPhone 5 black edition, which was found to be very easy to scratch despite its durable aluminum frame. The complaint was met with a rather lackluster reply from Apple, indicating it as a normal phenomenon for aluminum devices.

Now, the company faces another issue, which could impact people’s wallet more than the rest: excessive cellular data.

It would seem that the new iOS 6 had a data leak problem, where even if an iPhone was connected to a Wi-Fi network, the iPhone would still use the cellular data to connect to the internet. The issue seems to be localized to Verizon wireless iPhone 5, but some users of the iPhone 4 and 4S seem to be having data issues as well.

The issue has been linked to the beta feature called “Wi-Fi + Cellular” which was present during the beta stages of iOS 6. This feature never made it to the final product, but its ghosts seem to haunt Verizon iPhone owners.

In theory, it would seem that the feature was not completely removed from the operating system and was left on by default. The way the feature works is, if the Wi-Fi connection is deemed to be weak or unusable, the device would instead use the cellular network for internet related services. Since the update apparently messed up the Wi-Fi driver of the iPhone, the feature detects the Wi-Fi connection, as unfit to for the task, and silently feeds on cellular data instead.

It would seem as if the feature was kept on by default, but since it was removed from the interface, there is no way to manually turn it off. If left alone, this could cause unexpected high data charges in customer’s bills at the end of the billing period. While Verizon’s version of the iPhone is the only confirmed carrier to have this issue, a minor amount of AT&T users claim to have the same issue on iOS 6.

Apple has elected to resolve the issue for Verizon by launching a “Carrier Settings” update. The update is expected to turn off whatever protocol is urging the phone to use cellular data even though the device is connected to a known working Wi-Fi network. This still does not address the current Wi-Fi instability that users are complaining about, but it is a quick fix to avoid huge bills for customers.

Even though the update is pushed over the air, you are not likely to get the update, unless you know how to activate it. To get the update, you need to go to your settings app, then to the general settings, then go to the “about” page. Wait a while and the update should pop up. Choose OK to install it. Once installed, the user needs to restart the phone to apply the effect.

To restart, simply push and hold the “sleep” button and swipe the option that says “turn off”. Just turn it back on to see if the update is applied. To check the update, simply go back to the “about” page and look for the carrier version. It should read “Verizon 13.1”.

It looks like releasing the phone “unlocked” has inadvertently unlocked the plug for cellular data usage. Thankfully, this update puts a cork to that gaping hole. Users of other versions of the iPhone are encouraged to monitor their data consumption and report immediately if any irregularities are found.

Image sources: Apple.com, verizonwireless.com

RIM Blackberry 10 hopes for your happy “thumb” to multitask on its own

Even though the company is slowly fading into oblivion, we still know about RIM and the now infamous Blackberry. The company has been struggling the most in the new era of smartphones, which is ironic because RIM was once the leader of the smartphone community. In fact, the Blackberry was what used to define the smartphone.

Times have changed since the iPhone was launched. The touch screen device with an interface centered on Apps created by third party developers has become the most successful business model yet. The iPhone indeed changed and revolutionized the definition of what a smartphone is. The iPhone model was the same model used by the now dominant Android operating system, which runs on more than 50% of the market.

Ever since then, RIM and their Blackberry devices began losing ground. They even lost corporate partners when the “bring your own phone” trend began in the corporate world. People brought in their iPhone and their Android handsets.

Nokia, another mobile brand has begun their rebirth into the mobile world thanks to Windows 8. It is apparent that more than hardware, today’s consumer is very much focused on what your software can offer as well. For a while, Blackberry tried to survive with their dated system, but that was to no avail.

They began work on the Blackberry 10, an operating system that was meant to finally take RIM out of the hole it was in. Unfortunately, several technical issues during its development pushed the operating system’s release further back two times. In fact, it is still not ready, and they can’t even promise it to be ready before Christmas. It looks like RIM and their Blackberry 10 will miss out on this year’s shopping spree.

Despite the poor timing and availability, RIM is very optimistic about their Blackberry 10. They announced that it was nearly complete, and they have created its interface centered on touch and one finger navigation.

You got that right. The new Blackberry 10 aims to address what Apple and their iPhone design was trying to point out, that phones should be easily navigated by one thumb alone. While the iPhone’s dimensions do permit you to reach all parts of the screen with just your thumb, many interface elements still require you to use two fingers, and most of the time, this involves two hands.

The new thumb gestures implemented on the new Blackberry 10 are supposed to allow you to access the entire interface and navigate your data with just one thumb. Nicknamed “Blackberry Flow” these one thumb gestures allow you to quickly access several of the apps and services installed in the device, as well as the all new Blackberry Hub.

The new Blackberry Hub is the center of all the information that you want. You control what appears on the hub, like notifications from your social networks, emails, SMS, calendar and other information you decide. It’s always on, and is always accessible from anywhere within the OS.

Their new “Peek” function is their take on multitasking, allowing a quick look at a function going on in another app. You can then proceed to continue with what you are doing, or proceed to the app and directly interact with it.

Speaking of multitasking, open apps can actually be minimized and placed on the “desktop”, still showing the information on the small “tile” or “widget”-like interface. It makes it easy to switch between things you are doing. Everything looked very fluid.

RIM also promises that the new Blackberry will have a very fast browser. So fast, that they are even so bold to say that it is faster than a desktop browser. We will be sure to watch out for that.

The new Blackberry 10 also seeks to be a world phone as they implement a new idea in predictive text. It predicts in multiple languages  as you go. It was demonstrated that in Blackberry 10, the user was quickly able to type and get predictions in Spanish, English and French.

Apparently, carriers already have had a look at the capabilities of the new Blackberry 10. As RIM puts it, they are certainly excited and certainly eager to promote the new Blackberry OS. Will you give Blackberry a chance next year?

Image source: RIM.com, Geek.com

Google Play Store reaches their first 25 billion downloads

Google wants to thank all the users of Android and the Google Play Store. Previously known as the Android Market, it was the Android version of the iOS App Store which allows you to browse and download applications to your mobile device.

Back when it was still known as the Android Market, Google launched several product stores, such as the Google Books and Google Music. Google realized that they were fragmenting their services with several stores and individual services.

That is when they decided to create the Google Play Store – a mall full of different “stores” or categories of products ranging from books, music, movies and apps, found in just one tap of the Google Play Store icon. There were those who were skeptical of the change, and criticized the naming of the new Android market, simply because it departed from the Android name. In time, people got over it and accepted the Play Store logo as the central hub for Google’s digital products.

September 26, 2012 marks the 3 years and 11 months of the store’s existence, as well as their momentous 25 billionth download from the Google Play Store. With Android devices running in more than half of the smartphone market, it was inevitable that the store would catch up to the Apple App Store in number of downloads pretty soon.

This count of course takes both the paid and free Android applications found in the Google Play Store. As thanks for keeping the market and their mobile platform strong, they will launch another sale for multiple apps in their store, which includes apps from Rovio, Gameloft and EA as well as many others who will make the cut.

Get your credit cards ready, as Google plans to sell these apps at a very low 25 cents apiece. Granted that it is higher than Google’s previous 10 cent sale last year, it is still a significant reduction in price for certain apps.

The sale will also apply to other Android products in the form of collections of 25, such as the 25 albums that changed the world and the collection of 25 banned books. All of these will be sold at a special price to commemorate the milestone.

Google is very excited about the first 25 billion downloads, and are looking forward to the next 25 billion to hit their stores. Android has been very successful so far in getting apps to run despite the ongoing fragmentation which leads to some apps to not work properly for some phones. Once this is addressed, the Play Store may find their next 25 billion faster than the first one.

Image source: play.google.com

Apple won’t allow Google Maps on iOS 6, despite Google’s willingness

As they say, there is a reason why they broke up in the first place. The only problem here is it is because of Apple’s own ego. After all, their visionary leader wanted Google out, and despite how many would claim Steve Jobs won’t go this far, you may have forgotten how outrageous his whims were.

Apple maps are atrocious, and have no place being a main feature in a phone that was meant to “just work”. Sure, there are plenty of alternatives in the App Store, but most of them cost money, and the free ones are not as complete as the previous mapping application.

There are those who have taken their browsers to the Google Maps mobile page to be able to make use of Google’s mapping solution until their expected release of a Google Maps app in the App Store, much like how Google released a YouTube app when YouTube was removed from iOS 6. If you were hoping Google is close to releasing something like that right now, we may have to dampen your spirits.

According to Eric Schmidt himself, they are not even working on a Google Maps solution for the new iOS 6. Apple just won’t let them. Apparently, they are on constant talks, trying to negotiate terms on how to move about with adding their mapping solution to the 3rd party list of mapping software available in the Apple App Store.

Eric was so bold as to even suggest that they thought Apple should have just stuck to Google Maps. This was in light of the recent release of the Nexus 7 in Japan, where Schmidt himself spoke on stage to demonstrate the Google Maps 3D view, which can be manipulated by sensors within the device. He was so bold to say “Take that Apple”, but then follows up with a “That was a joke by the way.”

As they say, jokes are half meant, and with the bad blood going around between Google and Apple, I wouldn’t be surprised if he more than just jokingly meant the little quip during the Google Maps presentation.

If Apple wanted to, they can get Google Maps back; Google is more than willing to offer their services. The problem is, Apple doesn’t want them back, and they probably won’t approve of a Google Maps app either. Looks like those of us in iOS 6 will just have to look elsewhere, or make use of the website.

Image sources: technewsgadget.net, theamazingios6maps.tumblr.com, play.google.com

Apple iPhone 5 – nightmare of maps and easy to scratch Aluminum

When people rant online that Apple is dead because its visionary leader, Steve Jobs, is gone, I am more inclined to agree, the more I see the iPhone 5. It looks like the iPhone 5 is a severely flawed product, which proves superior in benchmarks, but inferior in build quality.

Some say that Apple has their days numbered. They may be right. The lack of innovation and the starved attack by litigation seems to show how Apple is running out of ideas. The new iPhone 5 is like an iPhone 4 but stretched upward, thereby making it thinner and taller.

I don’t wish to bash Apple and their brain child. They really revolutionized the smartphone world. Only a fool won’t admit that. The only problem is, they seem to have stopped there, but still claim to be the best in the world. They’re pretty arrogant about it, too.

Apple seems to take pride in patting themselves too much in the back and lying through their teeth. Granted, their new Apple Maps are certainly the most beautiful I have seen for certain cities that support the Flyover effect. It certainly is a lot of eye candy. The problem is Apple once again prioritized form over function in their iOS maps.

After all, you view the world from the ground up, not from the air, unless you live the life of a pilot, which I am sure does not account for more than 1% of the iPhone loving population. I would take street view any day over useless eye candy. The new iOS maps have already been proven by the internet as a huge failure at launch. It misplaces, misspells, and distorts a lot of locations in the world.

Sure, the new iOS maps have turn by turn navigation, which they didn’t allow Google to port on the previous iOS maps. Still, the new navigation software is likely to ask you to jump off a bridge like what their new app icon suggests. The new icon is another flaw in design, which would never have happened if the perfectionist Steve Jobs was still around.

When it comes to the new features of iOS, the slogan “it just works” no longer applies. Apple has shown that they are all bark when it comes to their “most attractive features” such as the initial release of Siri and the now, the initial release of the new iOS Maps. There are certainly a lot of features in iOS that still work, like their panoramic mode and Air Play, but their leading features sure need some work.

Apple has taken pride in their goal to “marry” hardware and software. It looks like there is a lot of work to be done with software these days, but their hardware has also take a turn for the worse.

Previously, your main worry about the iPhone 4 was that it was built with glass on both the front and the back. Shattering is fairly common and easy to happen. It was so bad, that the iPhone 4 almost always had to have a bumper or case just so that it could maintain a sense of security from faulty handling or mishaps.

With the move to an Aluminum backing and minimum glass, which just covers the upper and lower portion of the phone’s back, you have two things to worry about. One is that the glass can still shatter. The other is that Aluminum is a fairly soft and easy to scratch material. It certainly looks like Apple’s new iPhone will be both a smash and scratch magnet.

It is so easy to damage that the new iPhone 5 came out of the box with scratches and damage already present. Several users even saw how easy it was to peel off the color from the black iPhone 5 with just normal use.

As of this writing, 36.18% of users in a poll being conducted by Macrumors indicate that their shiny new iPhone came with a bit of scuffing, while 9.73% said their device was easily scuffed early after unboxing the unit.

The definition of “premium” may vary from person to person, but for such an expensive device, and this easy to wear down, coupled with lack of vision and quality of the software, it makes you think that Apple is no longer the premium smartphone provider they market themselves to be.

What’s your take on the matter?

Image sources: tumbler.com, mactalk.com, geek.com, apple.com

Nokia Lumia 920 vs HTC 8X – a bright and colorful battle

I have to say, when I heard about the HTC “What’s next” event, I had that tingling feeling that HTC will go back to its Windows Mobile roots. Sure enough, they did, and now they are officially part of the Windows 8 rise to power.

Much like the current trend of launching a full powered and more expensive device alongside a lower end version for the budget conscious, HTC launched two devices. The higher end HTC 8X makes use of all HTC has to offer, while the HTC 8S is smaller and devoid of some features like the dedicated amplifier in the 8X.

Why am I comparing it to the recently released Lumia 920? Simply because if Nokia was Apple, they would have dragged Judge Lucy Koh to see what HTC cooked up. Quite simply, the HTC 8X looks stunningly similar to a Lumia 920.

The 8X is “dipped in color” similar to how the Nokia Lumia 920 is one of the most colorful bunch of phones we have ever seen. Nokia went for a more edgy design, while HTC made use of rounded corners. Both of them are brightly colored, reflecting the colorful live tiles of the Windows 8 operating system inside these devices.

So they look similar, but will they deliver similarly as well? Let’s take a closer look at these upcoming phones.

Display

One cannot argue that this holiday season has a lot to do with displays. Samsung launched the larger than ever Galaxy Note 2, Apple came out with a taller iPhone 5, while other manufacturers like Nokia took Retina to a whole new level.

Apple, the first to launch a Retina class display still has a 326 ppi pixel density. Nokia took that further to a 332 ppi display, but HTC thought it wasn’t enough, and pushed it further to a 342 pixels per inch. Judging from the numbers, HTC’s phone is set to have the sharpest display of the bunch.

Compared to the Lumia 920’s 4.5 inch display, HTC only has a smaller 4.3 inch display. The smaller display is probably how they afforded the extra sharp resolution. The main difference now is how good the devices will be against the power of the sun. Nokia is pretty confident, while HTC has made no mention of it.

Power

For both devices, you are assured in terms of performance power. They both run on the same Snapdragon processor, both clocked at 1.5 GHz. The only question now is if the sharper display on the 8X with more pixels will hinder the processor’s capabilities or not. Both of them sport a familiar 1 GB of RAM, which is sufficient for Windows 8 apparently.

 Juice

All that power doesn’t do it much good if it runs out of juice quickly. The 8X disappoints with just 1800 mAh, compared to the Nokia Lumia 920 with a good 2000 mAh. Unfortunately, both of them are embedded into the device, so your only solution for longer life on the road is to carry a power bank.

Sound

As expected, Beats Audio makes its debut on the 8X, the first Beats certified device for Windows 8. The Nokia Lumia 920 on the other hand makes use of Dolby’s digital audio. It’s a matter of who you trust in terms of audio. My bet is with Dolby, but Beats Audio is certainly a very competitive feature.

Connectivity

Both devices make use of the standard connectivity options found in today’s smartphones, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC. You may want to know that the HTC 8X backtracks with Bluetooth 2.1 while the Nokia Lumia 920 makes use of Bluetooth 3.1. For the record, the latest would be Bluetooth 4.0.

Camera Quality

This is an area where the Lumia 920 is expected to shine once they get the PureView technology to actually work. HTC makes use of the same camera found on their HTC One X, which was known for being better than the Galaxy S3’s camera. There is not much to say here since both are mostly untested, but in terms of potential, the Lumia 920 certainly has a head start.

One thing I am quite happy about in the 8X is the better front facing camera, rated at 2.1 megapixels. It is capable of recording 1080p videos which is perfect for video blogging and simply taking a good picture of yourself with your friends.

Special Features

From what we gather about the Windows 8 operating system, there is not much you can do in terms of “skinning” the operating system as much as OEMs did on Android. Everything will look pretty much the same save for some add on applications that the manufacturers have at their disposal.

Nokia is certainly on a huge advantage here, with their Nokia Maps, City Lens, Wireless Charging, Free Music streaming, and Nokia Drive. The HTC 8X may have Beats Audio, but that is certainly not enough to make a case against Nokia in this department.

Availability

Let’s give a good round of applause for HTC’s connections. At the very least, they are not as vague in terms of availability and pricing. The device is set to appear in November, to about 150 carriers in 50 different countries. They are certainly ready for a worldwide approach. Nokia has yet to announce their plans regarding the matter.

Conclusion

Since Windows 8 will generally be the same on all devices, added features are really the only way to make a device the “better choice” between OEMs. It doesn’t help that both of them roughly have the same internal specifications, with Nokia being a step up above HTC in many cases. Right now, my bet is on Nokia. They are more desperate, hungrier, and definitely more aggressive at trying to aim for the top. HTC still lacks the core appeal and features that are necessary to enter a market that will soon grow saturated.

Image sources: htc.com, nokia.com, theverge.com

iOS 6 is upon us, which feature will work on your Apple device?

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.

Siri

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.

Apple Maps

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.

Facetime

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

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.

Facebook Integration

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.

Passbooks

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

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.

Panorama Shots

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.

Accessibility

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