While the original iPad, and the iPod touch 3rd gen won’t be getting the iOS 6 software update, the older iOS devices that are compatible with iOS 6 won’t get all the features.
Apple typically does this to ensure that the OS is speedy enough on older hardware. (No MMS on original iPhone, no wallpaper on iPhone 3G, no Siri on iPhone 4)
How does older hardware fare this time?
Let’s take a look.
The fact that a three year old device was eligible for a 4th major OS upgrade was a major surprise in itself, although some of the surprise was taken away thanks to a leak one day before WWDC. What features would the iPhone 3GS lack when it’s on iOS 6?
- No shared Photo Streams.
- No VIP and Flagged lists enhancements to Mail
- No offline Reading List
- No 3D maps and turn by turn directions
Many of these omissions are pretty surprising, especially the lack of offline Reading List. The feature doesn’t demand for a lot of resources (loads of read it later apps support the device), so why leave it out? Same goes with the lack of VIP and Flagged lists enhancements, a few, simple additions to a table view shouldn’t really be that hard to achieve or even FaceTime over cellular network.
The iPhone 4 is just one generation behind the latest iPhone, so not many features have been left out:
- No Siri. (Not that we expected.)
- No 3D maps and turn-by-turn navigation.
- Update: No Facetime over cellular network
Although the lack of 3D maps surprised us a bit, rendering 3D maps on the device itself might just be asking too much from the iPhone 4’s graphics processing unit.
iPad 2 sports the same processor as iPhone 4S so it is not very surprising.
- No Siri
- Update: No Facetime over cellular network (for iPad 2 Wi-Fi + 3G model)
Apart from the lack of Siri, the iPad 2 features pretty much everything in the iOS 6 upgrade including 3D maps and turn by turn navigation (that is, if you’ve got a 3G iPad with built in GPS).
Apple’s widely anticipated Maps back end also doesn’t stack up well against Google’s highly detailed maps that it has been working on for years. Besides, by replacing Google’s maps, Apple has also taken away Street View and Transit directions from the Maps app, features some users might heavily depend open. Apple will of course improve upon this with time by partnering with more mapping companies like TomTom
, but till then many users accustomed to Google’s maps might be left looking for an alternative solution or wait for Google’s 3D Maps app
Here’s a nice chart summing up the feature omissions by Amit Agarwal of Digital Inspiration (Note: iPhone 3GS does not have FaceTime so it’s irrelevant to this discussion)
As an iPhone 3GS, an iPhone 4 or iPad 2 owner, what’s your take on these feature omissions?