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Apple Breaks Down Which iOS 6 Features Come to iPhone and iPad

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Yesterday Apple announced a number of new features coming in iOS 6. We already know that a few of the features a limited to just the latest iOS devices, but now we finally have a list of what features will come to each device.

Anyone with a new iPad and/or an iPhone 4S won’t have to worry about missing out on any of the announced features. Every new feature including the new Siri functions and Flyover in Maps will come to both devices. Users with older iOS devices will have to deal with fewer new features, however.

Here’s the list of exceptions Apple now lists on the iOS 6 teaser page:

  1. Some features may not be available in all countries or all areas. Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation will be available only on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 or later. Cellular data charges may apply.
  2. Siri will be available only on iPhone 4S and iPad (3rd generation) and requires Internet access. Siri may not be available in all languages or all areas, and features may vary by area. Cellular data charges may apply.
  3. Shared Photo Streams requires iOS 6 on iPhone 4 or later or iPad 2 or later, or a Mac computer with OS X Mountain Lion. An up-to-date browser is required for accessing shared photo streams on the web.
  4. FaceTime over a cellular network requires iPhone 4S or iPad (3rd generation) with cellular data capability. Carrier data charges may apply. FaceTime is not available in all countries.
  5. VIP list and VIP and Flagged smart mailboxes will be available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.
  6. Offline Reading List will be available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.
  7. Made for iPhone hearing aids require iPhone 4S.
  8. Find My Friends and Find My iPhone enable you to locate iOS devices only when they are on and connected to a registered Wi-Fi network or have an active data plan. Not available in all areas.

Based on the list, the iPhone 3GS seems left out of almost everything. The device will surely receive the updated UI in the App Store and other apps, as well as the new Maps app. Other features, however, will be held back. Aside from the UI changes and the new Maps app, it looks like the iPhone 3GS is getting iOS 6 in name only.

We are curious, however, as to why FaceTime over cellular only works with the iPhone 4S and new iPad. We assume it’s because both devices support at least HSPA+ which is theoretically faster than 3G. The iPad also supports 4G LTE, which should make FaceTime over cellular a better experience.

Devices getting left out of new features isn’t a huge surprise. The iPhone 3G never received homescreen wallpaper in iOS 4. The iPhone 4 never received Siri after the iPhone 4S debuted, either. We expect the iPhone 5 might have an extra software feature or two that no other iOS device will receive until the next iPad. Apple needs to provide some enticing features for the latest devices other than spec bumps.

Shawn is a tech junkie who spends most of his time reading and writing about it. You can follow him on Twitter, @shawn_i.

2 Comments

  1. iwantthatphone

    06/12/2012 at 6:00 pm

    At one point, I used to really really hate cellular phones. The reason was that people talked so loud on the phone no matter where they are and annoyed the **** out of people… Then came the texting and IM… No matter what senseless things people “text” about, I welcomed it because it “quiet” people down… No more loud and ignorant people talking about their personal/senseless stuff in public…

    Yes there are good uses for it like when you are driving or hands are full… However, in most cases, I could already see people using the “command recognition” senselessly for the sake of using it, especially kids, in public places, annoying the **** out of people.

    BTW, note that I said “command recognition”, not “speech recognition”. In order for it to be useful, it has to be “speech recognition” where it would literally be like talking to another person and the device would “respond” like a real person and carry out tasks for you. “Command recognition” is highly limited and cumbersome in that you have to learn the predefined set of “commands”, which are highly limited in scope. In many cases, moving your fingers would be faster then actually trying to remember and say the commands. Plus add all the hassles related to accents, background noise, different languages, etc.

    Wish smartphone makers stop touting “command recognition” as the next big thing as part of their marketing campaign these days. I have tried Siri and other “command recognition” features in other smartphones before even Siri came out, including Android ones. They are good for several minutes at max as a cool and cute features to just check out, but it’s no where near being a truly useful or must have feature that is close to “speech recognition”. Sure things will improve on “command recognition” and there are definitely certain situations where you will benefit from it… However, no way in the foreseeable future, it will get to the more useful “speech recognition” level… Whether it’s Apple, Android, or whatever smartphone, “command recognition” should not be a key deciding factor, unless one likes change for the sake of change and gadgets for the sake of being cool… Personally, I am not a big fan of “scratching my left year with my right hand around back of my head when I could just use my left hand…”

    If you are old enough, you would remember people showing off their Palm Pilot in public places by using a stylus to “click” or “draw” in one character at a time when they could have done it much faster with a keypad or Blackberry…. And they thought it was really cool… OMG…

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