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iOS 6 Release Date and What to Expect from iOS 6



iOS 6 is the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system. This software provides the experience users enjoy on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch and this year it’s on for a major overhaul.

Apple first announced iOS 6 this summer and I’ve used it on my iPhone and iPad for the last few months. Apple promises a fall iOS 6 release date, and now that we’ve hit September we think we know when iOS 6 will arrive for all users.

IOS 6 offers a number of new features for the iPhone and iPad, including easier sharing, settings to control notifications, a better version of Siri and much, much more.

Read: Apple Announces the iPhone 5

Users who can’t upgrade to the iPhone 5 on release day can install iOS 6 and breathe new life into their old iPhone, even the iPhone 3GS is supported with some restrictions.

Thanks to my time with iOS 6 on the iPhone 4S and the new iPad I’m excited to see this the iOS 6 release date arrive and bring these new features to all iPhone and iPad users.

iOS 6 Release Date

Apple has not announced the iOS 6 release date as a specific date, but with invitations for the September 12th launch event and the iPhone 5 release date is September 21st, we have a good idea when users can install iOS 6.

The iOS 6 release date is September 19th.

The new iPhone will ship with iOS 6 pre-installed so users can enjoy the latest software right out of the box. Apple typically releases new versions of iOS two to three days before the new iPhone release date.

iOS 6 will arrive before the iPhone 5 so Apple can handle any customer support issues from the upgrade before new iPhone activations and other support questions arrive with the release of a new iPhone.

iOS 6

  • iOS 3 released on June 17th, two days ahead of the iPhone 3GS
  • iOS 4 released on June 21st, three days before the iPhone 4
  • iOS 5 released on October 12th, two days before the iPhone 4S

Updating to iOS 6 is an easy task for anyone using an iPhone or iPad with iOS 5, as the update should arrive as a download right on the phone.

iOS 6 Features

Apple packs in over 200 new features into iOS 6, but most of these are behind the scenes changes user won’t notice every day. There are at least 40 new iOS 6 features you’ll care about. Of these 40 features, there are 10 to 15 that will change how you use your iPhone and iPad with iOS 6.

The iOS 6 features video above shows off my favorite iOS 6 features which are described in more detail below.

Apple Maps & Turn-by-Turn Navigation

Apple finally includes turn by turn voice guided navigation on the iPhone. This feature is only available for the iPhone 4S and the upcoming iPhone 5. The iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS will still see the new Apple Maps app, but without the latest versions of the iPhone users can’t brag about a better GPS solution.

iOS 6 Maps Navigation

New in iOS 6, the iPhone gains turn-by-turn voice guided navigation.

The turn-by-turn voice navigation in iOS 6 is able to compete with Google Maps on Android, though the beta isn’t perfect. Like Google Maps, Apple is missing some information on streets and will occasionally have trouble with identifying the right exit to take a crowded interchange. I wish the app would allow me to peak ahead as exits approach, instead of locking me to the current position.

Read: Apple Maps Borrows from Tom Tom and Waze for Maps

Still, the new Maps app in iOS 6 is a much-needed upgrade and will be one of your favorite features. The app includes driving and walking directions, and should support third-party apps for public transportation directions

Siri in iOS 6

iOS 6 delivers a number of big improvements to Siri. While Siri still isn’t perfect, the service offers more control over the iPhone and the iPad.

Read: Hands on With Siri

In iOS 6, Siri can check sports scores, stats and more, making it easy to keep track of a team. Siri can also look up movie times and pull up movie trailers.

Users who love Siri’s ability to read text messages will be happy to know that the service can also read notifications. In the betas it isn’t perfect, but it should be able to read off updates that hit the Notification Center.

In addition to reading notifications, Siri can also tweet and post to Facebook without any tricks. Siri can also find restaurant reservations with OpenTable.

The app integration isn’t to the point where I can ask Siri to play a Pandora station, but I can use Siri to open iPhone apps by name.

One nice touch is the ability to toggle Bluetooth on and off for Siri from the Siri pop up. This makes using Siri when a Bluetooth headset is across the room much easier.

iPad Siri iOS 6

Siri arrives on the new iPad in iOS 6.

Siri is now available on the iPad 3rd generation with all the same features, even on the WiFi only iPad. I’m using Siri more often on my iPad after a few weeks, and the service works well, especially at home where I use the iPad as a second screen while watching TV.


Passbook is a new app for OS 6 that Apple designed for users to keep all kinds of information for shopping, travel and entertainment. It doesn’t look like users will be able to make payments with Passbook, but that doesn’t mean iPhone owners won’t find it useful.

iOS 6 Passbook

Passbook in iOS 6 holds tickets, gift cards and more.

Passbook will be able to hold movie tickets and airline travel information, some airlines are already to use Passbook. In this case the iPhone detected the user was checking in and offered to add her travel to Passbook so she could find it easily.

Passbook can also hold gift cards, reward cards, coupons and other types of information so users can quickly access them on the go.

FaceTime Over Cellular

In iOS 6 users are no longer tied to FaceTime on WIFi. The new version of iOS lets users make FaceTime calls over cellular connections, which means 3G and 4G LTE. This is an amazing feature for users who want to videochat wherever they are.

Facetime over cellular iOS 6

Make FaceTime calls over 3G and 4G LTE.

Unfortunately, AT&T will only allow users to use FaceTime over cellular with the new Mobile Share plans. Verizon won’t comment on the use of FaceTime over cellular. Sprint will offer it for all iPhone owners.

Better, Easier Sharing

In iOS 6 it’s easier to share files, status updates and photos thanks to small, but incredibly useful additions.

iOS 6 Sharing Facebook

Facebook and Twitter sharing come front and center in iOS 6.

The Notification Center now features Tap to Tweet and Tap to Post buttons that allow users to quickly update social networks without opening up an app. A nice way to send a fast update when I can’t use Siri.

Shared PhotoStream

Share a PhotoStream in iOS 6.

Sharing photos is easier with Shared PhotoStreams. This allows me to share a select group of photos with another user, and I can add more photos that they can see in the PhotoStream. Nice way to share photos of a kid with family members.

iOS 6 sharing

The new and improved sharing menu in iOS 6.

Another awesome addition is the new sharing menu. When users press the share button in Safari and other apps, iOS now offers a bigger menu with more options. It’s easy to copy a link to paste somewhere else or to print a page. Links and photos can also be posted to Twitter and Facebook.

Facebook Integration

iOS 5 brought Twitter integration to the iPhone and iPad, and in iOS 6 Facebook arrives. With Facebook integration it’s easier to share information and pull down contact information to the iPhone and iPad.

iOS 6 Facebook integration

Facebook integration makes it easier to share on iOS 6.

One downside is the integration puts @facebook email address in almost every contact and int he beta it keeps adding Friend’s birthdays to my calendar as all day events, which means Siri is always telling me my day is busy and the Notification Center is jammed as well.

Smarter Phone App

In iOS 6, the phone app is now smarter, allowing users to reply with a message or set a reminder to call later. This is handy when I’m on my way somewhere and I’m almost there, or if I just need to call someone back later.

Smarter Phone App

The phone app lets users st reminders or send a reply.

Users can customize the reply messages in the Phone app settings.

Do Not Disturb

Users sick of being woken by late night notifications will be happy to see the the new Do Not Disturb setting. The new setting lets users automatically turn Do Not Disturb on and off at set times.

Do Not Disturb iOS 6

Control notifications in iOS 6.

While the setting is turned on calls, texts and notifications won’t trigger a sound. Users can set favorites that get through and allow a second consecutive call to ring in order to avoid missing emergencies.

Safari Syncing & Mail VIPS

Safari gains a new feature that syncs tabs between Safari on the iPhone, iPad and on Apple computers. This makes it easy to open webpages from one device to another without emailing or saving a link.

Safari Syncing iOS 6

Safari syncs between iOS and OS X.

Mail VIPS allows users to trigger a specific sound and Notification for emails from important senders. I use this for the very few emails I need to see immediately and it works great. If only it tied into Gmail’s Priority Inbox.

Other features

Apple also includes many other great features in iOS 6 including. Some of our favorite extra features are below.

  • Cleaner looking app store that may not require a password for updates and free apps.
  • Set Music as an alarm in the Alarms app.
  • Protocol to handle sending alerts to smart watches and other devices.
  • Send a phone number to a lost iPhone to reunite with the phone.
  • Full-screen Safari in landscape.
  • Made for iPhone hearing aid support.

We also believe Apple will announce some special new feature for the iPhone 5 as part of iOS 6. Apple shared a redacted iOS 6 feature with select developers at WWDC 2012, but no details are available yet.

Which iPhones, iPads and iPods will run iOS 6?

Apple is offering iOS 6 on the new iPhone 5 and on a large number of older iPhone devices. Not all of the devices will receive every feature, but it’s a nice gesture and something that will make some Android users jealous.

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 4
  • iPhone 3GS
  • iPod Touch 4th Generation
  • iPad 2
  • New iPad

Here’s a video of iOS 6 on the iPhone 3GS, showing performance and features.



  1. Davey

    09/07/2012 at 9:13 pm

    Very informative cheers mate:-)

  2. Erik Wuyts

    09/08/2012 at 5:48 am

    Is this correct? No iOS6 for the iPad 1?

    • Azam Iftikhar

      09/08/2012 at 6:39 am

      Yes there is no iOS 6 for iPad1

      • Erik Wuyts

        09/08/2012 at 6:44 am

        :-( bummer.
        And the iPhone 3GS on the other hand does get an iOS 6 update.
        I thought they were kind of similar …

      • Sejoon

        09/08/2012 at 3:47 pm

        Well, you don’t know that yet. It might come out.

        • nhossain

          09/09/2012 at 11:49 am

          no, it won’t. it was already announced

  3. andrei harelik

    09/08/2012 at 6:56 am

    want to know why? here s why: because apple didnt get ios 6 for ipad 1 and ipod touch 3rd generation because its older and ipad 1
    was designed in 2010 and itouch 3rd gen was designed in 2009 so thats why

  4. Ryan

    09/08/2012 at 7:47 pm

    Better suggest that for contact list and text message that would show pic icon that who u talkin to ?? U know what I mean ?

  5. amazing person

    09/09/2012 at 12:57 pm

    will there be siri for ipod touch fourth gen.?

    • Zach

      09/09/2012 at 4:16 pm

      Of course there won’t be. If its not on the iPhone 4 they won’t put it on the iPod touch.

    • Andrei Liber

      09/17/2012 at 11:17 am

      there will be Siri on iPod touch 4gen.

  6. Vikas Dash

    09/10/2012 at 11:38 am

    Will there be Siri for ipad2 ????

    • Crystal

      09/10/2012 at 8:37 pm

      No only on devices that already got them they just upgrading em

      • saurabh

        09/12/2012 at 5:35 am

        ipad 3rd gen is getting siri though it wasnt part of it earlier

  7. Kulwant singh

    09/10/2012 at 11:35 pm

    I can’t wait more!

  8. its me

    09/12/2012 at 4:27 pm

    i wonder if we’ll finally be able to delete some of the pre-loaded apps that we’ve never been able to delete before. That would be so nice. My homescreen could finally be mine and not apples.

  9. The Friendly Grizzly

    09/13/2012 at 4:41 am

    Oh, boy! Facebook integration! Just what I always didn’t want.

  10. Appmaster

    09/15/2012 at 12:01 am

    And for the ipod!?

  11. steohy

    09/15/2012 at 1:17 pm

    does anyone know if i would be able to transfer my iPhone 4 sim card into a new iPhone 5?

    • Beth Trujillo

      09/15/2012 at 4:47 pm

      I don’t believe so I phone5 is using a sim thats never been used on any device before

      • stephy

        09/15/2012 at 5:05 pm

        Cus i wanted to use my moms line to get the iphone 5 then give her my iphone 4. But i need to switch the sim cards so my number can be on the iphone 5 right?

    • Mrs . T

      09/16/2012 at 8:08 pm

      You will mot bcuz the sim in the Iphone 5 is much smaller now.

      • stephy

        09/16/2012 at 9:42 pm

        do you still know if i can do what i mentioned in the previous comment about using my moms line?

    • Ronnie Rogers

      09/18/2012 at 8:32 pm

      iphone 5 is using a smaller sim than any other device…also its the worlds thinnest smartphone and the worlds lightest smartphone

    • Twan

      09/19/2012 at 6:36 am

      No they use a nano sim in the iPhone 5 and a micro in the 4 and 4s

  12. Gabriel

    09/16/2012 at 9:41 pm

    There’s a unlock with face reconizer?

  13. Jdub

    09/17/2012 at 9:31 pm

    Any news on if iOS 6 will be able to be downloaded to the iPod touch 4th gen for sure or not?

  14. Youngnuts

    09/18/2012 at 12:50 am

    So if we gonna get ios 6 on us old devices why should we buy an iPhone 5 ? Just cuz is a lil more bigger and fats whit 4glte fuck that I just buy my iPhone 4s 32gb 2 months ago so fuck it I still keep my iPhone 4s whit iOS 6 hell yeah

  15. vanessa

    09/23/2012 at 6:50 am

    RE IPHONE 5 and SIRI and TALKLER. Even with iOS6, and the new iPhone 5, Siri still won’t do email.We need true email inbox management that’s eyes-free. There’s a NEW smartphone app called Talkler — billed as “email for your ears.” Talkler is a free smartphone app for heads-up, hands-off, reads-aloud-to-you,voice-controlled email. So we can reclaim those wasted minutes behind the wheel, and get to the office with an empty inbox. Worth checking and

  16. [email protected]

    09/24/2012 at 4:03 am

    ios6 ROCKS!!!!!!! luv it luv it luv it sex with siri is awsome

  17. Sofia Konstant

    09/24/2012 at 2:39 pm

    Hello ! I have iPhone 4 . it ask me to install iOS 6 . I done it with WIFI , and now for three day’s my phone not working , i have the symbol Apple showing on my screen on and off . I connect it to my PC and laptop don’t recognice the USB at all . My phone is dead for three day’s . I don’t Know what to do , how to make it working ??????????
    Please HELP

  18. Nim

    12/30/2012 at 5:02 pm

    do it normally takes a long hrs to update software… ??

  19. Dilly

    07/02/2013 at 7:03 pm

    Just Bought my New Iphone today, gonna play with it as per the above guide ;)

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