Apple finally introduced iOS 6 at this year's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco Monday. When it announced that the latest version of its mobile operating system would cover older devices like iPhone 3GS, people applauded with a big heart.
However, here's a glitch. Apple allows only a decent set of devices to run the new firmware, including iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2, New iPad and iPod touch 4G. Even the ones that are supported are not guaranteed to have access to all features of iOS 6.
Ars Technica reported Tuesday that though iOS 6 promised to bring lots of new features - over 200, as per Apple's count - many of them wouldn't work on every device. The report particularly mentioned that the impressive 3D Flyover view and turn-by-turn navigation in Maps will only work with A5-powered devices. That means those features will only work on the iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and iPad 3, but not the iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS.
And iPhone 3GS users will miss out on even more from iOS 6, including Siri, FaceTime over 3G, and VIP Mail lists, the report added.
But unfortunately, it appears that these compatibility limitations extends to other iOS 6 apps and features as well. Below is the complete list of features, provided by Apple, which will be and will not be available on various devices:
- Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation will be available only on iPhone 4S and iPad 2 or later. Cellular data charges may apply.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- VIP list and VIP and Flagged smart mailboxes will be available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.
- Offline Reading List will be available on iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later.
- Made for iPhone hearing aids require iPhone 4S.
- 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.
According to Apple, iOS 6 would be available later this year. But with lack of features like 3D Maps, turn-by-turn navigation, Shared Photo Streams, VIP inbox, or Offline Reading List, will your iPhone 3GS be worth even if it's qualified to be upgraded to iOS 6?
Aside from the Maps stuff (performance maybe?), we can't figure out why Apple would feel the need to hold 3GS users back from all of these features, according toiDownloadBlog. Maybe it's a ploy to nudge them into upgrading?