We’re hours away from the release of Apple’s highly-anticipated iOS 6, the latest version of the company’s mobile operating system powering iPhones and iPads worldwide.
Promised as a free software update
for everyone on September 19, iOS 6 installs on iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch (fourth-generation).
The iPhone 3GS supports almost none of the new features in iOS 6, but Apple is keeping its 2009 smartphone on board, for one reason or another.
The most notable new features in iOS 6 include the all-new Maps application with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and the Flyover view which renders buildings and streets in 3D.
New Siri functionality will be enabled, including support for more languages, sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings.
Facebook integration will be turned on as well, and there will be a new feature called Shared Photo Streams which works via iCloud.
The Passbook application is also a new asset in iOS 6. Apple touts it as “the simplest way to get all your passes in one place.”
In previewing iOS 6 at WWDC 12, Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iOS Software, said, “iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device.”
“We can’t wait for hundreds of millions of iOS users to experience the incredible new features in iOS 6 including the new Maps app, expanded Siri support, deep Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and the innovative new Passbook app,” added Forstall.
Other new features in iOS 6 include enhancements to Safari (iCloud tabs, offline reading lists, photo uploads and full screen view); cellular FaceTime; VIP Mailboxes (quickly view messages from important people); do-not-disturb features for the Phone application (decline incoming calls with a quick message, set a callback reminder, etc); and enhancements for China.
iOS 6 will be released through iTunes, as well as an OTA (over-the-air) update for supported devices.