Apple iOS 6: worth the upgrade?

Today Apple rolled out the all new iOS6 to older iPhones (3GS, 4 and 4S), iPads (2 and New) and the iPod (4th gen). iOS6 was first announced earlier this year at WWDC and the new iPhone 5 will showcase all of it’s new features in full rounded corner glory. But older devices will also get the iOS6 experience, albeit in a somewhat limited way.

The update is available Over The Air (OTA) or by plugging the into iTunes. Apple have introduced over 200 modifications, most good, some okay and for the first time, some not good at all. Here is how it breaks up -

The Good

1. Siri Update. Siri was launched last year but failed to live up to the hype – poor voice recognition and server delays meant that it never reached beyond a novelty trick to impress friends. iOS 6 gives Siri a big boost – now you can post tweets and updates and it integrates with movies, sports and restaurant guides (not available yet for Australia).

2. Passbook. Apple’s new app for managing coupons and passes in the one place. Just a few merchants at launch but more committing support everyday. Initially Australians will be able to use Passbook with Virgin boarding passes, Event cinemas, Ticketek and a few others. Plus international chains like Target and Starbucks are likely to get on board in time.

From Apple AU

“Wake your iPhone or iPod touch, and passes appear on your Lock screen at the appropriate time and place — like when you reach the airport or walk into the store to redeem your gift card or coupon.”

3. New Facebook app. Facebook rewrote the iPhone 5 app from scratch integrating deeply into all aspects of the phone make it a breeze to use. But as a sneaky aside, they (Facebook) overwrote people’s personal email ids with UserName@facebook.com which directs all messages to the Facebook inbox. iOS 6 update will push Facebook emails instead of actual email ids when contacts are synched up unless people manually update their email addresses stored within Facebook.

…plus about 150 more

The Bad

1. Server traffic. With millions of users downloading iOS6 simultaneously today, the installs are painfully slow. Better to wait a few days before things settle down a bit.

2. Minor glitches. Already there are user reports of issues like problems with WiFi connectivity and synching contacts. Going by past experience rolling out a new OS update to millions of users always throws up unexpected bugs. Patience is recommended.

The Ugly

This section title is a stretch, but go with the flow hey!

1. Apple Maps. The new homegrown Maps app replaces Google maps and is very much work-in-progress. It lacks features that we’ve come to take completely for granted – streetview, turn by turn navigation, traffic information. Even the map data is outdated with limited info on non-metro locations particularly in Australia, in some places theres cloud cover obscuring the satellite view. 3D maps are limited to large cities and Flyover is mostly a gimmick. In practical terms Apple Maps is definitely a step backward.

Google do not have a dedicated maps app for iOS, but you can browse to maps.google.com in your iPhone safari browser, and choose to ‘Install the web app on your phone’. This will create a link to Google Maps on your phone. It is a web app but you almost wont know the difference.

2. Removed YouTube. Apple are really going after Google hard. In a unique move, iOS6 actually deletes the YouTube app from the phone. Of course you can just browse to the app store and just download it again. But a strange and somewhat petty move on Apple’s part.

Verdict: is the iOS 6 worth the upgrade

Yes it is, but proceed with caution and not right away.

Did you get the updates? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

 

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