Yesterday, Apple released the latest version of its operating for iDevices, iOS 6. It’s a pretty big and spiffy update, with over 200 new features. I was actually more excited about the new iOS than I was about the new iPhone 5.
There are a lot of other websites where you can get a complete rundown on all of the new features. Here are a few things from an iPhoneographer’s perspective to keep in mind when updating. >>>>
Not all of the cool new features may be available on your device. For instance, iOS 6 still does not add Siri to iPhones older than the 4S. Also, the new Panorama feature in Apple’s Camera app only seems to be available for iPhone 5 and 4S users and new iPod Touch users, but no other iPhones. iPhone 4 users — a perfectly capable device — are out of luck on this feature.
HDR mode has improved slightly but noticeably in iOS 6. Colors should be a little more saturated and a little less flat when using HDR.
iOS 6 also introduces Shared Photo Streams. Simply select photos from the Photos app, tap the Share button, choose who you want to share your photos with, and they’re on their way. Friends using iCloud on an iOS 6 device or a Mac running Mountain Lion get the photos delivered immediately in the Photos app or iPhoto. You can also share images directly to Facebook from the iPhone’s Photos app.
The new Do Not Disturb mode blocks incoming calls while allowing texts and alerts through. You’ll also be able to set the phone to allow only the second call if someone rings twice within 3 minutes. In many cases, this will be a much better option than all-or-nothing Airplane mode when shooting, especially video.
Although iOS 6 will install on a 3GS, you may want to hold off until you hear how it actually performs on the older device. The iOS 5 update asked a lot of the CPU of these older devices and performance suffered with the newer iOS. You might want to consider holding off updating to see if the performance hit (if any) is worth the new features you’ll get.
Although it doesn’t use it all, iOS 6 requires 2.5 GB of space on your device in order to install. It will not install if you have less. This is a great opportunity to clear off some of those apps you never use and music you don’t listen to any more.
Back up your iPhone to iTunes before your update. With the very slight chance that something should go wrong with the update, you’ll have a fresh back-up to restore from.
I did my update over the air by WiFi. It took me about an hour to update. It took me about 20 minutes to download the 599 MB update and another 40 or so to do the acutal updating on an iPHone 4. Other readers have reported anywhere from 15 minutes to hours. Be sure your iPhone is plugged into some sort of power source before you update.
I noticed very few apps were having problems with iOS 6. So far, the apps that effect iPhonegraphers most use Apple’s “Open In…” tools. Those are the ones that send your images straight to Instagram. This feature may not work. Updates for most of these apps should be hitting the App Store soon, if not already.
I haven’t had a chance to really spend time with iOS 6 yet, but all of the new features add up to one pretty cool upgrade.