Been running the Golden Master of Apple‘s new iOS 6 on my iPad and iPhone 4 since they released it for devs last Thursday. Wouldn’t really have made a difference, it’s coming out for public release in a week anyway. But I couldn’t resist. I had to have it. It was the golden master after all, and there was not much difference, if any at all, with the public release. This way I could get it a week early, and avoid the bum’s rush to get it on the 19th when everyone and their neighbor will be downloading it.
iOS 6 will be available for free for the iPhone 3GS, 4, 4s, iPod touch, iPad 2 and the new iPad beginning Sept. 19 (20th our time), but is available now for developers. (I’m told though, that if you really want it early, you can get the iOS 6 GM from the usual suspects, and Apple will let you install it without hassle. But you didn’t hear that from us.) As usual, downloading separate ipsw updates for the iPhone and the iPad was a little bothersome, and restoring my data took a bit of time, especially for the iPhone, which had a considerable amount of song and photo data. Took the better part of a couple of hours for both devices.
I didn’t see much difference from the other betas, actually. Not much difference from iOS 5.1.1 that I could readily see, save for (the new and improved) Siri on the new iPad, and the new Maps and Passbook apps (although the Passbook app is basically useless for now here in this country, at least until Apple signs up with some partners to use it). Siri apparently is location-savvy for the Philippines now, and can help you locate sites and use turn-by-turn directions with Maps. Google must be working hard on developing their own separate Maps app, now that Apple is booting them out from the system. It’s the same way for YouTube, which is also getting the boot, and for which Google preemptively released a separate app for the iPhone last week (although nothing native yet for the iPad).
A lot of the stuff is hidden underneath, like Settings, which has undergone some changes. A lot of important stuff is now front and center, like the new Bluetooth, Airplane Mode, Carrier, Privacy and Do Not Disturb preference panes. Facebook integration is finally here, and it shares a spot beside Twitter in Settings; it’s much easier to access Facebook within other apps, much like Twitter is. The changes to the phone part of the equation are nice too. It’s great to be able to use Facetime on a cellular signal, and the ability to put off calls and messages when you’re not available to take them, or get the phone to remind you to call them back later is also nice. Mail’s ability to assign VIP status to certain people is also a good way to make sure you notice their email.
Once we get iPhone 5 here, the panorama feature of the camera app, where you just sweep the camera around to make a panoramic photograph, is also nice to have. The ability to share photo streams with your friends and family, and the ability to upload photos to websites via Safari are also welcome additions to the operating system.
According to Apple, there are more than 200 changes to iOS 6. Have fun finding out what they are when the new system is released on Thursday.
Good luck on your downloads!
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