Every time a new iPhone or iPhone operating system hits the market, it does so with the greatest expectations attached to it. Your smart phone will talk to you and it will respond to your every command. Upgrade to the new OS to make your iPhone read your mind. Perhaps, it’s the iPhone’s increasingly slender form that makes it bow beneath the pressure of consumer’s lofty expectations, but a new iPhone or OS update rarely makes a big difference in users lives without bringing some new aggravations along with it. The iOS 6 update for iPhones 3GS, 4, 4S and 5 has a few cool new features, but is it really worth it?
Do I Need iOS 6?
If you’re one of the five million people who purchased an iPhone 5 within its first three days of release, you’re already working with iOS 6. If you kept your iPhone 3GS, 4 or 4S, however, you have an option. To download iOS 6 or not to download iOS 6, that is the question; the answer lies only within you. Literary and philosophical cliches aside, whether you need to download iOS 6 depends entirely on how much you want out of your phone.
Apple states that iOS 6 brings over 200 new features to the iPhone, but the new features it adds depends upon your phone. While the OS does upgrade the visuals and small features in most of the applications, it only offers a few major upgrades, and most of those only pertain to the iPhone 4S. Panorama camera feature? Only for the 4S. Video calling over 3G network? Only for the 4S. Turn-by-turn navigation? Only for the 4S. The only major feature that iOS 6 adds to the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 is a virtual wallet application called Passbook. Well, the only one you probably want at least.
What About Those Maps?
The other major update that iOS6 brings to iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 is the replacement of the Google maps application with the all-new Apple maps application. Those who have already updated to iOS6 have learned the hard way that their once useful maps applications have become less-than-helpful. Aside from a number of mapping missteps, like identifying Tokyo’s main
airport as a factory, Apple maps has also ditched transit directions, a big blow to users who depend on their maps applications to navigate public transportation.
Should I Update?
If you have an iPhone 4S and like the idea of on-the-go video calls, iOS 6 offers your only solution. For 3GS and iPhone 4 owners, avoiding the iOS6 update for now may be your best option. Historically, Apple has been quick to work on operating system issues, so the company may come through with a fix in a short amount of time. It’s probably worth the wait to get a better version of the OS. iPhone 5 owners and rapid-fire updaters, until that glorious update comes, you’re going to have to make do.
How Do I Make iOS6 Work For Me?
To be fair, most of iOS6’s features are already working for you. Few users have complaints about Passbook, upgrades to Siri, or the ability to both record video and take still photos at the same time on iPhone 5. It’s just the big elephant in the room (MAPS) that’s making every tasty dish iOS6 brought to the table look insignificant.
It’s not exactly advanced technology, but the best way to avoid the pain of using Apple Maps is to try to figure out where you’re going before you go, and maybe pretend the Apple Maps doesn’t exist. Apple used Google Maps for five phones before it attempted its own mapping system, so it’s safe to say Apple recommends Google Maps. Maybe Apple didn’t come right out and say it, but actions speak louder than words. So, for those users who don’t want another app on board, it’s back to web-based mapping. Apple’s browser is still awesome at pulling up
Google Maps on the Internet.
Another solution many users have found is the Bing application for iPhone. The free app has an integrated “Maps” feature, similar to Google Maps. Whatever solution users choose, it may only be temporary. Apple’s next iOS update is certain to improve Apple Maps, even if they can’t perfect it in one fix, and Google may be working on a Google Maps app for iPhone.
All other complaints that users have lobbied against the iPhone have been minimal in comparison to the universal complaints about the map feature. Though there is no fixing the tragedy that is Apple Maps, at least until the good people at Apple identify all of their major landmarks, the mapping application can be overcome. Once users get past it, they may find iOS6’s other features look considerably shinier.