ok, so I have been using iOS 6 on my iPhone 4 and my iPad (iPad3) since launch day. Here are some quick thoughts and reactions.
Speed. iOS 6 seems much snappier even on my old iPhone 4. Things like switching to the phone, or even typing out a text message feel quicker and more responsive. There must have been some change tothe memory management because occasionally my iPhone 4 would lag behind when I was typing on the keyboard, and that problem is all gone. Critical OS components, like phone, messaging, keyboard, etc. just seem snappier and more responsive.
Maps. There have been a lot of complaints out the iOS 6 maps and a lot of people wishing for the old google maps app. Crazy talk I say. The google maps app without turn by turn direction was all but useless to me. I’d occasionally pull it up to reference an area I was unfamiliar with, but for daily navigation I used Waze, a free turn by turn directions app, with social traffic updates. Well the new Apple Map, at least in western NY is really good. Accuracy is spot on maps are clean and clear, directions are solid, and rerouting is nearly instantaneous. The only thing I’d like to see is an addition to the UI that would show speed, compass heading, time to destination etc. right on the map, without having to tap the map to get some of that info in the title bar. Now I do use GPS directions daily, and I will probably return to Waze next week because of the traffic reporting, something that Apple is supposed to be including, but I don’t think Rochester is high on their Priority list. But its good to know I have a back up app that is reliable.
Passbook. The one feature I was most looking forward too as my wallet is 1.5” thick with mostly loyalty cards, isn’t ready for primetime. I wish Apple had teamed up with some major retailers to have something ready to go, but it seems like they didn’t and now I have a great little app, I cant wait to use, that I am having to wait to use. Come on peoples, I need some passbook passes. Staples, Petsmart, CVS, Wegmans, Aplus, Toys R Us, Rite Aid, K-Mart, Gamestop, Subway, BJ’s…. get me some passbook love!
Facebook integration. Yup its there… a lot like the twitter integration, if you use these services, you’ll love it, if not…. you won’t care. Do watch out though, if you sync your Facebook contacts and your friends there allowed Facebook to over wright their public facing email with their Facebook email, then your contact list may become a tad more useless.
New email interface, is nice and a much needed improvement. VIP contacts are hugely helpful.
Do Not Disturb, is a god send. I feature that I had on my Blackberry Curve back in the day that I have been missing on every phone since. The ability to white list certain people is huge as well. As a parent who uses their cell phone as their main phone this allows peaceful sleep without worry that you will miss an important call or text.
Siri, Siri does not come to the iPhone 4, nore does dictation, which is a shame. But it does finally hit my iPad, which has already proved helpful as I use my iPad in the car for navigation.
iMessage, is still a mess. The ability to tie a phone number to your iMessage account should help,
but… you can’t on the ipad which means you still can’t do what I had hoped which is track the same iMessage conversion on both devices.
UPDATE: Correction from twitter friend @herbg who told me his phone number was on his iPad. I clicked my apple ID and clicked view account apple updated and set my iPhone phone number as a contact point oniMessage for my iPad. I haven’t had a chance to test this out yet.
All in all a recommended update for any device that supports it (iPhone 3gs and up, iPad 2 and up). I blindly upgraded both my devices on launch day and haven’t regretted a thing. If you have been holding off, don’t.