Update to iOS 6 and Make Your iPhone 4 Feel Like a 5

No, there isn’t a software upgrade that can instantly make your screen bigger. Give Apple a few years though, they may have an app for that. But for now, if you’re not able to upgrade to the iPhone 5, you can still get many of the great new features just by upgrading your existing iOS device.

For those of you who are living under a rock (or maybe just less nerdy than me), you may not be aware, but the iOS update has been released today.

So make sure your device is backed up and get to downloading. But be patient, the whole world must be trying to download this update because it’s going super slow.

What’s new in iOS 6?

Map Improvements

imageBeautifully designed from the ground up (and the sky down), Maps changes the way you see the world. Map elements are vector based, so graphics and text are incredibly detailed — even when you zoom all the way in — and panning is smooth. Tilt and rotate to view an area, and Maps keeps the names of streets and places where they belong. Get visual and spoken turn-by-turn navigation and real-time traffic updates. Even soar over cityscapes to see the sights from the air in amazing, high-resolution quality.1 Learn more about Maps

Siri Improvements

imageWith iOS 6, Siri understands more languages and works in more countries.2 So you can get more things done in more places around the world. Want to know the latest scores and stats for your favorite teams and players? Thanks to iOS 6, Siri knows the answers. Or maybe it’s movie night. Siri can show you the latest reviews and showtimes. Find the best restaurants in town and make reservations. Even have Siri open your apps for you — no tapping required. Say “Launch Flight Tracker” or “Open Angry Birds” and Siri does just that. You can also use Siri to post Facebook updates and tweet for you. Learn more about Siri

Facebook Integration

imageNow it’s easier than ever to interact with the world’s largest social network. And there’s no need to leave your app to do it. Share a photo to Facebook right from Camera or Photos. Post your location right from Maps. Brag about a high score right from Game Center. If you have your hands full, just ask Siri to post for you. You need to sign in to Facebook only once, and you’ll be off and sharing. Never miss another birthday or get-together, since Facebook events are integrated into Calendar. And your Facebook friends’ profile information is integrated into Contacts, so when they update an email address or phone number you automatically stay up to date. Now that’s something to post about.

Shared Photo Streams

imageNow you can share just the photos you want, with just the people you choose. 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 even view Shared Photo Streams on Apple TV. If the folks you’re sharing with aren’t using an Apple device, they can view your photos on the web. People can like individual photos and make comments. And you can share as much as you want: Your Shared Photo Streams don’t count against your iCloud storage, and they work over Wi-Fi and cellular networks.


imageYour boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more are now all in one place. With Passbook, you can scan your iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie, and redeem a coupon. You can also see when your coupons expire, where your concert seats are, and the balance left on that all-important coffee bar card. 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. And if your gate changes after you’ve checked in for your flight, Passbook will even alert you to make sure you’re not relaxing in the wrong terminal.

Facetime Over cellular

—–MANY restrictions apply——

imageFaceTime now works over cellular networks as well as Wi-Fi, so you can make and receive FaceTime calls wherever you happen to be.3 You can even make and receive FaceTime calls on your iPad using your phone number. That means you can use FaceTime wherever you are, on any device. And never miss another wink, smile, air kiss, or eye roll.

If you’ve got a shared data plan on Verizon, you are free to facetime over wireless broadband. Just be sure to monitor your bandwidth limit. It will likely come much faster with this upgrade. Also, some AT&T customers with tiered data plans can use this service. To the best of my knowledge, you will not be able to make calls over wireless unless you change your wireless plan to a “share everything” plan on Verizon. Note: This is NOT available on unlimited data plans (I am totally bummed about this!)

Phone Improvements

imageiOS 6 adds new calling features to your iPhone. Now when you decline an incoming call, you can instantly reply with a text message or set a callback reminder. And when things are just too hectic, turn on Do Not Disturb and you won’t be bothered by anyone — except can’t-miss contacts like your boss or your better half.

If you’ve used an iPhone, you likely have realized that it’s more like an iPod that just happens to have a phone. The phone app was due some much needed updates.

Mail Improvements

imageRedesigned with a more streamlined interface for easier reading and writing, Mail in iOS 6 lets you set up a VIP list so you’ll never miss an important message from your accountant, your boss, or your BFF. It’s even easier to add photos and videos to email messages. And to refresh your mailboxes, all you have to do is swipe down.

Safari Improvements

imageiOS 6 brings even better web browsing to your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. iCloud Tabs keeps track of which pages you have open on your devices, so you can start browsing on one device and pick up right where you left off, on whatever device is handy. Safari now saves web pages — not just links — in your Reading List, so you can catch up on your reading even when you can’t connect to the Internet.4 And when you’re posting a photo or video to eBay, Craigslist, or another site, you can take photos and video — or choose from your Camera Roll — without leaving Safari. When you really want to see the whole picture, turn your iPhone or iPod touch to landscape and tap the full-screen icon to view web pages without distractions.

Accessibility Improvements

imageiOS 6 comes with even more features to make it easier for people with vision, hearing, learning, and mobility disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices. Guided Access helps students with disabilities such as autism remain on task and focused on content. It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button, as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen. VoiceOver, the revolutionary screen reader for blind and low-vision users, is now integrated with Maps, AssistiveTouch, and Zoom. And Apple is working with top manufacturers to introduce Made for iPhone hearing aids that will deliver a power-efficient, high-quality digital audio experience.

Camera Improvements

imageThe new panorama feature for iPhone and iPod touch lets you capture everything from a momentous family reunion photo to a sweeping vista.6 With one simple motion you can shoot up to 240 degrees — even vertically, to get that redwood tree, say. Then hardware and software work together to create one seamless, high-resolution panorama.

There a few more tweaks and highlights in iOS 6. Some of those include improvments to the iTunes stores and greater ability to connect and “find” friends.

And let’s face it, even if you secured a pre-order for an iPhone 5, it might be weeks before you get one. So you might as well update your existing device to quench your thirst for Apple-y goodness.

Wondering if your iDevice can handle the update?


You’ll also need at least 2.5 gb of storage space available on your device.


more details: What’s new in iOS 6
images and quotes via Apple


  1. says

    Hi Nerdy Nurse, This is a great synopsis of the features of iOS 6, though I have to disagree with you about the “improvements” to the Maps app. 

    I personally don’t think that AT&T restricting FaceTime over a data network is a deal-breaker. I would rather have that restriction than Verizon’s (not allowing discounted iPhone 5 prices for customers who have grandfathered plans.)

    Great point, that these updates sure make my iPHone 4S seem like a new phone!

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