|A version of the iOS operating system|
iOS 6 running on an iPhone 5.
|Source model||Closed, with open source components|
|September 19, 2012|
|Latest release||6.1.6 (10B500) / February 21, 2014|
|Platforms||iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (4th generation), iPod Touch (5th generation), iPad 2, iPad (3rd generation), iPad (4th generation), iPad Mini (1st generation)|
|Kernel type||Hybrid (XNU)|
|License||Proprietary EULA except for open-source components|
|Preceded by||iOS 5|
|Succeeded by||iOS 7|
|Limited third-party application support|
iOS 6 is the sixth major release of the iOS mobile operating system designed by Apple Inc., initially released on September 19, 2012. The final version of iOS 6 is 6.1.6. It was preceded by iOS 5 (final version was 5.1.1) and was succeeded by iOS 7 on September 18, 2013. New features included a new Maps application with data developed by Apple, the Passbook application for storing tickets and loyalty cards, enhancements to Siri and user-definable 'VIP' inboxes for mail from known recipients.
iOS 6 is the last release of iOS supervised by Scott Forstall, who led the creation of the operating system from its early development in 2005.
iOS 6 was previewed on June 11, 2012 during Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2012, with release announced for Fall 2012. Following the pattern of previous iOS releases, older devices are no longer supported, specifically the third-generation iPod Touch and the first-generation iPad. Supported devices on this release include the iPhone 3GS or later, the fourth-generation iPod Touch and later, the iPad 2 or later, and iPad Mini.
On September 12, 2012 at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, among other items unveiled, Apple announced three iOS-related items; the release of the next generation of iPhone, called iPhone 5, the fifth-generation iPod Touch, and the expected final release of iOS 6.0. The September 19 release date of iOS 6 was announced at this event.
While the iPhone 5 came installed with iOS 6 starting September 21, other units will require an over-the-air update or an install through iTunes. An update to iTunes version 10.7, which was released on September 12, 2012 is necessary to install the iOS 6 update on a device.
The built-in Maps app uses Apple's new vector-based engine that eliminates the lag present while downloading bitmaps from Google's servers, making for smoother zooming. New to Maps is turn-by-turn navigation spoken directions in certain countries, 3D views in some major cities and real-time traffic. Turn-by-turn navigation is only available for iPhone 4S or later and iPad 2 or later with cellular capability, while 3D views are only available for iPhone 4S or later, fifth-generation iPod Touch, and iPad 2 and later.
Another change includes the inability to download Podcasts through the regular iTunes application. Instead, users are prompted to download the official Podcasts App in order to continue.
iOS 6 brings the retrieval of documents such as boarding passes, admission tickets, coupons and loyalty cards through its new Passbook app. An iOS device with Passbook can be scanned under a reader to process a mobile payment at participating locations. The app has context-aware features such as notifications for relevant coupons when in the immediate vicinity of a given store.
Apple’s Siri intelligent personal assistant was improved to include the ability to make restaurant reservations, launch apps, dictate Facebook or Twitter updates, retrieve movie reviews and detailed sports statistics. Siri, which previously was only supported on iPhone 4S, is also now supported on iPhone 5, fifth-generation iPod Touch, third- through fourth-generation iPad and iPad Mini.
Facebook comes integrated through Apple’s native apps with iOS 6. Facebook features can be directly accessed from within native apps such as Calendar which can sync Facebook events, or use Facebook’s like button from within the Apple App Store and Game Center.
New privacy settings are available to the user. In addition to location services, the following have been added in iOS 6: photos (already partially restricted in iOS 5), contacts (address book), calendars, reminders, Bluetooth sharing, Twitter, Facebook, and Sina Weibo. iOS 6 also comes with a "Limit ad tracking" user control in the general settings menu to allow users the option to prevent targeted advertising. Apple's Advertising Identifier replaces the company’s existing UDID standard. Advertising networks not yet using Apple's Advertising Identifier device identifier standard would not be affected although Apple will require the standard in the future.
In iOS 6, Apple replaced the previous Google Maps-based application with its own Maps, and was faced with poor reception from critics and users, with inaccurate or incomplete data, no support for transit maps, and low-quality satellite imagery. Apple was also faced with criticism from Ireland's Minister for Justice and Equality Alan Shatter when a map incorrectly marked Airfield, a farming area in Dundrum, Dublin, with an icon indicating that it was an airport. Apple CEO Tim Cook later issued a letter on Apple's website apologizing for the "frustration caused by the Maps application". The clock app announced with iOS 6 also attracted attention for its similarity to the design of the Swiss railway clock, which remains a trademark of SBB, the Swiss national railway system. Within two months of iOS 6's release, Apple agreed to acknowledge the design influence and pay a licensing fee. The troubled launch of iOS 6, together with discomfort at the design direction of iOS within and outside Apple, appear to have led to the removal of Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of software, from the company in October 2012, less than two months after the release of iOS 6.
In September 2012, a privacy expert with the software company Abine expressed her concern that in spite of new targeted ad opt-outs, advertisers could still identify users based on other data and Apple could curate user databases for marketing or to sell to others. Also that month, several users have reported a higher-than-normal data usage after iOS 6 upgrade, causing some to be heavily billed for data largely exceeding their data plan.
The iOS 6.1 update released on January 28, 2013 has generated reports of decreased battery life and issues with signal strength.
On April 16, 2014, iOS users who were still running iOS 6 could not connect to Apple's FaceTime service. This was because a certificate had expired. On April 24, Apple released a support document explaining the problem. The only solution given was to have a majority of its users update their iOS to the then-new iOS 7 software in order to repair the certificate. However, there was one exception to this rule of fixing iOS 6's FaceTime certificates by updating to iOS 7. The iPod Touch 4th Generation was given iOS version 6.1.6 to renew its FaceTime certificate and, to patch up some dangerous security patches. It was given this software version because it is not iOS 7 compatible. Currently today, the iPod Touch 4th Generation is the only iOS 6.1.6 device still able to use Apple's FaceTime service with its successors running both iOS 7 and iOS 8.
Version history: portable iOS devices
iOS 6 was previewed on June 11, 2012 during Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2012, with release announced for Fall 2012. Following the pattern of previous iOS releases, older devices are no longer supported, specifically the third-generation iPod Touch and the first-generation iPad. Supported devices on this release include the iPhone 3GS onwards, the fourth-generation iPod Touch onwards, and the iPad 2 onwards.
On September 12, 2012 at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, amongst other items unveiled, Apple announced three iOS related items; the release of the next generation of iPhone, called iPhone 5, the fifth-generation iPod Touch, along with the final release of iOS 6.0.
iOS 6 was released to the public through iTunes and over-the-air updates on September 19, 2012.
Version history: Apple TV (2nd generation) onwards
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