With the release of Apple’s 6th iPhone… the iPhone 5 (go figure)… it stands to reason that there would be a new iOS to go with it, and true to form iOS 6 has been released just in time to coincide with the launch. If you’re getting an iPhone 5 then you have no choice but to run the new iOS (unless you want to get jailbroken), but if you own one of the older iPhones such as the iPhone 4S, then you’ll have the option to upgrade or stick with your current software. So the question is, what should you do? Here we will look at the improvements in iOS 6 and whether or not you should make your iOS upgrade.
The new iOS 6 Maps
Of course the big difference as everyone knows by now is the new maps. Apple made the rather controversial decision to switch from Google Maps to their own in-house maps (‘Cupertino’) which look very slick and allow you to view buildings in 3D fly-over views, and which finally give you turn by turn directions. Turn by turn navigation should have been including about 5 generations ago and has been around on Android forever, but that’s a different point. The point is that if you’re excited by the prospect of navigation then you might want to upgrade.
Then again though, there have reportedly been quite a few problems with the new iPhone maps. The general issue being reported here is that while the new maps are very swish to look at, they don’t have anywhere near the same information database to draw on that Google Maps does.
This basically then means that you will often not be able to find what you’re looking for, might get directed to the wrong thing, and won’t be able to do general searches for things like ‘Waitrose’ necessarily or ‘hat shops’. So in other words you get the turn by turn navigation, but there’s a chance it might direct you the wrong way.
At the same time if you already own turn by turn navigation – in the form of a GPS app for instance – then you might well be a little irked at the fact that it’s now free. The good news is that your TomTom app is probably superior, so you may just want to stick with that.
The other major change with the new iOS 6 revolves around Siri which is apparently much smarter and now has access to more information. Whether or not this is enough to tempt you over to the new device will depend on whether you see Siri as a bit of a gimmick or a genuinely useful feature. Because there is always the option of course to just look up the football scores yourself.
Other than this the new iOS reportedly has over 200 other changes, but most of these are going to be so minute in true Apple fashion that you won’t really notice them. One big change is that Facebook is now more integrated into the design of the iPhone meaning that it’s now much easier to share your content, but how useful this is will once again depend on how you use your phone and how much of a fan you are of Facebook in general.
In short then, whether you want to switch will really depend on how you feel about the new maps in iOS 6. If you are curious and you want turn by turn navigation then switch. If you’re happy with Google maps and can live without the extra polish and the improvements to Siri then you won’t miss out on too much by sticking with iOS 5.