With all the commotion surrounding the release of the iPhone 5 it is easy to forget that the second and third generation iPads also get to take advantage of the new release of iOS.
While some may mourn the things we have seemingly lost (features like the Google Maps app are now a thing of the past), there are plenty of additions and upgrades to give consolation.
So what can you expect from iOS 6 on your iPad?
- Apple Maps – Love it or hate it the new Maps app has a lot of potential on the iPad, you just have to appreciate and accept that this is only the first version of the new Apple-branded app and that they will work very hard to ensure that errors and mistakes are quickly corrected.
- Siri – You asked for it, you got it. Siri is on your iPad and ready to deliver everything from entertainment to sports scores to movie listings. Note that only the latest iPad (2012) supports Siri with iOS 6.
- Facebook Integration – Mimicking the tight integration that iOS 5 introduced for Twitter, it is as now just as easy to share anything and everything from your iPad to your friends on Facebook.
- Do Not Disturb – This may be my favorite new feature –eliminate all notifications with a single swipe, without having to constantly reconfigure the notifications themselves. This is especially great for those of you who use your iPad for business purposes as well as personal.
- Clock – There may be concerns that Apple stole the design for their new iPad clock, but it doesn’t change how excited everybody is to see one on their tablet. The clock itself makes good use of the larger iPad screen real-estate, giving you a World Clock, Alarms, Stopwatch and Timer.
- Enhanced FaceTime – FaceTime without the need for WiFi means you can configure a single account to ring simultaneously across all of your devices. Those of us with an iPhone and an iPad should be especially appreciative of thos addition as it was quite frustrating to try and explain which address corresponded to which device.
Upgrading from iOS 5 is almost entirely painless, though I do have two chief complaints:
- iCloud Account – I have several accounts with Apple: my iTunes account, my first iCloud account that matches my old MobileMe identity and another iCloud account that I had to create because I am a developer. When you upgrade your iPad to iOS 6 you will be prompted to enable your iCloud integration and be asked to enter your password –unfortunately there is no provision to change the account they present you with and no ability to configure multiple accounts (different ones for different services). Of course, you can always skip that process and update these things manually afterward but it would be a lot more convenient to be able to do this all at once.
- Upgrading from an Older Version of iOS 5 – On one of my iPads I hadn’t actually updated to the latest version of iOS 5 before making the jump to iOS 6. When I first tried to do the software update it provided me with a link to grab the version of iOS 5 I needed to become current –though if I clicked on it there was a notice that my WiFi wasn’t working. Rebooting that iPad gave me instant access to the new iOS 6 so there was only a little added hassle in the end but it did require some troubleshooting.