By Jonathan Charles | Sep 15, 2012 12:19 PM EDT
iOS 6 is soon to arrive for the general public, though developers got the Gold Master (GM) Release alongside the announcement of the iPhone 5. GM's release effectively means that the new version of iOS is complete.
Changes noted thus far include Wi-Fi + Cellular removed from the Settings app, a new wallpaper, Panorama mode for the iPhone 4S camera, cities supporting 3D maps, an option for limited advertisement tracking in the "About section," and the option for the first "page" of the homescreen to appear without apps for the first time. iOS in general now sees further Facebook integration and introduces Maps, along with over 200 improvements which Apple talks about on its website.
Otherwise, iOS continues to look like the software used since its debut in 2007. Apple will argue that Siri and Maps are major new features; however, the fundamental design is the same. Users are still scrolling through a grid of apps.
Whether the changes prove enough to satisfy users remains to be seen. Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 are now live. Undoubtedly the device will sell millions, but the feeling of iOS looking dated and stagnant is now increasingly common among users. Comparing iOS and Windows Phone presents a stark contrast; Android feels different despite using fundamentally the same grid-based layout.
iOS 6 is coming to iPhones 4, 4S, and 5. The older the device is, the fewer of the new features it gets, so iPhone 4 will not have the same performance as its successors.
The GM download is 957MB for iPhone and 1.15GB for iPads; the downloads are not available over the air (OTA).
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