Apple’s next-generation mobile operating system, iOS 6, is bringing a ton of cool new features, but original iPad users will be forced to upgrade if they want to join the party.
At its WorldWide Developer’s Conference Monday, Apple announced a brand new lineup of MacBooks and Macbook Pros in addition to its new computing operating system Mac OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6. Unfortunately, those who waited in line back in 2010 for the original iPad will have to visit the Apple Store again if they want to take advantage of features like Siri, Facebook integration and a brand new Maps app.
The original iPad’s internals might not be up to snuff for what iOS 6 has in store. You can bet that my iPad 2 will certainly be slowing down a bit after I update this fall. What is surprising is that iOS 6, which is also the operating system for the iPhone and iPod Touch, will be available on the iPhone 3GS — a phone that will be three generations old when the iPhone 5 comes out in October.
The original iPad will only be two generations old when the new software comes out. Could Apple be planning to release its iPad Mini — a 7-inch device at half the price that could very easily intrigue original iPad users to upgrade?
Apple’s personal assistant Siri will finally make its way to the iPad 2 and New iPad with the new operating system. As demoed at the WWDC, Siri’s knowledge of sports is greatly enhanced, allowing users to ask who won a particular game that day, or help you settle that bar dispute over who hit more homeruns in the 2002 MLB season (It was Alex Rodriguez).
Facebook integration in iOS 6 is expected to let you share, like and update from all native apps and developers will likely begin to incorporate it into third party apps.
Maps is probably the biggest addition with iOS 6. By dropping Google Maps, Apple has gone with a much more sophisticated mapping system that is far more attractive. Oh, and you can use your iPhone or iPad as a GPS. The new Maps app offers true turn-by-turn directions.
iOS 6 seems like a major upgrade for Apple’s mobile operating system. I suggest original iPad owners treat it like a bonus gift: You now have an excuse to upgrade your iPad.