Apple updates iOS 6 compatibility to include Shared Photo Streams and VIP Mail boxes for iPhone 3GS

Apple updates iOS 6 compatibility to include Shared Photo Streams and VIP Mail boxes for iPhone 3GS

Apple is adding Shared Photo Streams and VIP Mail boxes to the list of iOS 6 supported features on the iPhone 3GS. Previously, support for both of those iOS features were expressly excluded from the iPhone 3GS. Some eagle-eyes readers noticed, however, that Apple's iOS 6 page has just been updated to remove those exclusions.

Shared Photo Streams allows you to designate pictures to share over iCloud with friends and family, as well as to comment on, and read comments on those photos. (As long as those friends and family members are also running iOS 6 and/or OS X Mountain Lion)

VIP Mail allows you to set contacts whose messages you consider important enough to consolidate in a special email box, reducing the chances you'll miss them amid the clutter of spam, ham, and other inbox mayhem.

The iPhone 3GS hardware is over 3 years old now, so there will obviously be limits to the software it can run when compared to current generation devices like the new iPad or upcoming ones like the iPhone 5, which is expected to ship alongside iOS 6 this fall.

Apple also has a limited number of engineers, and those engineers have a limited number of hours they can spend optimizing new features for old devices, compared to creating new features for new devices (or we'll complain, come next keynote).

Binary compatibility itself is a huge feature -- the ability for the iPhone 3GS to run apps built for iOS 6. But all that said, given that Apple still sells the iPhone 3GS to this day, they should make an effort to get as many of the features that can run, to run.

Turn by Turn Navigation, 3D flyover Maps, Siri, FaceTime, and other, resource intensive or hardware dependent features won't be joining them, nor will Offline Reading List.

However, it's nice to see Shared Photo Streams and VIP Mail get the go ahead on the iPhone 3GS.

Sometimes Apple giveth.

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

More Posts



← Previously

How to jailbreak iOS 6 beta 3 with redsn0w 0.9.13 dev 3

Next up →

Contest Reminder: Win a Mobile Nations dream device of YOUR choice!

There are 3 comments. Add yours.

wormeyman says:

I don't understand why the iPhone 4 won't get turn by turn when it is quite capable :(

flyingember says:

slower processor, less ram, older graphics chip, slower network connection. something there or a combination thereof.

or it's a marketing decision

blyths says:

Marketing is the only valid item in your list. If their turn by turn needs more resources than all the existing turn by turn apps in the app store (which run just fine on iPhone 4) then they shouldn't be doing turn by turn at all.