iOS 6 to support iPhone 3GS and up, coming this fall, beta available today

WWDC kicked off with a splash this afternoon, and prominently showed off iOS 6 and its many, many new features.

The bottom line? It's coming out this fall with a beta available for developers today, and will be compatible all the way back to the iPhone 3GS (which is a bit of a surprise) and up to the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S.

iOS 6 will also be available for 4th generation iPod touch devices and later.  On the tablet side, iOS will be supported on the iPad 2 and the 2012 third-gen iPad. Sorry, original iPad owners. As you can see, there are a ton of new features in iOS 6 - you can read about all of the big ones on our iOS 6 page.

We'll have lots more news coming from WWDC this week, so stick around.

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Simon Sage

Editor-at-very-large at Mobile Nations, gamer, giant.

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Reader comments

iOS 6 to support iPhone 3GS and up, coming this fall, beta available today

64 Comments

Why didn't they show us the home screen? I am not going to be happy if it looks the same as it has for the last 6 yours.

They'll be doing an iphone 5 event that shows more. But it doesn't look good for a big change in homescreen.

Agree
The 1 new feature I had hoped for was some refreshed UI/home screen changes.
Apple once stood for cutting edge, innovation, wow-factor.
Now Apple stands for tweaks, minor 5.x upgrades, stale.
Where's the innovation and excitement?
They've become "incrementors" instead of innovators.
Meanwhile Android is creating more visually appealing UIs that have me (as a 5 year iPhone user) drooling.
Apple no longer is targeting the early adopter/technology buyer.
They are more worried about alienating grandma with any significant UI change.

Nah, wasn't really expecting a device today. iOS update first so the devs can get everything ready for the device launch.

its been said repeatedly on this and other tech sites that one shouldn't get their hope up on a iPhone 5 reveal today...and to wait till Fall. :)

Apple just released an iphone like 8 or 9 months ago. there is ZERO chance they are going to replace a current product in less then one year. Especially one that's selling well. It's such bad business that it's fantasy to think they'd do it.

Why would the iPhone 5 be today? They have been saying for the longest, don't expect the new iPhone until the fall.

Welp, I think iOS6 was the most underwhelming part of the presentation today. Looks like, at least according to what we saw today, jailbreak devs have absolutely nothing to worry about.

I was watching the same one you were.
Turn by turn nav - great!
Pull to refresh mail - I already bought Sparrow.
Heavy FB integration - I rarely use FB.
Shared photo streams - my phone can already send MMS.
Phone updates - ummm...I don't really have to reply to this one, do I?
Facetime over cell - I rarely use this and have to imagine the video quality would be pretty bad anyway.
So overall, yeah, pretty underwhelming. I was hoping for an updated UI with some Android-like cababilities. Or better yet, something innovative/cutting-edge; you know, what Tim Cook promised of Apple for 2012.

that said i do get being underwhelmed. nothing other than navigation was really big in my mind. Like i'm stunned they won't update the podcast part of music.

Sorry, what I meant was turn by turn nav is the only thing that I was really excited for. Everything else, meh.

i get ya. at the time i thought it was nav was something big enough to go to the hassle of updating but now that i know it's not a one click thing like normal and you gotta sign up for stuff. i'm not gonna worry about it. at least for now.

This was one of the BEST WWDC's in a long time!! New MacBooks, iOS 6, amazing Siri enhancements. Just Wow!!

I just simply don't understand why the first gen iPad is not supported. It is faster than the 3GS! I will likely always have an iPhone but if I ever get a new tablet I will go with android. This put the nail in the coffin for me...

Let's be realistic here...The original iPad was released over two years ago so it's not surprising that they aren't supporting it with future versions of iOS. Considering Apple is in the business to make money, it's not crazy for them to not support the original iPad for marketing purposes either. And if you're upset by that then you're in for a pretty rude awakening with an Android tablet. There are devices that are a year old that aren't supported by ICS, let alone any version of Android that comes after it.

Speaking of being realistic...
iPhone 3GS: released June 2009, onboard 256MB of RAM, and 600MHz Arm Cortex A8 Processor.
iPad 1: released January 2010, onboard 256MB of RAM, and a 1GHz Apple A4 processor
The only thing i can think of that would prevent iOS 6 from working well on the iPad 1 is that some of the featured Apple apps may not perform correctly on the larger resolution screen (1024x768) compared to the iPhone 3GS (320x480).

I like IOS 5 on my 3GS, but I hate how slow the phone has become. IOS 6? I doubt I will update. Imagine how much slower my 3GS will become. Why don't I just get a new phone? Because there just money any longer for a new phone.

Moreover the 3GS is being sold on contract, meaning Apple has to support it until the contract ends.

Might be "faster"(better specs), but it has to support a higher resolution dude, think about it. Your OG ipad isnt going to just stop working, or get worse, just wont have a few new features...so sick of ios & android cats like you freaking out anytime an older device isnt updated.

According to Apple's iOS 6 page, new Maps app will require 4S for turn-by-turn navigation and flyover...come on Apple, screwed us 4 owners I see

I'm not surprised by this at all. You need a serious GPU to do that 3D visualization stuff they were showing off.

Apple wants all the iPhone 4 owners to upgrade to the iPhone 5, that is probably why the 4 does not support turn-by-turn navigation.

Actually it's kind of clever if Apple is doing it this way. Introduce a new iOS and then cripple some of its features so that older phones cannot utilize them, forcing their existing customers to buy a new phone if they want all the bells and whistles that come with a new iOS.

I don't know about that. The long term damage to the brand image may offset the short term gains. It certainly irritates people, that's for sure.

Its called business/making $$....Apple are no saints, but every company does stuff like this...welcome to the real world.

Not interested in facebook, so that's a waste of an App' for me! Some good stuff in ios6 but will wait til October for iphone 5 release to see if it'll keep me with Apple! Upgrade in Feb' so...

Am I the only one a bit concerned that the iPhone 3GS is actually getting the update? As Apple has held in the past, only two iPhones get the latest of the late updates (such as the iPhone 4 and 3GS but no the 3G), but this time it is three iPhones. Could this mean Apple is holding off on a release of the next gen. iPhone until next year?

Well my concern are the huge stories on a revamp of ios 6 and what it should have this site writes up then this beta comes and it's exactly the same with a different map app lol makes all those long stories nothing more than fanboy dreams

It really almost has to be beta if Siri is involved I suppose. Looks like Apple is really banking their future on that temperamental girl.
Not impressed. Some nice improvements for sure, but the iOS overall is falling even further behind.

I'm not trying to burst anyone's bubble here or break any hearts, but 90% of what Apple showed off today has been available on Android phones for YEARS. It may be argued that Android manufacturers copy the "look" of the iPhone, but Apple definitely rips off the software.

Maps looks awesome but wtf is my UI update? Wow can finally get a shiny new look for once? C'mon apple, just once.

I'm curious. Why do you want a new look? Are you simply bored is is there something you find wrong with the look?

I think I was really hoping for some kind of widgets, that's why iOS 6 got me feelin a little down. I was so geeked before it started, I want my high back. I'll get it at the gym.

The new features look great. But I will miss the fact the orinal Ipad will not get them. I guess I will finally try the jailbreak.

So disappointed in apples efforts today to call this a major update. If anything this is more worthy of an Ios 5.4,5.5 update. It would seem there halfway there and even though i love my Iphone and its mountainous stability which dominates all other os' in my opinion. It does erk me when they have releases like these with barely any features relevant to the general populace or rather myself, siri,facebook,do not disturb,etc the only thing i will be getting is maps... sigh its still not enough to drive me away though... because android is unprofessional and Blackberry is still recovering...

That sounds like a comment my middle daughter would make. It doesn't matter that there are features that you may not use, but features that other people (like myself) have been waiting for. iOS 5 introduced integrated Twitter support, and I don't tweet. Doesn't mean that I was down about it. Integrated FB sounds useful to those of us in the iPhone world who do Facebook. Do Not Disturb is a feature that many may not ever use, but some users may use on a daily. Siri was a new feature to iOS in iOS 5, and the fact that they have only added functionality to it, is something that people could find useful. So again, just because there is only One feature that YOU might use, doesn't mean that iOS6 is a waste of time.

2007 called. They apparently want their OS, UI, and "revolutionary new features" back.
Seriously, I don't know how you fanbois keep painting this turd and calling it gold...