Tuesday, September 25, 2012

iOS 6 - To update or not?

Most people were pretty excited to learn about the new update to iOS 6 that came out last week. I admit that I would have been much more excited if I owned an iPhone 4s/5 or the new iPad. Sure, there are some cool things in the new software. The offline reader in Safari is neat. The "do not disturb" function could be useful from time to time. The system app and iTunes looks different. I guess if I bought tickets to events, then the Passbook app would be useful. The shared Photo Stream capability is pretty cool, especially for busy parents. And there's a new clock.

But the biggest change when you move to iOS 6 is what's missing. Because of the well-publicized feud between Apple and Google, you will no longer find the handy YouTube app or Google Maps on your iPad: if you update. Instead, Apple replaced those popular features with its own maps and no YouTube app.

For me, having the YouTube app missing is no big deal. I'm not a big YouTuber. You can easily access YouTube through Safari or Chrome or any other web browser. After doing a bit of research, I was pointed to an app called Jasmine. It's a nice app that connects you to YouTube content. And it's free, so that's nice.

Losing Google Maps will be the bigger blow. I don't do much traveling, so for me, it's not going to be that huge. But I've already heard from people who have been left without direction because of Apple's primitive maps. One media specialist said her husband was lost in Canada for two hours. Canada? OK, primitive might be a strong word, but Google has been doing its map-thing for a decade.

So should you upgrade? If you are worried about losing those two big things, then maybe not. If you are a user of iWorks (Pages, Keynote, Numbers, iMovie), then you probably will have to upgrade to use those apps eventually. But I foresee a large number of Apple users who are going to be pretty upset by this change and wait until Google releases a new Maps and YouTube app.

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