One of the main arguments against Google’s Android operating system is the fragmentation that is spread across hundreds of devices and various software versions. Apple has even taken shots at the OS, highlighting how within a year, almost all iPhones are running the latest system version, compared to about 7% of Android users on Ice Cream Sandwich. But with the introduction of iOS 6, which the Cupertino-based company claims will deliver more than 200 new features, Apple may finally have to deal with fragmentation as well.
While the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 will be compatible with iOS 6, both devices will get a version of the software that forgoes key features. As noted by Ars Technica, Apple’s impressive 3D Flyover feature and turn-by-turn voice navigation found within its new Maps app will only work on A5-powered devices, meaning the iPhone 4S, iPad 2 and the new iPad. To make matters worse, the iPhone 3GS will not be able to handle FaceTime over 3G, offline reading, shared Photo Streams, VIP lists or Flagged Smart mailboxes.
While the situation might not be as bad as many claim it is on Android, Apple will continue to face difficulties when attempting to keep its older hardware up-to-date.