Apple says that iOS 6, the upcoming version of its operating system for the iPhone and iPad, is “compatible” with devices as old as the iPhone 3GS. At the bottom of Apple’s iOS 6 info page, however, is a disclaimer: “Not all features are available on all devices.”
Some features, like the VIP List for email, the Offline Reading List, and Shared Photo Stream won’t work on the iPhone 3GS. Even flagship iOS features like Siri and FaceTime over cellular won’t work on recent devices like the iPhone 4 or the iPad 2 — not to mention the iPhone 3GS.
Still, considering the iPhone 3GS was released nearly three years ago in June 2009, it’s amazing that it’s compatible with iOS 6 at all. The 3GS owners will receive some of the iOS 6 goodness, just some of the features that will work are: redesigned App and Music Stores, Cloud Tabs in Safari, and Facebook integration.
It’s unusual for a company to support a device as old as the 3GS. I purchased an Android phone early last year, and it’s still stuck on the same OS it had when I bought it! No upgrades at all in more than a year and a half!
So 3GS owners take heart, you’ll still get some new features, just not as many as owners of Apple’s most recent models.
Thanks to our friends at MacRumors for creating the above chart that clearly shows which new feature works on what device.
Update: TUAW notes that the Panorama mode introduced at the iPhone 5 event will also be available on the iPhone 4S.
Make sure to check out our full iOS 6 coverage for all the details about Apple’s latest mobile platform!