Those of you with an iPhone or iPad don't have to wait until tomorrow's iPhone 5 shipment to enjoy iOS 6. Starting yesterday, the upgrade to iOS is just a free upgrade OTA or via iTunes and your USB cable. If you own or are planning to buy an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, your phone is compatible with the upgrade. If you own an iPad 2, New iPad or iPod Touch 4th/5th gen the upgrade is likewise yours.
You might not get quite everything though: Siri comes to the New iPad but not the iPad 2. Panorama photos come to the iPhone 4S but not older iPhone models (Apple claims this is due to hardware constraints and capabilities or lack thereof).
All upgradable models get:
- Apple's new maps (Google Maps is gone from the stock firmware) - Improved Siri for those devices compatible with Siri - Passbook: think Keyring loyalty reward card keeper plus tickets for movies and airlines with boarding passes - Do Not Disturb: turn off all those annoying reminders to play Words with Friends when you want to sleep. Don't worry, your wakeup alarm will still sound. You can schedule DND, so you don't have to remember to enable and disable it every morning and evening. - Facebook integration with the address book, calendar and web browser. - Shared photo streams
And yes, Apple's maps can be quirky, though it hasn't guided us to Uganda yet for Mexican food. Mostly we've noticed POIs oddities zooming: with no rhyme or reason POIs disappear when zooming and returning to an old zoom level doesn't bring back suddenly missing POIs.
Here's our iOS 6 on the New iPad and iPhone 4 video, so you can see it in action. Though our iPhone 4 is a little aged in the upgrade curve, performance is just fine. And don't miss our iPhone 5 video review.