Complete guide to iOS 6 device compatibility

When Apple announced that iOS 6, the latest version of its mobile OS, would work with older devices all of the way back to the iPhone 3GS, people cheered. It’s not typical these days for major software updates to support 3 year-old products.

But don’t give Tim Cook and company the Nobel Peace Prize just yet. Some two-year old devices, like the original iPad, aren’t getting any iOS 6 love. And even the ones that are supported aren’t guaranteed to have access to all of its features…

We touched on this a bit this morning with a few of the new Maps features. But apparently it extends to other iOS 6 apps and features as well. This list comes straight from the disclaimer on Apple’s iOS 6 page:

  • Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation – iPhone 4S and iPad 2 or later
  • Siri – iPhone 4S and third generation iPad
  • Shared Photo Streams – iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later
  • FaceTime over cellular – iPhone 4S and third generation iPad
  • VIP inbox – iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later
  • Offline Reading List – iPhone 4 or later and iPad 2 or later

So as you can see, even though the 3GS will be eligible to upgrade to iOS 6 when it drops later this year, it may not be worth it. No 3D Maps, turn-by-turn navigation, Shared Photo Streams, VIP inbox, or Offline Reading List. What gives?

Aside from the Maps stuff (performance maybe?), we can’t figure out why Apple would feel the need to hold 3GS users back from all of these features. Maybe it’s a ploy to nudge them into upgrading?

If that’s the case, then the move may end up backfiring. Folks are already complaining about how confusing this will be to consumers, and worse, how it could end up causing fragmentation on the platform.

What do you think?