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iOS 6, codenamed "Sundance", is the sixth major iOS release which was announced at WWDC 2012 alongside Mac OS X Mountain Lion, and being released to the general public on September 19, 2012, being the successor to iOS 5 and the predecessor to iOS 7. It was available for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4,iPhone 4S, iPod touch 4G, iPod touch 5G and on the iPad 2 and The new iPad. Many features were announced, but the iPod Touch 4th generation, the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4 won't have many new iOS 6 features since they all run on a single core A4 chip or lower. It was announced that the iPhone 3GS is still supported but the original iPad and iPod touch 3rd gen are not. iOS 6.1.6 is the latest version of the software.

New features

  • Maps - A completely brand new redesigned Maps app was released made by Apple Inc., with help from TomTom, Google Maps was removed.
  • Siri - Now understands more languages, works in more countries, can respond to sports scores, movies, etc. Siri is also compatible with the new iPad and 5th gen iPod Touch.
  • Facebook - Fully integrated into iOS, now you can do most features like with Twitter.
  • Shared Photo Streams - Share the photos you want with whoever you want. You can also make comments about an image.
  • Passbook - All of your boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons, loyalty cards, and others now in one place.
  • Eyes-Free-Siri will now be compatible with future Audi, Toyota, and Honda cars made after this feature is released with iOS 6. It is unknown if cars from other car makers like Ford and Mazda will be compatible with this feature.
  • FaceTime - FaceTime with friends over cellular networks for iPhone 4S and later, iPad 3 or later
  • Phone-Send the caller to voicemail, do not disturb feature available, set callback reminder and reply with text message.
  • Mail - V.I.P lists, easier to add image and video, and swipe down to refresh mailbox.
  • Safari - iCloud tabs, full screen landscape, offline reading list.
  • Accessibility - Now contains Guided Access for people disabilities.
  • Remodeled Stores - iTunes, App and iBook Store were all remodeled.
  • New Features for China.
  • Clock App for iPad.
  • Now supports Adobe Flash Player for A5 chip and up devices only.

Supported models

iOS 6 running on an iPhone 4

The iPad (1st generation) and iPod touch (3rd generation) are no longer supported with this release.

Reception and controversy

iOS 6 attracted controversy because it removed YouTube and Google Maps as default apps, requiring them to be manually downloaded from the App Store. Google Maps was replaced by Apple Maps, which was full of mapping and directional problems at the time of its launch. The criticism led to Tim Cook demanding that Scott Forstall (the Senior VP of iOS software at the time) to sign an open apology letter for the shortcomings of the features. When Forstall reportedly refused to do so, he was fired and Cook signed and released the letter himself.[1][2]


  • This was the last iOS to use skeuomorphic design.
  • This was the only iOS to have a different Settings icon.
  • This was the first time an iOS updated Siri and featured new wallpapers.


  1. History of iOS by Apple Explained, YouTube. 2020-07-19.
  2. Tim Cook: Why I Fired Scott Forstall by Jaw Yarow, Business Insider. 2012-12-06.

External links

iPhone OS 1 · 2 · 3   |   iOS 4 · 5 · 6 · 7 · 8 · 9 · 10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16
Developed from Mac OS X and spun off into iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS