The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

iPad 2 and iOS 6

Announced a few weeks ago at Apples Worldwide Developer Conference, iOS 6 is the latest incarnation of Apple’s latest mobile operating system. The updates will bring several new updates to iOS, including an in-house maps application, Facebook integration, as well as numerous improvements to Safari and Mail. In addition, there is Siri support for a wider range of devices, but for those who wield devices like the iPad 2 and iPod Touch 4th generation, Siri is more or less irrelevant.

  • I’ll say it right now: owners of the iPad 2 who wield it primarily for viewing videos will have no need to upgrade to the new iPad. From personal experience, the step from a regular screen to the Retina Display absolutely ruins videos in that what once looked good will look horrible. The only countermeasure is to re-encrypt the videos at higher resolutions, but this comes at the expense of storage capacity. Conversely, those who use the iPad primarily for viewing iBooks and PDFs will be able to capitalise on the Retina Display rather nicely.

From a personal perspective, the updates to iOS 6 are novel but not revolutionary. Unlike iOS 5, which brought touch gestures and tabbed browsing to the iPad, there isn’t anything particularly special included in iOS 6. I’m not particularly interested in the new maps, and in fact, may decide to hold back from updating to avoid being stuck with it. My mind may change, but for now, the loss of the nifty terrain function and a shift away ease-of-use found in Google Maps are both detractors. In the case of the latter, the maps look less professional and more difficult to read. The overemphasis on Siri is also problematic; for iPad 2 users, there’s probably little to be gained from the new updates when half the functionality cannot be utilised. Finally, given that they unceremoniously removed the lyrics from the music app, I’m hoping that they reinstate this function in iOS 6. The beta testers say that such a feature remains absent, but I can dream, right?

  • Any device not seen here is not compatible with iOS 6. I’ll have a verdict out later, but chances are, owners of older devices with iOS 4 (and in the case of iPad 1 owners, iOS 5) aren’t going to be missing out on much.

Maps and Siri are the only detractors I can see in the new update. There are three updates that make the device slightly more efficient to use. First of all, as a heavy user of the mail application, the decision to add the swipe-to-update feature was inspired by numerous social media apps and will make using email that much easier. There have been times where I’ve swiped my mail in iOS 5 and realised that Mail didn’t work that way. The next feature that I’m anticipating to be useful is offline browsing for Safari and Cloud tabs. I’m sure I’ll find a use for it. Finally, Facebook integration ought to be interesting. Despite having Twitter, I haven’t touched the integrated functions. While I use Facebook more frequently than Twitter, old habits might die hard as I try to accommodate the new ease-of-posting.

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