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A How to Guide for Apple's iOS 6 Software

Sean Spencer, Software Development Expert and Author

Apple launched its latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, for iPhone and iPad users in September. Apple touts iOS 6 as the world's most advanced mobile operating system, because of its easy-to-use interface, mind-blowing features, and its impressive stability. The iOS 6 has built-in technologies and features that will keep Apple mobile devices years ahead of their competitors. Some of these built-in features and applications include Siri, Maps, Music, FaceTime, Messages, AirPlay, Safari, Game Center, iCloud, Do Not Disturb, Privacy, Guided Access, and more.

The iOS 6 has a multi-touch interface designed for the touch of a fingertip. Users can access over 700,000 applications and games available on App Store for an innovative and fun experience. The iOS 6 allows users to take advantage of its newly installed hardware, such as its display, microphone, cameras, and built-in Wi-Fi connection. Apple automatically updates the iOS 6 for free; however, users can download the iOS 6 directly onto their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch as soon as they release. Apple sends alerts to its users regularly, making it easy to get the latest applications available with minimal hassle.

How to Update to iOS 10

Apple updated its operating system days before releasing the iPhone 5. Older models require a manual update to receive all of the features offered in iOS 6. The iOS 6 offers new features that require heavy processing power; therefore, Apple has limited the mobile operating system upgrade to the second generation iPad, fourth generation iPod Touch, and iPhone 3G and higher. Earlier models will need to stick with the current version of iOS.

Apple users can update their mobile device one of two ways; over-the-air (OTA), or via iTunes. Users can simply navigate to the "Settings" application to find their iOS 6 update. After going to the "Settings" application, users select "General" and then "Software Update" to check for the latest iOS version available for download. Mobile devices with previously installed iOS versions should receive a red badge on the "Settings" application that will alert the user of the available iOS 6 update. The user simply clicks on the red badge to install iOS 6 on their mobile device. Users can force their mobile device to check for an update by navigating to the "Software Update" screen available under the "Settings" application. Before downloading the update, users need to make sure that the mobile device has a 50 percent or more battery charge to ensure it stays connected before completing the over-the-air installation. Users who choose the OTA method of updating their mobile device will only receive parts of the iOS 6 that have changed between the oldest and newer version.

Users can also choose to install the iOS 6 the old-fashioned way: from the computer"s USB port. Users simply connect their mobile device to their computer using the USB-to-dock connector cable. From there, users click on the "Check for Updates" in iTunes to force a search for an iOS 6 update. Ideally, a compatible mobile device should prompt the user to download iOS 6; however, this may not happen automatically if the computer has not received notifications of existing updates. Apple tends to release these notifications gradually, which means the mobile device may not receive it for a while. If the user connects the mobile device to the computer correctly, then iTunes should start downloading the iOS 6 update directly from Apple"s server. After the update finishes, a message flashes on the mobile device"s screen, which tells the user that the installation was successful. The mobile device restarts itself and the iOS 6 should appear on the computer screen.

  • How to Upgrade to iOS: A complete guide that teaches Apple mobile device owners ho w to update to iOS 11.


The iCloud application on the iOS 6 has a few extra features that outperform previous versions. The newest version of iCloud has an updated drop-down notifications bar and a cross-platform Notes system that allows users of multiple Apple devices to create easily accessible memos. The iOS 6 version of iCloud offers a full range of update and schedule applications, such as Notes, Reminders, Contacts, Mail, and Calendar. Users can also work the Find My iPhone app with their iPhone and iPad. In addition, iWork allows users to stay up to date with their documents. Users will still have to purchase other applications to work inside of iCloud, including Keynote, Pages, and Numbers.

The creators of iCloud intended for its users to stay updated and organized with their notes, documents, mail, and scheduling, regardless of what Apple mobile device they use. Users must use a compatible web browser to access all of the benefits contained within iCloud. For instance, FaceTime works over cellular networks and Wi-Fi to send and receive video calls while on the move. Users can make and receive FaceTime calls on their iPad using their phone number, which means they will never miss another kiss, wink, smile, or angry expression again. Apple"s iOS 6 offers shared photo streams that enable users to share photos only with people they choose. Users who have friends that use the updated iCloud version will receive photos delivered immediately on their Apple mobile device. Shared photo streams do not count against the user's iCloud storage. They also work over Wi-Fi and cellular networks.

  • iCloud: The official iCloud website for Apple mobile device users.


The "Siri" application introduced in iOS 5 lets users impart their voice into messages, place phone calls, and schedule meetings. Users can simply ask the "Siri" application to do things with just the way they talk. The "Siri" application makes it easy to use their Apple mobile devices. Apple is working with car manufacturers to build Siri into their voice recognition systems to make driving an "eyes free" experience. With iOS 6, "Siri" can now also open applications, post to various social media outlets, check the score/stats of the big game, search for movie times, and make resturant reservations.

  • Siri: The iOS 6 voice recognition system that allows Apple mobile device owners to perform their everyday tasks hands-free.

Do Not Disturb Apple"s iOS 6 adds new calling features to the iPhone that allows users to choose between replying with a text message or setting a callback reminder when they decline a call. Users can select the "Do Not Disturb" option when they can not be bothered by anyone, except for people they can not avoid. Turn on the "Do Not Disturb" setting to silence incoming calls and notifications. Users can schedule or manually activate this feature.

  • Do Not Disturb: CBS News examines what they call the best new feature in iOS 6.


Previous iOS versions included the "Maps" application, which allowed users to see the world from the ground up and the sky down. "Maps" has vector-based graphics and text that present information in high detail. Users can zoom in and out of a location, or pan around an image to see the circumference of an area. More importantly, the "Maps" applications maintains the accuracy of streets and place where they belong. Users can get turn-by-turn navigational directions and traffic updates. In addition, users can tap into the aerial view of an area in high-resolution quality.


Apple"s iOS 6 platform includes a panorama feature for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The panorama feature allows users to capture everything from a momentous family vacation to a sports game. Users can capture the environment in one simple motion by shooting up to 240 degrees. Users can even shoot vertically to capture the scale of a mountain. The iOS 6 works with the mobile device"s hardware and software to create high-resolution panorama.

  • Panorama on iOS 6: A photographic look at Apple"s newest camera feature from the Apple Insider.


Apple"s iOS 6 mail interface makes it easier to read and write. The "Mail" application in iOS 6 allows users to set up a VIP list. This ensures that users never miss an important message from their boss, mom, or spouse. Users can add photos and videos to email messages easier than they could in previous versions of iOS 6. Users only need to swipe down in order to refresh their mailboxes.


Apple introduced extra privacy controls that require application developers to gain permission to access a user's personal information. The user will need to grant permission to Apps to access the "Location," "Contacts," "Reminders," "Photos," and even Twitter and Facebook accounts. If an app attempts to access private information, it will prompt the user to grant them permission. Users can change an "approve" or "deny" response in the "Settings" application. Apple condensed all of the privacy settings under a different section in iOS 6 titled "Privacy" that users can access under the "Settings" application.

Guided Access Apple"s iOS 6 comes with "Guided Access" features that will help disabled individuals get the most of their mobile devices. The "Guided Access" application helps the visually, hearing, learning, and mobility-impaired. It also allows parents to restrict access to an iOS 6 device by disability the "Home" button. The "Voice Over" application helps those with visual disabilities. Apple is working with top manufacturers to create hearing aids that will deliver an exclusive audio experience for the hearing impaired.