Apple details iOS 6 limits: no FaceTime 3G for iPhone 3GS/4

Apple couldn't resist a brief jibe at Android over how many users have Ice Cream Sandwich, but the company has quietly admitted that while iPhone 3GS and 4 owners will get iOS 6, they won't get all the features. In the freshly posted small-print on the iOS 6 preview page, Apple confirmed that much-anticipated functionality like FaceTime over cellular would be limited to the iPhone 4S and new iPad, while 3GS owners would also miss out on Shared Photo Streams.

The original iPad won't get iOS 6 at all, staying on iOS 5, while the iPad 2 will miss out on Siri functionality, unlike the new iPad on iOS 6. Flyover and turn-by-turn navigation in Apple's new Maps app – replacing Google Maps in iOS – will be limited to the iPhone 4S and iPad 2/new iPad.

The list of omitted features for the iPhone 3GS also includes VIP list support, VIP/Flagged smart mailboxes, and Offline Reading List, all of which are only on the iPhone 4 or later, and iPad 2 or later. Apple's plans for Made for iPhone hearing aids, meanwhile – which will offer certification to compatible hardware – will demand the iPhone 4S.

Although several Android OEMs have opted not to upgrade their older phones to newer releases of the OS, a common explanation has been that the usability experience is not necessarily worth the accompanying performance compromise. Limits on functionality for older devices is not particularly unusual – hardware requirements for more processor-intensive features are always going to rub difficultly with lower-power chips in earlier phones and tablets – but Apple's decision to mock Google and Android while slipping these omissions into the small-print is likely to earn the company some criticism.

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