When Apple announced that the three year old iPhone 3GS was going to get iOS 6, that was a huge slap in the face to everyone who bitches and moans about not getting the latest version of Android on their non-Nexus device. Two weeks later Microsoft announced that Windows Phone 8 is going to require new hardware, and that made owners of the three month old AT&T Nokia Lumia 900 flip over dining room tables all across the United States. But back to iOS, just because the 3GS is getting the latest version of Apple’s operating system, that doesn’t mean it’s getting all the features. Things like turn by turn navigation and Siri remain exclusive to the iPhone 4S, which make iPhone 4 owners sad, but c’est la vie. If you have an iPhone 3GS however, you need to understand that you’re not really getting anything except for a vague sense of comfort that Apple still recognizes your device as being useful.
Today that changes. According to The Verge, two iOS 6 features that originally were meant for the iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S are now coming to the 3GS. The first, shared Photo Streams, is something that lets you subscribe to another iPhone’s camera roll. So say there’s a family with two kids and the kids each have a 3GS because it’s cheap. Those children can now subscribe to each other’s Photo Streams so they can see what pictures they’ve taken at school. They can also subscribe to their parent’s Photo Streams should they want to see what Mom and Dad do at work.
The second feature, VIP Mail, is basically an email filter that shows you only messages from people you have on your VIP list. So say you want to see everything from your partner, your family, and the colleagues you’re working with on a specific project. Put them all on the VIP list and you’ll only see emails from them.
We wish the iPhone 3GS was getting more, but hey, these features are welcome for a phone that was launched in the summer of 2009!