As we continue our look back at classic iOS wallpapers, we come to iOS 6. iOS 6 was releases in September 2012 in conjunction with the new iPhone 5 that launched at the same time. It was a major step forward for Apple, bringing Apple Maps to the platform and replacing Google Maps and a new Do Not Disturb feature to suppress incoming calls. It also brought the first new default wallpaper to iPhones and iPads for the first time in two years.
Apple announced iOS 6 at the World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) on June 11, 2012. It would spend the next several months being developed and tested and was finally released on September 19, 2012. That day also saw the release of the iPhone 5, 5th generation iPod touch and 4th generation iPad. With this release, Apple dropped support for the 3rd generation iPod touch and 1st generation iPad, mostly due to performance issues.
There were a slew of new improvements, features and fixes in the release. Here are the major highlights of this release:
- Introduces Apple Maps, to replace Google Maps
- Siri can now tell you sports information
- Facebook has been integrated into Settings
- FaceTime calls can now be done over cellular data on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, and iPad 3 (Wi-Fi + Cellular)
- Do Not Disturb can be activated to suppress incoming calls and notifications
- Adds the Reply with Message feature if a call is declined
- Adds the Clock app to the iPad
- Custom vibrations can be set for alerts on iPhone
- Fixes a bug that allows a local attacker to learn what third-party app was in use before the device was locked
- Fixes bugs that allowed a local attacker to bypass a device locked with a passcode
- Fixes a bug that allowed a local attacker to initiate a FaceTime call on a locked device
- Fixes a bug that allowed users to make purchases without inputting Apple ID credentials
- Fixes a bug that caused SMS messages to disrupt cellular connectivity
Arguably, Apple Maps was the flagship feature but it was also clearly not ready for release. It was buggy at best and Apple issued a public apology for it. Maps also, more-or-less, led to the departure of Scott Forestall from the company, who had been responsible for iOS at the time.
Ultimately, Apple would release ten different builds of iOS 6 for various fixes and improvements. The last build, version 6.1.6, was released on February 21, 2014
With the release came a new, blue water ripple wallpaper that was available for both the iPhone and iPad. It was a departure from the water droplet default from the previous three releases, dating back to iPhone OS 3.
You can download this wallpaper to your devices by tapping-and-holding the image and saving it or, on your Mac, simply right-click and save it.