Some of the best iOS6 Features Don’t Work on iPad 2

Today, there are rumors that Apple will be shipping the iPhone 5S early in 2013, only a few months after the release of the  iPhone 5. Planned obsolescence is a modern curse designed to remove as much money as possible from the customer’s wallet. Apple has refined this to an art, and it seems to be working well for them. I’ve embedded a satirical video about Apple marketing at the bottom of this post.

You can still purchase a new iPad 2, and because it costs $100 dollars less than the latest version you may be tempted. I’m pretty sure there are many school administrators who are keen to stretch their budgets. I believe that saving money is a good thing, but please be careful. You may not be getting what you expect.

There are some features of iOS 6 that simply will not run on an iPad 2. There may be more, but the ones I have become aware of have to do with the voice-to-text that is built into iOS 6. On an iPad 2, you will never see the microphone key on the standard keyboard. This is the key that opens voice recognition wherever you are writing. Nor will Siri work on an iPad 2. There are probably other iOS 6 features that won’t run on an iPad2, but these are two that matter to me.

iOS 6 installs and runs well on my iPad 2, but I have to admit that I feel ripped off, and since money is a finite resource, I’m not running out to buy the latest iPad!

Guided Access: iOS 6 Accessibility Feature Can Support Learning

I support some non-speaking children who are learning to use the iPad as a communication device. Sometimes, these learners are inclined to ignore their communication apps because they much prefer other apps. These preferred apps may be worthwhile, but they can get in the way of learning to use the device for its primary purpose. In iOS 6, Apple has introduced an accessibility feature that can help.

Guided Access makes it possible to keep the iPad in a single app, and to control which features of an app are available to a user. In the case above, the iPad might be configured as a dedicated communication device until the user has learned to use it for effective communication. This is only one of many potential situations where Guided Access might be helpful. Of course, Guided Access is also available on the iPhone or iPod Touch.

As is the case with all accessibility features on Apple’s iOS devices, it must be turned on in the device ‘Settings’

Settings — General — Accessibility — Guided Access

The image below shows Guided Access in settings. Below that is a short video demo of Guided Access.

Text to Speech with Speak Selection Even Better in iOS 6 – Highlights Words as they are Spoken

Speak Selection may have been the most widely appreciated accessibility feature in iOS 5. I wrote about it in November of 2011. Speak Selection reads aloud any selected text on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch. Now there is the option of having each word highlighted as it is spoken. This can make it easier for the reader to track what he or she is reading.

As is the case with all accessibility features in iOS, the highlighting must be turned on. To turn it on, the user must go to:

 Settings — General — Accessibility — Speak  Selection