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iPhone 3GS gains Shared Photo Streams, VIP Mail in iOS 6 Beta 3

Users of the iPhone 3GS, a handset first released by Apple in 2009, may have access to the new Shared Photo Streams and VIP Mail features after all, as support has been added in the third beta release of iOS 6.

Previously, Apple's website indicated that the iPhone 3GS would not have access to Shared Photo Streams or VIP Mail when iOS 6 is released to the public later this year. But with Monday's release of iOS 6 Beta 3 to developers, Apple has since modified its iOS 6 preview page and removed footnotes that said the features would not be available on the iPhone 3GS.

Accordingly, iPhone 3GS users who are testing iOS 6 Beta 3 found that the features were in fact added to the latest pre-release build of the operating system update, as noted by MacRumors on Tuesday.

But the iPhone 3GS still does not have access to the Offline Reading List. In addition, the new Flyover feature in Apple's revamped Maps application, along with turn-by-turn navigation, will only be available on the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 or later.

The iPad 2, along with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS, also won't have access to Siri voice control, though that functionality is coming to the third-generation iPad. And FaceTime calls over a cellular data network will require the iPhone 4S or third-generation iPad.

Finally, new "Made for iPhone" branded hearing aids, expected to hit the market later this year, will require that users own an iPhone 4S.

Though it was first released in 2009, Apple continues to sell the iPhone 3GS alongside the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. The iPhone 3GS is available for free with a new two-year service contract with some carriers.

While Apple added a handful of features to the iPhone 3GS with the latest beta of iOS 6, the new operating system update still isn't compatible with the first-generation iPad. Apple's first iPad was released in 2010, more than 9 months after the iPhone 3GS became available.

In addition, only owners of the fourth-generation iPod touch will be able to install iOS 6. The portable media player has not seen a significant update since September of 2010.