iOS 6 has been finally unveiled and if any iOS user was awaiting something revolutionary, he will be disappointed. From what we’ve seen, many unimportant features were added focused mostly on existing features improvements and iCloud integration. iOS 6 is clearly not the ‘next generation’ system as Apple liked to call it.
Either way, from all those countless minor changes following 10 are the most important:
Brand new maps
Apple acquired several mapping services over the last couple of years with a clear goal – limit its reliance on Google as much as possible. Geo data collecting is over, and Apple is ready to introduce its own mapping service promising better user experience along with 3d maps and many neat features such as Siri integration and traffic information. Only onstage demo was revealed so far so no more details are known. Will be these maps better along with better user experience?
More powerful Siri
Previous Siri wasn’t bad, but users didn’t rely on it as much as Apple hoped to. Therefore, Siri got some love and will become more useful in iOS 6. Now it understands wider range of questions and can launch apps. Do you need to make a restaurant reservation or are curious about latest sports score? Siri will be there to help you. Moreover, several cars manufacturers such as Toyota, BMW and Audi promised to integrate Siri into the cars in the following months.
Facebook received a massive boost, and now you can post URLs, photos and locations easily and annoy your friends more than before. It is very similar to the Twitter integration from iOS 5. The API is public, so developers of 3-rd party apps can integrate Facebook into theirs apps. Neat feature is undoubtedly the contacts integration along with the birthdays and events sync with calendar.
Passbook makes it into iOS 6
Did you ever come across Google’s e-tickets app Google Wallet? Passbook is Apple’s own replica of this tool allowing easy access to all your tickets and loyalty cards from one neat place. This useful app collects your ticket information, loyalty cards and other important info for easy access. It is location-enabled and the tickets can be updated, so you get notification when your movie is about to start, or your departure gate was just announced.
FaceTime now runs on cellular networks
In previous iOS versions, FaceTime could be used only over Wi-Fi connections. This was a big disadvantage when compared to other similar services such as Skype that reasonably resulted into low popularity of this Apple’s own video messaging service. This service will now be usable over cellular networks and when someone calls your phone, you should be able to choose to answer on your iPad. Both these features should increase the popularity of this service.
Improved phone app
New “reminder” mode was added reminding you calls and text-messages you should make later. Are you not able to take the call right now? Turn on the new mode and make the call later.
DnD (Do Not Disturb) more was added as well. When new messages arrive, they will do so silently without even lighting the screen. You can create a list of favorite callers whose calls will not be silenced.
Bye Bye YouTube app
Apple argues that this is due to the license expiration. Sure this is the reason, but it is definitely the result of the silent war between these two giants that is going on. Apple most likely didn’t even try to renegotiate the deal and to prolong the license. Google promised to create its own YouTube app and make it available though app store.
Support to 640 x 1136 displays was added
According to many rumors that are going on iPhone 5 will come with a 4-inch screen. This was never officially confirmed, so we will have to wait until the new iPhone is released.
iOS 6 improves photo sharing
With the new iOS, your photos won’t be shared to the whole world if you don’t want to. Now you can share your photos only with a targeted audience, so you can easily choose which photos will be seen by which people. Sure this is nothing groundbreaking, but at least the sharing service is more social. Ability to post comments on the photos was added as well.
Boosted Safari app
To put it straight, Safari was one of the worst web browser and many users were using other 3rd party browsers instead. With iOS 6, several neat features were added like instapeper-style offline reading or tab syncing over iCloud. Apple also added the ability to add so called “Smart App Banners” to a website allowing to show-off its native app.
When you will get it? The official release should go live in late September or early October.