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Monday, June 11, 2012

iOS 6 Announced at WWDC 2012 (Features Detailed)

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Today, iOS 6 was announced with over 200 new features.  Slated for a release this fall, iOS 6 will bring large improvements to Siri, a new Maps app redesigned from the bottom up, Facebook integration, Passbook, improvements to Photo Stream, FaceTime, Phone, Mail, and Safari, and new accessibility features.  Developers can now download the iOS 6 beta.  Below is an in-depth description of some of the largest features of iOS 6.

Redesigned Maps
It has been long rumored that Apple would drop support for Google Maps after purchasing C3 Technologies, and today Apple did just this.  They redesigned the app entirely, adding a chrome interface, spoken turn-by-turn navigation, and 3D mapping.  They also included a flyover view, traffic information, and have integrated over 100 million businesses into their map (along with app links).

Siri Improvements
Owners of the new iPad were excited as Apple announced that Siri would now work on their devices.  In addition to adding support for the new iPad, Apple also added in-depth sports, movie, and restaurant information.  Multiple car companies have announced that they will now include a special Siri steering wheel button for hands-free use.

Facebook Integration (!)
Facebook integration, a long-awaited feature desired by many users, has finally been added to iOS 6.  It includes all of the past features of iOS 5 Twitter integration and more.  Apple took it to the next step by allowing users to post from Notification Center and adding Facebook support to many of their apps.  Users can now share links from the App Store and iTunes and see what their friends like.  In addition to system-wide sharing, users can now import Facebook friend contact information and events and birthdays into their Calendar app.

Every year, Apple tries to eliminate something that is unorganized and time consuming.  This year, they took on online tickets.  With Passbook, users can now purchase gift cards and tickets and have them organized all in one place.  Passbook will include support for Starbucks, Amtrack, Fandango, the MLB, and many other dealers.  One of the most exciting features is location-based Passbook notification.  Users will receive a notification linking them to their ticket when they enter the location of choice.  Tickets include visual templates and are updated in realtime.

Phone Improvements
When receiving a call, users can now swipe up to reveal additional options including reminders and responding by text or iMessage.  Users will now be excited to know that they will not be awakened during the night with the new Do Not Disturb feature.  This feature keeps your phone from turning the screen on and making a sound when you receive a notification or call.  It can be set to allow calls from certain groups or repeated calls.

Mail Improvements
Mail has received a few new features including VIP inbox and easer photo and video sending.  VIP inbox allows users to receive notification when they receive emails from someone that is important to them.  Mail has also added two features that should have been added from the start: flagging and pull-to-refresh.

Shared Photo Streams
Users can now share their photo streams with other iCloud users.  This includes support for comments and works on iOS devices, Macs, and the Apple TV.

Safari Improvements
Safari has received a couple major improvements.  iPhone users can now go into full-screen while in landscape view and reading lists are now available offline.  A new iCloud tabs feature has also been added that allows users to fluently view open webpages across iOS devices and Macs.

You can now (FINALLY) use FaceTime on cellular Internet.

Accessibility: Preventing Cheating
If you are lucky enough to go to a school that provides iPads, you’ve probably never taken a test on one.  That could all change now because iPads now include child safety features that prevent the user from exiting an app.  When set, the home button will not work, and students will lose the ability to cheat.  In addition to this, parents can now circle any option and make it unusable to children.

Fresh New Stores
The App Store, iTunes, and iBooks have all been updated with new interfaces.

These are only a handful of the 200 features coming to iOS devices this fall.  iOS 6 is going to add many features that should have been in place from the start and many new features that will change the way people use their iOS devices.  It will be available on the 3GS and above, 2nd and 3rd generation iPads, and 4th generation iPod Touch.  Expect to hear more details as the fall approaches.

For an overview of WWDC Mac announcements, check out the following link:

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  1. Considering the huge leap forward that iOS 6 provided for Apple users, iOS 8 was a huge disappointment. It was full of bugs and ridiculously slow.



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