Get ready for iOS 6

iOS 6 Logo

Apple announced the 6th version of their iOS mobile operating system at the WWDC 2012 keynote yesterday. The update brings a lot of new features to thrash the competition. Let us look at some of the key new & improved features:

iOS 6 maps logo

Maps:

The biggest change in iOS 6 is going to be a totally new, built from ground up maps app replacing Google Maps. The new app has been developed by Apple. The change was inevitable given Apple’s and Google’s rivalry in the mobile space. The new maps app by Apple is amazingly designed using vector images which do not need to reload when you zoom in (the biggest issue if you are on a slow connection). The app will also give you turn by turn navigation directions – something for which you have to buy expensive apps currently. This is built in collaboration with Tom Tom which has its operations in India. So, in my opinion, they should be available in India as well at launch.

iOS6 Siri Logo

Siri:

With iOS 6, Siri will be available on the new iPad in addition to the iPhone 4S. Additionally, Siri will understand more languages (no Indian ones yet), will be able to launch apps, tweet, or post to Facebook. Furthermore, Siri will be integrated with sports services, rotten tomatoes, OpenTable.

facebook logo iOS

Facebook:

Facebook is finally going to be baked into iOS 6. You can share from within apps, like stuff, and have your contacts data always up to date. Additionally, Facebook calendars will be integrated into the iOS calendar app so you never miss a friend’s birthday or an event.

photos iOS

Shared Photo Streams:

iOS 6 photo stream will add the ability to share selective photos with friends using their email addresses. If your friends use iCloud, the photos you share will be available in their photos app as albums. Comments are also supported. Its like a social network just for sharing photos.

iOS 6 Passbook

Passbook:

This is a brand new app built by Apple. They have collaborated with a number of services such as airlines, ticketing services, coupon services to bring all those things into one neat place on your phone. Not sure how much useful it will be in India, but sounds like a pretty nifty app to me.

facetime iOS logo

FaceTime:

With iOS 6, FaceTime will work over cellular data. Previously it worked only over wifi. This was a much needed step as cellular networks are much more faster and reliable now a days compared to when FaceTime was launched. Additionally, you will be able to unify your phone number and email address with your apple ID, enabling you to receive FaceTime calls or iMessages sent to your phone number on your iPad or Mac.

iOS phone logo

Phone:

This is probably something that everyone will appreciate. With iOS 6, you will be able to send a canned message to the caller when you reject a call and also ask your phone to remind you to call back at a certain time. Additionally, the new do not disturb options will let you set the time slots in which you do not want to be disturbed.

iOS mail logo

Mail:

Improvements in mail include a VIP list for important people in your life and the ability to attach photos and videos from within the app. Also added is the ability to refresh the inboxes by swiping down (like everywhere else).

iOS safari logo

Safari:

Safari in iOS 6 will have iCloud tabs which will save whatever tabs you have open on whatever devices you have so that you can open any of them anywhere else. Reading list will now save the whole page for offline reading later and you can also capture a new photo or video when you have to post one on sites. Also added is the fullscreen mode which will let you browse the site in full screen without any distractions.

 iOS accessibility logo

Accessibility:

iOS 6 will have improved features for people with disabilities. These include guided access, disabling hardware buttons (which can be very handy with kids), restricting touch input to certain areas of the screen, VoiceOver integration with maps, AssistiveTouch and Zoom. 

iOS 6 will ship this fall and will be compatible with iPhone 3GS and above and iPad 2 and above. Here is a handy chart illustrating which features will not be available on old(er) devices:

 

iPhone 3GS

iPhone 4

iPhone 4S

iPad 2

iPad 3

Siri

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Facetime over cellular network

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Offline Reading in Safari

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

VIP List in Mail

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Flyover in Apple Maps

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Turn by Turn Navigation

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

[Chart via Digital Inspiration]

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