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iOS 6 - Coming this fall to an iDevice near you


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[http://www.apple.com/ios/ios6/

 

The biggest new feature, in my opinion (and I guess Apple's, because they lead with it), is Maps. In iOS6, Google Maps is out and in its place is a new in-house Map application.

Beautifully designed from the ground up (and the sky down), Maps will change the way you see the world.1 Map elements are vector based, so graphics and text are incredibly detailed — even when you zoom all the way in — and panning is smooth. Tilt and rotate to view an area, and Maps keeps the names of streets and places where they belong. Get visual and spoken turn-by-turn navigation and real-time traffic updates. Even soar over cityscapes to see the sights from the air in amazing, high-resolution quality. Learn more about Maps
Maybe the most useful feature of Maps will be turn-by-turn directions, which feature live traffic (and re-routing based on traffic conditions) and (I believe) Siri control.

 

Which is actually the next thing featured, Siri:

With iOS 6, Siri understands more languages, works in more countries, and is available on the new iPad.2 So you can get more things done in more places around the world. Want to know the latest scores and stats for your favorite teams and players? Thanks to iOS 6, Siri knows the answers. Or maybe it’s movie night. Siri can show you the latest reviews and showtimes. Find the best restaurants in town and make reservations. Even open your apps for you — no tapping required. Say "Launch Flight Tracker" or "Open Where’s My Water" and Siri does just that. You can even use Siri to post Facebook updates and tweet for you, too. Learn more about Siri in iOS 6
Gone is the restriction to open apps, which I thought was weird.

 

Just like iOS5 added Twitter support, iOS6 will add Facebook support:

Now it’s easier than ever to interact with the world’s largest social network. And there’s no need to leave your app to do it. Share a photo to Facebook right from Camera or Photos. Post your location right from Maps. Brag about a high score right from Game Center. If you have your hands full, just ask Siri to post for you. You need to sign in to Facebook only once, and you’ll be off and sharing. Never miss another birthday or get-together, since Facebook events are integrated into Calendar. And your Facebook friends’ profile information is integrated into Contacts, so when they update an email address or phone number you automatically stay up to date. Now that’s something to post about.

 

Photo Stream gets improvements:

Now you can share just the photos you want, with just the people you choose. Simply select photos from the Photos app, tap the Share button, choose who you want to share your photos with, and they’re on their way. Friends using iCloud on an iOS 6 device or a Mac running Mountain Lion get the photos delivered immediately in the Photos app or iPhoto.3 You can even view shared photo streams on Apple TV. If the folks you're sharing with aren’t using an Apple device, they can view your photos on the web. People can like individual photos and make comments. And you can share as much as you want: Your shared photo streams don’t count against your iCloud storage, and they work over Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
Maybe this is good, but I've never used Photo Stream, or really understood it.

 

A new app was introduced, Passbook.

Your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more are now all in one place. With Passbook, you can scan your iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie, and redeem a coupon. You can also see when your coupons expire, where your concert seats are, and the balance left on that all-important coffee bar card. Wake your iPhone or iPod touch, and passes appear on your Lock screen at the appropriate time and place — like when you reach the airport or walk into the store to redeem your gift card or coupon. And if your gate changes after you’ve checked in for your flight, Passbook will even alert you to make sure you’re not relaxing in the wrong terminal.
Sounds kind of neat, but I believe there are apps that do this already. Not unlike Apple to take a good idea though.

 

Facetime will be usable over cellular data.

 

The phone is getting a few new features:

iOS 6 adds new calling features to your iPhone. Now when you decline an incoming call, you can instantly reply with a text message or set a callback reminder. And when things are just too hectic, turn on Do Not Disturb and you won’t be bothered by anyone — except can’t-miss contacts like your boss or your better half.
The interface is like the current lock screen showing the camera icon. Slide up for more options.

 

Mail and Safari get a few minor (IMO) upgrades, Find My iPhone gets a "Lost" mode, Find My Friends adds location-based alerts, and the stores (iTunes, App Store, iBookstore) all get facelifts.

 

Seems a little underwhelming to me, but iOS is already in a pretty polished state and just needs a few tweaks here and there. I would have liked to seen some new features in Messages, and they could have stolen/borrowed/taken ideas from BiteSMS, which is a messaging app for jailbroken devices.

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