Last month during Apple’s annual World Wide Developer Conference, Apple unveiled iOS 6, the latest update to its popular OS. The update, set to be available to the public later this Fall, is said to include over 200 new features and enhancements for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Many of the features are minor tweaks and enhancements to iOS, but there are some bigger features added to iOS 6 that are worth mentioning.
One of the most anticipated features in the upcoming OS is a revamp of the entire Maps app. In iOS 6, Apple is implementing its own mapping platform — effectively breaking up with Google Maps. You’ll see a new (and impressive) 3D mode, free voice turn-by-turn directions, traffic alerts and Yelp integration.
Facebook will be built into the OS, the same way Twitter was in iOS 5. You’ll be able to easily share photos, status updates and links on your Facebook account from nearly anywhere in the OS, including 3rd-party apps.
A new app, Passbook, will provide on convenient place to hold your boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons, membership cards and potentially payment info. Many companies are already hard at work implementing Passes into Web sites and apps — you’re going to hear a lot more about Passbook this Fall.
Apple has taught Siri about sports, how to launch apps and how to send an update to Facebook or Twitter. If you want to know the latest stats for a player or score of a game, just ask Siri. You’ll also see Siri come to the 3rd generation iPad, the first device since its launch on the iPhone 4S.
*FaceTime over 3G*
One of my biggest issues with FaceTime has always been that it’s only available when your iOS device is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Even with free Wi-Fi hotspots popping up everywhere, it’s not convenient. In iOS 6, FaceTime users will be able to make a FaceTime call as long as they have a 3G connection on their iOS device.
*Politely decline a call*
A smaller, but extremely useful feature is the ability to decline a call and send a text message to the caller with just a couple taps. You can also decline a call and automatically set a reminder for you to return the call at a later time — all from the lock screen.
Also in iOS 6 you can also expect to see a redesigned iTunes and App Store, improved Find my iPhone and Find My Friends apps and enhanced Accessibility features.
iOS 6 will be available for the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and 4S along with the 4th gen iPod touch, iPad 2 and the new iPad when it’s released. If you want to read more about iOS 6, visit Apple.com/iOS/iOS6 on your computer.
by Jason Cipriani