iOS 6 is here. Apple has released the latest version of iOS for the new iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and iPod Touch (4th and 5th generation). iOS developers have been priming for this phase since Apple released the iOS 6 beta and Xcode 4.5 Developer Preview with iOS 6 SDK beta back in June.
Despite the fact that many Apple customers (as recent as iPhone 4 and iPad 2 too) will miss out on some of the latest iOS 6 features because of hardware limitations, Apple’s latest OS is being appreciated by tech experts all over – if not as a blazing new release then at least a good ‘refinement.’ iOS 6 includes many features that have long been demanded by Apple customers which is good. Other aspects have also been polished for better performance or usability.
Since we’ve already covered the new features in iOS 6 in an earlier blog, we’ll recap quickly. What’s exciting about iOS 6?
- Deep social integration with Facebook and Twitter.
- A new and improved mapping system. Google Maps underlying iOS 5 Maps is gone along with YouTube. Turn-by-turn navigation and Flyover in Maps are not available in iPhone 4 or 3GS. Sadly, Street View and public transit have been removed from the app. However, rerouting works cleanly and the interface of the navigation service is nice and sharp.
- Siri, Apple’s voice assistant but it’s not available on iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 or iPad 2. However, for others, Siri is better, more responsive and accurate, integrates with more apps, and is more capable.
- Faster universal search (swiping left from the main home screen).
- Panoramic capture in camera works well though automatic adjustment of exposure does not happen.
- Passbook is a cool new app that lets you keep all tickets and passes together. However, it’ll make more sense when more airlines, retail and service providers join the bandwagon.
- In Email, there’s the new VIP folder that supports custom notifications. And you can attach photos to emails instead of starting at the Photos app. You can also assign different signatures to separate email accounts.
- Safari in iOS 6 gets performance tweaks, iCloud tabs for seamless browsing across devices, and more.
- iTunes and App Store are cleaner and more usable.
- FaceTime is better and iOS 6 unifies iMessage and FaceTime IDs under a single system that’s accessible across iOS devices and Mac.
- You can now send a message or set a reminder when rejecting a call.
- You can also customize the Do Not Disturb feature.
- iOS 6 brings a Clock app with alarms, time zone support, stopwatch and timer.
- Guided Access is a cool new feature that supports parental controls. You can set control to only the currently running app, disable screen parts, block access, etc.
While iOS 6 is all very good and familiar, people want Apple to take on more risks and even borrow some features from other mobile operating systems such as Android. The ‘wow’ factor needs to be revived.
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