If you were looking for new mobile features, then iOS 6, which Apple unveiled on Monday at WWDC, does not disappoint.
At WWDC 2012, Scott Forstall took the stage to unveil iOS 6 to developers. iOS 6 features more than 200 updates and improvements when compared to iOS 5. iOS 5 already boasts more than 80% adoption rate across devices and Apple boasted figures about iMessage, Twitter stats, Game Center and push notifications.
So what’s new in iOS 6?
- Siri can now launch apps
- Siri can now Twee
- Siri is smart about sports. It can pull in scores, game summaries and player stats.
- Siri integrates with Yelp and OpenTable for restaurant reviews and reservations
- Siri in iOS 6 will also integrate with Rotten Tomatoes for movie times and reviews.
- Siri is also available in a slew of new languages.
- Siri will get hands-free integration in lots of in-car systems.
- Siri is coming to the new iPad.
This is a big one. Just as Twitter received a big boost with its deep integration with iOS 5, Facebook will get the same treatment in iOS 6.
Users can login to their Facebook account in iOS 6 and have instant access to Facebook in apps, the web browser and Siri. Developers can also easily add access within their apps.
Facebook contacts will get integrated in iOS 6, but for us, the bigger news is that events and birthdays can also sync with the calendar.
New Phone App Enhancements
In the phone app, Apple has added a new mode that will make it easy for users to remind themselves to call or text-back later, if they can’t take a call right now.
There is also a “Do Not Disturb” mode. Messages will still come to your phone, but the screen won’t light up or make any noise. There are also new ways to group contacts and control how their calls are handled.
FaceTime Over Cellular
Look out Skype, FaceTime will now work over cellular connections. Even better, if someone calls your phone, you can choose to answer on your iPad or Mac.
Safari is getting offline reading lists, making the feature more Instapaper-like. These lists will also sync with the Reading List in Safari for OS X.
Another new feature is the ability to add “App Banners” to a website. This allows developers to easily show-off their native app. Users can touch the banner to get the app — and if, the app is installed, they can go directly to the app and open it up in the right place.
Users can now share groups of photos to their friends over iCloud. Think of this as a cross between Glassboard and Path, but just for your photos.
Users can comment on photos too.
There is a new VIP feature that will highlight mail from people you really want to hear from. I get way too much email, so I love this feature.
Apple is also adding the ability to open password-locked documents in mail and pull-to-refresh for messages.
Think of this as an app that replicates the loyalty card tracker from Google Wallet. It collects all of your loyalty cards, ticket information and other info into one neat place for easy access. Even better, it’s location-enabled so it knows what to show based on where you are (so you can get your movie tickets at the theater or your plane ticket at the airport).
Passbook looks great.
Another big one. Apple is making good on some of its mapping acquisitions and launching its own mapping app.
The new Apple Maps integrates with Yelp. Apple is also building its own traffic service that can offer anonymous, crowd-sourced and real-time incident reports.
Moreover, Apple is bringing turn-by-turn navigation to the iPhone. It’s vector-based and voiced by Siri. Say goodbye to your TomTom and just use your iPhone!
From the on-stage demo, it looks like the level of detail on the maps and places is intense — and the rendering happens super-fast.
iOS 6′s Maps app will also highlight developer mapping apps inside the app, pointing out the best transit apps in the app store.
When Can I Get It?
Developers will have access to the first beta on iOS 6 later this afternoon. Customers can expect to see iOS 6 on their devices in the fall.
It will support the iPhone 3GS and later, the second and third generation iPads and the fourth generation iPod touch.