Apple today previewed iOS 6, introducing over 200 new features and released a beta version to iOS Developer Program members. iOS 6 will be available to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users this fall as a free software update.
New iOS 6 features include: an all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography, turn-by-turn navigation and an amazing new Flyover view; new Siri features, including support for more languages, easy access to sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings; Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center, Siri and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari and Maps; Shared Photo Streams via iCloud; and Passbook, the simplest way to get all your passes in one place.
New 3D Maps
Apple’s desire to rid iOS of Google Maps in place of its own, in-house offering is the worst-kept secret in Silicon Valley, and today’s Keynote at WWDC gave us an in-depth insight into what we’re going to be seeing with the new maps app.
Thanks to the Cupertino company’s acquisition of C3 Technologies, iOS 6 will feature a beautiful 3D mapping offering, and in terms of aesthetics, it’s beautiful to look at.
Siri Updates For iOS 6
Siri has come a long way in iOS 6. You can now ask Siri about latest sports updates, make reservations in your favorite restaurants using OpenTable service, ask Siri about latest movies with Rotten Tomatoes, watch movie trailers, ask about actors and directors and more. You can now launch apps, tweet directly on Twitter. Apple has partners with Audi, BMW, Mercedes etc for a hardware button for launching Siri in cars. Support for Canadian, Italian, Korean, Mandarin for Taiwan etc has been added.
Siri Now Available on iPad (3rd-Gen)
While the much-changed Maps app is arguably the centerpiece of iOS 6 as a whole, it will also be remembered as the moment when Siri finally reached the iPad. Apple’s system-wide voice recognition software has been much-lauded by Tim Cook’s company since first featuring with the iPhone 4S back in October, but the lack of support for other devices – particularly the all-conquering tablet – has left many iDevice enthusiasts bemused.
On the iPad, it looks much the same as on the iPhone version, but given the 9.7-inch display, the voice partner doesn’t command so much real-estate – allowing most of the background to be seen when activated.
Native Facebook Integration
Those frequenting Facebook will be pleased to know that integration for the world’s foremost social networking site has been stepped up greatly, in a similar fashion to which Twitter was welded into iOS 5. If you wish, your Facebook login credentials can be saved onto your device, which subsequently makes logging in, linking, and posting status updates, pictures, and location to your profile from any app, or natively from iOS Notification Center a much more streamlined process.
Updates for Stock Apps & OS-wide Features
Native Phone app has received an update, a “Do Not Disturb” and “Repeated Calls” toggle has been added to Settings.app. FaceTime over Cellular is now available.
Safari has been updated with support for offline reading lists, ability to upload photos directly from Safari. Mail has been updated with pull to refresh for messages in inbox.
You can also now share Photo Steam pictures with your friends.
Other features include:
●New Game Center challenges
●New Privacy Controls
●Added ‘lost mode’ to Find My iPhone service
Chinese consumers will see Google Search replaced by the fast-growing Baidu, which, along with the maps situation, is another body blow to the US-based web company.
Baidu has become the search engine of choice in the world’s largest market, so Apple is operating on a supply-demand basis, although won’t be shedding many tears for the huge potential revenue loss on the part of its compatriot and fierce rival.
iOS 6 is compatible with iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPod touch 4th-gen, iPad 2, and iPad (3rd-gen)
It only seems like yesterday iOS 5 arrived in a hail of glory, but the previews of iOS 6 on display today show Apple has been working hard on updating and improving its software for the hundreds of millions of iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users worldwide. As of today, iOS 6 beta is available for registered developers of iOS Dev Center.
Final version of iOS 6 will become available to the public later this year alongside the next iPhone, which, as you might expect, Apple neglected to mention today.