Last night, Apple’s WWDC kicked off with three major announcements. Firstly, Apple’s MacBook line has been significantly upgraded. Next, Mountain Lion received a few nice touches and finally, iOS 6 is launching this fall. It’s not the UI upgrade everyone wanted, but it’s filled with tweaks and new features iOS was gagging for. Let’s delve into ten hot new features and updates planned for iOS 6.
Everyone’s favourite, 2001 AD -voiced digital assistant gets a slew of updates. Siri’s vocab has grown, its sport knowledge is bumped up, Yelp is more deeply integrated into the search queries, and Siri can now open apps. It’s a beta product, but this goes a long way in fixing the issues we faced with little ol’ Siri.
Juicy Facebook integration
This makes totes sense. We have Twitter integration, therefore Facebook on iOS 6 seems like the right choice for Apple to have made. Like Twitter, Facebook will be shoehorned into the ecosystem. Users can “Like” apps on the app store for instance.
Apples new map app, or eff you Google
We’ve talked about this before, so let’s run through it quickly. There’s turn-by-turn navigation, traffic detection and 3D photographic rendering called Flyover. Flyover is a nice gimmick, but it’s the turn-by-turn navigation that makes our pants happy.
Photo stream sharing
Users can now share photos hosted on the iCloud to any iDevice. Apple TV, iPad, iPod Touch, whatever. And with the Facebook integration, photos can be liked and commented on.
Passbook pretty much streamlines your life
And so it is, and so shall it be done. Use your iPod or iPhone to check into a movie, flight or concert. These tickets and boarding passes are saved on the iDevice and alerts keep the user updated. Plus it looks fancy as hell.
FaceTime, now working over cellular networks
Not much to be said here, only know that FaceTime will actually break free of its WiFi shackles and run on 3G data as well.
Phonecalls, now with messaging
The Android community must be cringing at this, those bastards have had this feature for years. When a call is declined, users can send a message or set a callback reminder.
Mail, it looks better
With pull to refresh, the default mail client gets a much needed boost to its vanilla interface. Adding content to mail is now a matter of simply attaching it, and VIP contacts lists can be set up.
Safari, it’s better (we guess?)
There are iCloud tabs, so from device to device, any open pages will remain as such. Full webpages can be saved in the reading list. Photo’s can be taken directly within a webpage and effing finally, there’s full screen support for Safari.
Accessibility, now more accessible
Guided Access keeps autistic users “focused and on task”. The home button and areas of the iPad can be disabled, presumably to keep the disabled user “focused”. VoiceOver is now integrated into the maps and Apple is going to introduce “Made for iPhone” hearing aids.