Today Apple is releasing the latest version of its mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch – iOS 6. It includes over 200 new and upgraded features. Here’s a look at some of the new apps and features you can expect.
Apple has ditched Google Maps for its own in house version. It includes vector-based 2D elements, 3D maps, turn by turn navigation and traffic conditions. The Maps app is also compatible with Siri which will tell you turn by turn directions while your driving. Fold the map up on the screen to access other handy features.
A lot of tech pundits were critical of the fact the iPhone 5 doesn’t have NFC (near field communication) technology. It does however have something similar in its new Passbook app. It keeps digital versions of airline and movie tickets, coupons, loyalty and gift cards all in one location.
When iOS 5 was released, Apple optimized several of its apps for Twitter. This lets you tweet photos, webpages and more from your device. Now, Facebook has been deeply integrated into iOS 6 so you can easily post the same type of content – including YouTube videos — to your wall. It’s integrated with Siri too, so you can ask Siri to post on your Facebook wall for you.
Isn’t it annoying when you have to enter your Apple ID password just to update installed apps on your iDevice? Well, the annoyance is gone in iOS 6. Also, when you download an app, you’re not kicked back to the Home Screen to just watch it download. This may seem like a subtle change, but it’s the small things that can make the biggest difference. The App Store has an improved look and feel that makes it easier to navigate and fine what you need.
Also, your previously downloaded apps will be listed so you can find them easily in one place. After you download a new app to your device, the icon on the home screen will display a “New” banner across it.
Shared Photo Stream
While you were always able to share photos in a variety of ways, now you can share entire photo streams with the people you want. When you share them, users can view the photos on their iDevice running iOS 6 or Mac running OS X Mountain Lion through the Photos app, iPhoto and Apple TV. You can also take a picture and share it with a comment to the photo streams you create.
New YouTube App
Apple also ditched its Google YouTube app. But that loss is YouTube an your gain. The new YouTube app for iOS – available as a separate download — is a significant improvement over the dated one in iOS 5 from Apple.
The Mail app now includes a VIP mailbox so you can get emails from your most important contacts in one place. It also lets you customize VIP notifications so you never miss your important messages while on the go.
Siri, the virtual assistant service, was released last year with the iPhone 4S. Now it’s available on iPhone 5, new iPod touch (5th generation) and the new iPad (3rd generation). It has been updated to work with more apps like Facebook, Twiiter and Yelp. It will be able to launch apps and bring you sports scores, movie listing and restaurant reviews. And it will be able to understand several more languages.
This is a look at just a few of the 200+ new features Apple is touting in iOS 6. We’ll be covering them in more detail over the next few weeks, so make sure to check back.
Do note that not every new feature will be available in all countries. Apple has posted the iOS 6 Feature Availability list. Choose a feature and see if it’s supported in your country.
What are your favorite new features? Leave a comment below and let us know.