OK. So Apple is planning a major release for iOS 6. This will undoubtedly be the best mobile operating system around when it launches in fall 2012! Its pretty amazing and we are loving the beta release! Here’s the list of nifty little features Apple is offering as part of iOS 6.
Siri is coming to the iPad with iOS 6. And she now knows a lot more – about sports, restaurants, movies!
Siri is integrated with Yelp to get information about restaurants, their reviews, operating hours and location. It is also integrated with OpenTable to reserve tables at restaurants directly from your iPhone.
She has also become a movie buff! Integration with RottenTomatoes leaves Siri knowing a lot more about movies – searching for movies, movies running around you, show timings, reviews.
Guys got another reason to love Siri even more. She can now tell them everything about Football, Basketball and Baseball – including scores, schedules, player stats and a lot more!
Another great feature added to Siri (and a much needed one) is the ability to launch apps (finally!). And Siri now searches for results across the world, not just limited to the US. So time for folks outside the US to rejoice, they can now use Siri too 🙂
Facebook Deep Integration
They integrated Twitter with the release of iOS 5. With iOS 6, Facebook is deeply integrated into the OS.
You can now like or share apps or music via Facebook, directly inside the App Store or the iTunes Store! Your Facebook events and friends would be integrated right into your Calendar app and your iOS Contacts!
And for developers, Apple will be releasing an API for deep Facebook integration within your iOS apps!
Can’t take a call right now? iOS 6 now has a solution. Instead of answering or rejecting a phone call, you can just send a message via iMessage to the caller or set a reminder for calling them back when you are free.
You can also turn on a “Do not disturb” setting that makes sure your device does not light up or make a sound if it receives push notifications or messages. So no more disturbed sleeps from incoming notifications! This setting also gives you fine-grained control over incoming calls – you can block any incoming calls or allow calls from specific numbers. Also if someone calls you back twice in a pre-defined period of time, their second call will come through (in case its an emergency)!
Very good Apple, you seem to have thought it out well!
Facetime will work on cellular network starting with iOS 6! Facetime and iMessage will also allow you to unify your phone number and Apple id. This way you can answer iMessage or Facetime calls on both your Mac and iOS devices.
Shared Photo Streams
You can now share photos with your friends using iOS 6. These shared photos will appear as separate albums on your friends’ devices (Mac or iOS). You and your friends can also view them on browsers and can comment on the photos.
Safari will now offer an Offline Reading list. This is an extension to the Reading list introduced in iOS 5. Any content you add to your reading list will be cached for offline reading. We will also be able to upload photos to famous sites right from Safari!
Another feature Apple has added for developers is if someone visits your website and if you have an app on the App Store, a banner of your app will be shown on the website. If the user has the app installed, the banner will open your app. And if they don’t, the banner will open your app in the App Store! A nice little way to advertise your apps!
iOS 6 will allow users to mark contacts as VIPs. This will ensure whenever you receive an email from the contact, it will be shown in a push notification. They have also added mail boxes to aggregate all your flagged emails and emails from VIPs.
iOS 6 will also allow users to attach photos and videos to emails from within the mail app. They also added a “Pull to refresh” gesture and a cute little animation for it!
Apple added another app called Passbook with iOS 6. This is a nice way to keep all your passes, store cards, tickets, boarding passes from all major apps, all in one place. So no more fumbling at Starbucks to find your store card and swipe, it can all be done from a single app!
This is a welcome feature for parents and businesses using iOS devices. It allows an admin to disable a few controls on the device. And it also allows them to run the device in a single-app mode. So tapping the home button will not shutdown the app. Ideal for parents wanting their children to learn from apps and not get distracted. Or for businesses using their iPads as menu cards probably!
Maps and Local Search
A major feature revealed by Apple today, included with iOS 6 is their own Maps app. The Maps app is integrated with Yelp to show businesses around you with their reviews, ratings and other info. According to rumors it supposedly integrates with TomTom to get its data (but Apple never mentioned it, so not sure about that yet).
The map also includes Traffic monitoring abilities and collects real-time traffic data from other iOS devices around you! It also provides turn-by-turn navigation which works even if the screen is locked! Pretty neat!
The Maps app is also integrated with Siri. So you can use it hands-free and eyes-free (more below) They have also added beautiful 3D-maps into this application that allows you to see the landscape of cities and PoIs (only a few right now) in 3D.
Eyes-free Siri integration
Apple is tying up with some car manufacturers to build in Siri-control in the steering wheels of cars. This way users will be able to use Siri and open maps navigation, call people, message, all without using their hands or eyes. Siri will not light up the screen in this case so the driver is not distracted. Some car manufacturers like BMW, GM, Audi, Land Rover are already working on this!
Get a competitive advantage over your competition. Start getting iOS 6 features built into your apps for the next update now!