Weirdness Ensues With Facebook Integration

By Wayne Rash  |  Posted 2012-09-20 Print this article Print

But the restaurant upgrade didn't seem to have gone so well. When I asked Siri to show me good restaurants near me, one of those listed was one of the top eateries in the Washington, D.C., area, Trummer's on Main, which is near my office. But when I asked Siri to show me Trummer's on Main, it was bewildered. Finally, I had to intervene manually.

While Siri is vastly better than Samsung's S Voice, which seems almost useless, you can spend a lot of time getting used to it. You also need to be prepared for the strangeness caused by the Facebook integration. Now, when I use the Messages app, iOS 6 has for reasons that remain obscure, grabbed my son's photo from Facebook and replaced mine.

You also get a more useful email program in iOS 6 and setting up email accounts was easier. But once again, with the Facebook integration, you can get your existing address book merged with the list of friends from Facebook, which can cause no end of weirdness. Fortunately, you can turn that feature off. The email program does allow you to flag what it calls VIPs, which means you can separate out your boss' email from the spam you get the rest of the time.

Safari's upgrade allows you to share your browser tabs with other devices using iCloud, which can be very handy, and apparently works a lot like a similar feature in Google's Chrome browser. FaceTime will now work over cellular networks, so if you have a Long Term Evolution- (LTE-) enabled iPad, you don't need to search for a WiFi hotspot. That's unless you're using AT&T as a carrier, in which case you have to also upgrade to one of their expensive new tiered data plans, or you can't use it.

The biggest disappointment is that Passbook doesn't seem to come with the iPad version of iOS 6. For some reason, I wasn't able to get an iPhone 5, so no luck trying out that feature. I guess Apple has decided that iPad users don't go to Starbucks or fly on airplanes.

So the answer to the big question that I told everyone on Twitter I was going to ask is, definitely yes. But you probably didn't see the question. What I asked was whether iOS 6 was worth the 50-minute upgrade process. The answer, as I said, is yes.

Actually, it's worth a lot more than that. The new version of iOS provides some very nice features to iPad users, and even more nice features, like Passbook, to iPhone users. It's a lot more of an upgrade than the move to iOS 5. I just hope they can fix that Facebook photo thing.

Wayne Rash Wayne Rash is a Senior Analyst for eWEEK Labs and runs the magazine's Washington Bureau. Prior to joining eWEEK as a Senior Writer on wireless technology, he was a Senior Contributing Editor and previously a Senior Analyst in the InfoWorld Test Center. He was also a reviewer for Federal Computer Week and Information Security Magazine. Previously, he ran the reviews and events departments at CMP's InternetWeek.

He is a retired naval officer, a former principal at American Management Systems and a long-time columnist for Byte Magazine. He is a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot Magazine and The Washington Post.

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