iOS 6 Launch Draws Near: 10 Things to Get Excited About

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2012-09-18

iOS 6 Launch Draws Near: 10 Things to Get Excited About

Apple's iOS 6, the latest version of the mobile operating system will be available for download to Phones, iPads, and the iPod Touch as of Sept. 19. It will come with more than 200 improvements in terms of new and improved applications as well as bug fixes.

In its typically confident fashion, Apple is trumpeting that the operating system is the best version it has launched yet. It also wants customers to believe that it's a better option than Android's latest launch, Jelly Bean.

Grand comments aside, iOS 6 actually looks to be a winner. The operating system might not come with all of the bells and whistles found in Jelly Bean, like near-field-communication support, but it does have a host of nice features that consumers will love. Better yet, the enterprise will find a lot to like in the software. It might not be perfect, but for many customers, iOS 6 is a vast improvement.

Read on to learn more about iOS 6 and found out why it's worth downloading when it's made available–for free–on Sept. 19.

1. The all-new Maps

The new Maps in iOS 6 is Apple's answer to the Google Maps applications that was previously built into the operating system. With the new Maps, iOS 6 users will be able to get turn-by-turn directions, 3D maps and see real-time traffic updates. Better yet, those who want Google Maps won't have to look too hard to find it. It will be making its way to the App Store, giving users all of the choices they desire.

2. Siri improvements

Apple's Siri has gotten a much-needed facelift in iOS 6. According to the company, the app will do a better job of accurately answering questions and will work on the iPad. Siri will also now deliver sports information and let users both find restaurants and make reservations. Siri is finally growing up.

3. Facebook integration

In iOS 5, Apple delivered Twitter integration across the built-in applications. In iOS 6, the company is now offering Facebook integration. It's not a major update for enterprise users, but for consumers that love going social, it's a must-have.

4. Passbook could be neat

Apple's Passbook is perhaps the least-understood addition to iOS 6. But it could also be the most promising addition to the operating system. With Passbook, users will be able to keep boarding passes, coupons, movie tickets, and other location-specific items in a single spot. And when folks get close to a particular venue, Passbook will alert them to an event. Look for Passbook to be the centerpiece of Apple's location-specific efforts in the coming years.

iCloud Tabs Nice Addition for iPhone, iPad Users

5. New and improved Mail

If enterprise users have wanted anything from iOS, it's an improved Mail. In iOS 6, Apple has finally delivered that. With the new and improved Mail, users will be able to set up a VIP list to keep the most important messages in a single, easy-to-find place. In addition, users can more easily add photos or files to messages. The app's new design should even prove a bit easier to use. All in all, it looks to be a solid update.

6. New phone features

Although iOS 6 comes with a host of non-calling-related additions, the improvements it brings to the phone features are quite nice. Now, users will be able to decline calls, and reply with a message. iOS 6 will also let users remind them to get back in touch with the person at a later time. Busy iOS users will be able to set a Do Not Disturb feature that doesn't allow calls to go through. Nice.

7. Bug fixes galore

With more than 200 improvements to the operating system, users can expect a host of bug fixes in iOS 6. As is typical of the company, Apple hasn't disclosed what it fixed, but the company has reassured folks that the platform will be more responsive and oddities will be addressed. Let's hope it follows through on that promise.

8. iCloud tabs is nice

Apple's consistent success has convinced a surprisingly high number of consumers to buy both iPhones and iPads. With that in mind the company has decided to bridge the gap between those devices with iCloud tabs built into Safari. With iCloud tabs, users can have open a bunch of sites in Safari on the iPad, and then access those same tabs on the iPhone. It should be a welcome addition for many iOS power users.

9. Panorama built-in

With the launch of the iPhone 5, Apple announced that panorama picture-taking will be built into iOS 6. With that features, users will be able to take an entire panoramic image of their surroundings. The feature is available in a host of App Store programs, but it's nice to have it available in the company's operating system.

10. FaceTime over cellular

A look at the iOS features that will excite mobile users wouldn't be complete without a mention of FaceTime over cellular. For the first time, users will now be able to place video calls from FaceTime over carrier networks. Previously FaceTime was available solely on Wi-Fi networks.

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