Apple on June 11 held its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote, unveiling everything from new features in Mac OS X Mountain Lion to an all-new MacBook Pro featuring a Retina display. The events announcements followed a host of rumors about what might come out of the show, many of which didnt receive a mention during the keynotes. It also delivered a few surprises that caused even anti-Apple folks out there to get excited by what they saw.
Perhaps the most exciting announcement was about the new features in iOS 6. Its easy to see why folks might be happy when they check out all of the latest features, which total about 200 in Apples iOS 6. The operating system, which was shown off by Apple senior vice president for iOS software Scott Forstall, is arguably one of the strongest improvements to the mobile platform in years. The many new features it delivers will ensure that customers will happily stick with Apple mobile products for years to come.
a market favorite
, not with current Apple fans, but with people who will choose to buy and use Apple in the years ahead.
1. The all-new Maps application
Apple made the surprising decision in iOS 6 to ditch Google Maps and replace it with its own Maps application. The offering includes a host of fine features, including turn-by-turn directions, real-time traffic information, and a flyover tool that includes detailed visuals. It lacks StreetView, since Google isnt powering Maps, but those who dont mind that loss will find a lot to like in Maps.
2. A new-and-improved Siri
Siri is still in beta, which means its a work in progress, but Apple plans to make serious improvements to it in iOS 6. According to Apple, the platform will now work with sports scores, will find restaurant reviews and tell users where the latest movies are playing. Best of all, itll finally work with Apples new iPad, allowing it to move beyond the iPhone.
3. Facebook, finally
With the launch of iOS 5, Apple integrated Twitter across the operating system. This time around, the company has inked a deal with Facebook that will deliver much of the same integration features. In addition, Apple says that Facebook will work within iTunes, allowing users to like a song from the operating system.
4. FaceTime on cellular
One of the biggest complaints iOS users had about Apples FaceTime was that it was only available on WiFi networks. With iOS 6, however, Apple says that FaceTime will make its way to cellular networks. Its not clear how well the quality will hold up over cellular networks, but just having the option is welcome.
iOS 6 Gives Users More Options for Responding to Calls
5. Passbook: The app that entrepreneurs wish they thought of
Passbook is arguably the most impressive addition to iOS 6. This application is designed to integrate the iPhone with countless personal transactions, including allowing users to check in for a flight, redeem a movie ticket or use a coupon. Thanks to location-based features, it can alert users to a coupon, gift card or ticket whenever theyre close to the place or event.
6. More phone options
When someone calls users running iOS 5, they need to either accept the call or ignore it. In iOS 6, the options have expanded to let people not answer, but send a message or be reminded to call the person back at a later time. Apple has made its phone operating system far better and the company should be commended for that.
7. Do Not Disturb
A new Do Not Disturb feature has been added to iOS 6, allowing users to set it for when they want to go to sleep at night or simply dont want to be bothered. The feature stops the phone from making any sounds when a message or phone call is received and it wont light up the screen. Its a much-needed addition for those who sleep next to their iPhones at night.
8. The experience is the same across devices
One of the key aspects of Apples iOS platform has always been that it can deliver about the same experience across the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Luckily, iOS 6 does the same, and will make it easy for multiple device owners to quickly move from one product to another. iOS 6 is a true, universal operating system.
9. Safari as the center of the browsing experience
Apples Safari is used by the vast majority of iOS users. So, to make the service a bit more useful to those folks, Apple on June 11 unveiled a host of new features for the browser, including iCloud Tabs that let folks open pages on one iOS device and pick up where they left off on another. The app also saves Web pages to a Reading List to catch up on sites a person frequents, and will let users share photos from within the browser. A full-screen icon has also been added for users to see Web pages in full-screen when in landscape mode.
10. Accessibility is a major step up
Accessibility is one of the most overlooked, but vastly important features in any mobile operating system. With that in mind, Apple on June 11 showed off a host of new features for people with disabilities, including Guided Access to help students with disabilities to stay on task. A VoiceOver feature makes it easier for blind and low-vision users to interact with more of the software. Its a fine update.