At the Apple worldwide developer conference (WWDC), Apple previewed iOS 6, introducing over 200 new features to its mobile operating system. iOS 6 will be available to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users this fall as a free software update. New iOS 6 features include: new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography; new Siri features; Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar; Passbook app, which keeps all the passes in one place; and other improvements.
“iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device. We can’t wait for hundreds of millions of iOS users to experience the incredible new features in iOS 6 including the new Maps app, expanded Siri support, deep Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and the innovative new Passbook app,” said Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iOS Software.
The iOS 6 will support enhancements to Safari, such as iCloud tabs, offline reading lists, photo uploads and full screen view; will support FaceTime calls over cellular networks; will have option to decline incoming calls with a quick message, set a callback reminder and enable a new Do Not Disturb option; will get the ability to set up a VIP Mailbox, making it easier to quickly view messages from important people designated as VIPs; as well as will have other improvements.
iOS 6 includes new Maps app with vector-based map elements that make graphics and text smooth, and panning, tilting and zooming fluid. New turn-by-turn navigation guides to destination with spoken directions, and the Flyover feature has photo-realistic interactive 3D views in select cities. Real-time traffic information keeps one updated on how long it will take to get to destination and offers alternate time-saving routes if traffic conditions change significantly. Additionally, local search includes information for over 100 million businesses with info cards that offer Yelp ratings, reviews, available deals and photos.
With the iOS 6, Sir will be available for the new iPad as well as iPhone 4S and will include language support for English, French, German and Japanese, Spanish, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese. Siri is optimized for use in 15 countries. Additionally, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further with a new Eyes Free mode, enabling one to interact with the iPhone using nothing more than voice.
Built-in Facebook integration allows one to sign in once and post from notification center, Siri and Facebook-enabled apps, including Photos, Safari and Maps. Facebook friends’ information is kept up to date across all iOS devices, automatically updating details in Contacts when they change, and scheduling events and birthdays in the Calendar application.
Apple iOS 6 also introduces new ways to share photos with friends and family using Shared Photo Streams, but only on Apple iOS devices.
The new Passbook app is touted as the simplest way to get all passes in one place, such as boarding passes and baseball tickets. Passbook scans iPhone or iPod touch to use a coupon, get into a concert or check into hotel. Passbook automatically displays passes on Lock Screen based on a specific time or location, so when one walk into a coffee shop his or her loyalty card appears and one can scan it to buy a coffee or check balance. Passbook can even alert you to last minute gate changes or flight delays at the airport.
The iOS 6 beta software and SDK are available immediately for iOS developer program members. iOS 6 will be available as a free software update for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2 and iPod touch (fourth generation) this fall.