The New Features Coming to iOS 6Apple announced the newest version of iOS at WWDC today, and it's packed with awesome new features for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches alike. Here's a rundown of the best new stuff you'll see in iOS 6 this fall.
A Completely New Maps App with Turn-By-Turn NavigationThe most exciting upgrade is the completely new version of Maps. Apple has ditched Google as its primary maps provider, creating their own system with maps for all over the world. It has a ton of listings for local businesses and integrates with Yelp, so you can get reviews and other info right from the map. You can switch to a traffic view to better plan your routes, and view incident reports to keep up on accidents and when they might clear. All of this is crowdwourced from other iOS users using maps, but they didn't explain whether this would be more like Google (where it's all done automatically) or like Waze (where individuals need to manually report things for you to get this information). You also have a photographic 3D view of a number of cities called Flyover, which is very cool but not super useful.
Most exciting, though, is the inclusion of turn-by-turn navigation. Just find your location on the map, and with one tap you can start navigation mode, dictated by Siri herself. The navigation gives you an ETA, and updates it as traffic speeds change. It'll also give you an updated route if an accident happens or if traffic gets slow enough to require a detour, and it can even do so from the lock screen. You can also launch navigation right from Siri (if you have a compatible device) and ask her questions (like "where can I get gas on this route).
A More Knowledgeable and International Siri
- Sports scores, stats, standings, and schedules
- Restaurant info like menu information, prices, locations, Yelp reviews, and OpenTable reservations
- Movie showtimes, trailers, and RottenTomatoes reviews. It also has some other functionality (like being able to see movies with a certain actor), but it doesn't look like it integrates with an app like IMDB directly.
Lastly, Siri is now available in a number of other languages and locations, including Canada, Spain, Mexico, Italian, Switzerland, Korea, Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong. Local search will work around the world, too, which is great. Sadly, they didn't say anything about Siri's voice recognition or answers being more reliable, which we were hoping for. They may have added it in quietly, but we're not inclined to think so if they didn't make a big deal about it. Siri may very well still be a "beta" product.
System-Wide Facebook and Twitter Integration
Passbook: One App for All Your Scannable Tickets and Gift CardsWired.
Do Not Disturb and More Phone Options
Priority Contacts, Embedded Media, and Pull to Refresh in Mail
3G-Enabled FaceTime, Messages and FaceTime Now Work Between All Your DevicesFaceTime also works over your 3G or 4G data connection, which is awesome. In addition, FaceTime and Messages have finally been updated to work much more seamlessly between all your iOS devices. Now, if you get a FaceTime invitation or message on one device, it'll show up on your other devices, too.
Tab Syncing and Third-Party App Integration in SafariSafari has received some handy updates, including the ability to sync your open tabs between all your iOS devices, full screen in landscape mode, the ability read articles from your Reading List offline, and upload photos to your favorite web sites right from Safari. It also has a new feature called Smart App Banners, which can detect when you're on a web site that has an iOS app available (like Yelp). If you go to one of those web sites, you'll get a banner that leads you to the App Store to download the app, or if you already have the app on your phone, it'll send you to that app and pick up right where you left off in your browsing.
Photo Stream, Parental Controls, and More
Lastly, they hinted at a ton of other features in iOS, like better privacy controls, per-account signatures in Mail, more accessibility options, easier methods for finding a lost phone, and over 200 other features. iOS 6 will be available in the Fall,