Skip to content

iOS 6: Updates News, Videos, Reviews and Gossip – Lifehacker

June 12, 2012

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 Navigation

The New Features Coming to iOS 6

The 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 (though only on the iPhone 4S and above). 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

Speaking of Siri, the voice-commanded personal assistant is getting a pretty good upgrade in iOS 6, too. Not only is she available on the new iPad (sorry, first- and second-gen users), but she knows about a lot of other things this time around, like:

  • 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.

Siri can also launch apps directly with one simple voice command (like “Play Temple Run”). Siri also has a new “Eyes Free” mode designed for cars, in which you can press a button on the steering wheel to activate her or have her read things back to you. Right now, Apple has already partnered with a number of vehicle manufacturers, like GM, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Land Rover. Other American companies seem strangely absent from the list, at least for the moment.

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

As expected, iOS 6 is going to have Facebook integration akin to the Twitter integration we saw in iOS 5. You can log into your Facebook account from the Settings app and stay logged in on any app that uses Facebook, so you don’t have to log in multiple times. You can post photos, web sites, Game Center scores, apps you like, and other things right to Facebook, as well as “like” apps, music, movies, TV shows, and other iTunes Store items. Facebook events will show up right in your calendar app, and of course, the whole thing integrates with Siri.

The coolest part is that both Facebook and Twitter have been added to the notification dropdown, so you can post a new status without having to open their respective apps.

Passbook: One App for All Your Scannable Tickets and Gift Cards

Passbook is an awesome new app that holds all your airline tickets, movie tickets, gift cards, and other similar items in one central app. It’ll show you the balance of any of your gift cards as you use them, and let you scan QR codes pretty much anywhere you go. The coolest part is that it integrates with the notification center, sending you a push notification when you arrive at a location that works with one of your passes (like Starbucks, if you have a Starbucks gift card). When you’re done with a pass, you can just delete it and it won’t get in your way anymore. Photo by Wired.

Do Not Disturb and More Phone Options

The Phone app has received a pretty cool update, including a Do Not Disturb feature that will silence all notifications while it’s on. You’ll still get them, your phone just won’t make noise or light up when you get them. You can customize Do Not Disturb to automatically turn on at certain times, allow for phone calls from certain contacts or groups of contacts, as well as tell it to allow calls that happen multiple times in quick succession—like if someone is trying to contact you in an emergency.

You’ll also see a new icon on the lock screen when you get a call, not unlike the camera icon you have on the lock screen in iOS 5.1. When you get a call, you can slide this up to send the caller a message, or have iOS remind you to call them back. You can set the reminder to go off in an hour, when you get to work or get home, or even when you leave your current location.

Priority Contacts, Embedded Media, and Pull to Refresh in Mail

The new Mail app has a cool feature called “VIPs”, where you can tell it who your most important contacts are and it will give you a more eye-catching notification on your lock screen when they send you an email. You can also view all messages from VIPs with one tap in your inbox.

Mail also now lets you embed photos and video into a message, open password protected office documents, view flagged messages, and pull to refresh the mailbox.

3G-Enabled FaceTime, Messages and FaceTime Now Work Between All Your Devices

The New Features Coming to iOS 6

FaceTime 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 Safari

The New Features Coming to iOS 6

Safari 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 to 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

If you use iOS’ Photo Stream feature, you now have the ability to share your photo streams with your friends. They’ll get a new album in their Photos app with all the photos you’ve shared, and you can all comment on those photos too.

iOS also has a new feature called “Guided Access”, in which you can disable certain elements of the UI so a child can’t accidentally change them when playing their games or using apps. You can also turn on a “Single App Mode”, which turns off the home button and keeps them in the app they’re currently using.

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, but you can get a lot of its features now if you’re impatient.

Photos by GDGT Live and Wired.

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: