A bunch of new features like Maps, Siri, Facebook, Shared Photo Streams, Passbook , FaceTime, Phone, Mail, Safari and Accessibility have either been incorporated or significantly enhanced in iOS 6. Some of the key new features like Maps, which had traditionally been provided by Google, are now an i-house creation.
The in-house developed Maps application is a move towards self reliance. The functionality promises is pretty good. Maps will direct you on every turn via voice. 3D views are interactive. It uses a vector engine for smoother zooming, clear graphics and street naming. Real time updates for traffic and ETA to your destination. You can identify traffic jam. You can choose explore major areas with realistic photos and interactive 3D views. You can tap a pin on a map to see an information card about that local location. In effect it should provide everything Google maps does, yet the early reviews from users have been generally mixed, at best, focusing on the lack of data in Apple’s map application. The Google Motorola RazrM calls it iLost in its latest ad.
Siri, a feature introduced in iPhone 4S has been improved in the new release. It is now more natural to talk and send messages, make phone calls and schedule meetings. You can simply talk to Siri just like talking to your friend and say “l want stakes now” and it will reply “I found a restaurant for stakes nearby”. It will not only assist you in finding restaurants it will update you about sports, weather and movies.
Facebook interactivity is far easier too. Just log-in once to Facebook and share your photos, game scores, locations all by just tapping the share button or ask Siri to share it. Facebook events are integrated into calendar too. The contact list is integrated to Facebook also so any change in your friends contact on Facebook will automatically be updated in your contacts.
Shared Photo Streams lets you custom photo share with your friends. Just select the photos and select the people you want to share the photos with and tap share. The photos will be instantly delivered to your friends with Apple devices and those without Apple devices can see them on the web. It uses both cellular and wifi connections for sharing photos.
Passbook is a hub for all your flight info, movies, gift coupons and loyalty cards. This will ensure your timely arrival at a location and assist you with any changes made to your bookings. It also helps you find your seat in the theatre or on a flight.
There are some other small changes also FaceTime now works on both cellular and wifi connections so with this you are can receive and make calls anywhere, anytime. You can now add call back reminder when rejecting a phone call. You can set your phone to Do Not Disturb.
Mail is redesigned to make it easier for both reading and writing and also has a VIP list so you never miss an email from an important contact. Safari gives you better browsing while iCloud Tabs saves your pages so that while changing from one device to other you can start from right where you left off. This feature also enables offline page access. Accessibility is improved in a number of ways for people with sight, hearing and mobility disabilities. A new panorama feature for cameras lets you shoot up to 240 degrees or vertically with a single motion. Find My iPhone protects your phone in case you have lost it. Find My Friends lets you check the locations of your friends on a map, if they have allowed it and indicates your distance to them. It can also get location based alerts from friends and family.
With all these new feature, iOS 6 is a formidable OS, but Apple’s credibility has taken a hit with the Samsung case and the clever marketing campaigns Samsung has launched. We are watching the space carefully to see which OS emerges from this with a stronger user base. At the moment though,iPhones are selling very well.