Know everything about: Apple iOS 6
All the details are out there for iOS 6, but what’s new and what will it mean for you and your iPhone or iPad?
iOS 6, Apple’s latest operating system update, is currently undergoing testing ready for a planned autumn release. So while
Siri has been made even more helpful and can even be used in-car
everyone is awfully excited about it there’s still quite the wait, perhaps to coincide with another device launch around then – new iPhone anyone?
Not everyone is going to get to enjoy iOS 6 though, with only iPhone 4S and new iPad owners getting all of the new features, and original iPad owners not getting the upgrade at all.
But what is on offer will be well worth that wait and will make using your Apple device more fun than ever before. Here’s our pick of the Top 12 features to look forward to…
1. iOS 6 Maps
The big headline-grabbing feature of iOS 6 is a real boon to Apple owners. The new revitalised Map App brings turn-by-turn voice navigation along with 3D views of major cities around the world. It’s a typically flash Apple affair perfect for boring people with in the pub and will only be available on the new iPad 3 and iPhone 4S (although Apple plans to eventually bring it to iPhone 4 and iPad 2).
2. Siri voice control
Siri has been extended to work with new apps and also the new iPad but is still unavailable on any other Apple devices. Another new aspect is Eyes Free mode that enables it for in-car use, so you can fully control your iPhone or new iPad while driving.
3. Facetime video chat
Facetime has been available since iOS 4 but it has always been limited to Wi-Fi connections only. Now it has finally been made available to 3G connections on all compatible models apart from the iPhone 3GS. So video chats can be made anywhere or at any time you have a suitable signal.
You’ll only get the full range of iOS 6 features with iPhone 4S and the new iPad
Apple seems to be throwing itself behind Facebook now that its Ping service has been deemed a failure. Just as Twitter was ‘integrated’ into iOS 5, so Facebook compatibility has been built into iOS 6, enabling apps to share photos, locations, web addresses and more straight to Facebook.
5. Child protection
The new Guided Access feature lets you disable certain areas of your device so that children can’t accidentally hit the wrong buttons. This means you can happily hand over your precious iPhone or iPad to a small person in the knowledge that they can’t phone Greece or buy a million in-game tokens.
6. Reflecting buttons
Shiny buttons have been added to the interface that react as you move your device around. So just as a real metal button would reflect differently as you move, so the graphical buttons will change as you tilt the device. Subtle but nice.
The new Passport system provides a way of storing tickets on your phone. So you can electronically and wirelessly book onto a plane or train. The system can also send alerts automatically if there are delays or changes to departure times. It even knows when you’re near the associated merchant and automatically displays the correct pass.
8. Photo sharing
Building on the Photo Stream capabilities introduced in iOS 5, users can now share photos across all their devices, share photo streams with friends and comment on favourite or least favourite pictures. Apple TV owners will also be able to view pictures over the streaming set-top box.
Offline reading has been added to Safari so if you’re reading a webpage you can cache it and make sure you can come back to it later. Alongside this, you’ll be able to access apps saved on your desktop from your mobile device.
10. Lost Mode
The older Find my Phone feature has already helped recover many a stolen or misplaced iPhone but the new Lost Mode enables you to send a phone number to your device in the hope that whoever has it will spot the number and give you a call.
11. Mute Mode
Finally you can shut your Apple device up. If you don’t want to be disturbed by notifications there’s a new Mute Mode that will hide all notifications and calls so you can sleep soundly.
12. And the rest…
iOS 6 has around 200 new features, and while we’ve already covered the biggies we’ve found a bunch of small but cool new additions you’ll love:
- Downloading an app no longer pushes you back to the home screen
- Any newly updated app will have a ‘new’ blue ribbon added to the icon
- The status bar changes colour to match that of the currently open app
- The new iPad gets a really cool default clock app
- A Bluetooth on/off toggle is now available directly at the top of the settings next to the WiFi toggle
- Share buttons now use a grid to select where you want to share – such as iMessage, email, Twitter, Facebook – instead of using a pop-up list
- In the Clock app you can pick a song to use as an alarm
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