This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference brought the announcement of Apple’s highly anticipated update to its mobile operating system that powers the company’s iDevices such as the iPhone and iPad, iOS 6. iOS 6, which is due to launch publicly this fall, is filled with a whole lot of new features that will make using Apple’s iDevices an even better experience. Some of the most significant new features found in iOS 6 (while the entire lest is quite extensive) follow.
To start, Siri is getting a nice upgrade with the ability to fetch sports scores and statistics, the ability to find restaurants and make reservations thanks to new integration with Yelp and OpenTable, the ability to check movie information including reviews with built-in integration with IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes, and integration with Fandango for the ability to purchase tickets. Additionally, Siri in iOS 6 supports more languages including Canadian French and Korean, and also now supports the iPad. Apple has also announced that automobile manufacturers such as BMW, Mercedes, Chrysler and more will soon be integrating Siri into their cars.
Another exciting update in iOS 6 is with the Phone app/feature, which now allows users to reject calls and follow through with pre-set SMS messages such as “I’m busy at the moment and I will call you back when I get the chance” or similar. Users can now also take advantage of a new “Do Not Disturb” feature that lets them set a time in which they will not receive notifications for calls or messages. The user will still receive notifications that these events have taken place during the time set, but the phone will not ring, light up or vibrate. Also, if the same number keeps calling back, iOS 6 will automatically assume that it’s an emergency call and will override the “Do Not Disturb” feature to let the call go through normally.
Safari has been given the ability to upload media, which has been a highly requested feature for a while now. Photos and videos are confirmed to be supported, however other file types such as documents have not as of yet. Other significant additions to Safari in iOS 6 include full-screen browsing in landscape mode and live synchronization of tabs with the desktop version of Safari via iCloud.
FaceTime also got a much-needed update in iOS 6, now having the ability to be used over 3G (or 4G LTE with the new iPad) rather than solely over Wi-Fi as in previous iOS versions. Call quality will be slightly degraded, but at least you will have access to FaceTime on the go, wherever you may be. Device IDs have also been unified in iOS 6, meaning that calls to your phone number can now be answered from your iPad or Mac as well as from your iPhone.
iOS 6 is definitely going to be a great update for all iDevices (except the first-generation iPad which will not support it) when it launches this fall, likely around the same time that the next-generation iPhone will be launching just as in 2011. iOS 6 will surely be a great competitor to other mobile platforms like Android and Windows Phone starting this fall, hopefully coupled with some great new features in the upcoming next-generation iPhone.