Apple announced the newest version of iOS at WWDC yesterday, and it’s packed with awesome new features for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches alike. Here’s some key highlights of the new stuff that will be coming out in iOS 6 this autumn.
- Completely new maps app with turn-by-turn navigation: Apple is ditching Google as its primary maps provider, creating their own system with maps for all over the world. It will include photographic 3D view of a number of cities called Flyover, which will look amazing, although I’m not sure how useful it will be. For the iPhone 4S and above there will be turn-by-turn navigation dictated by Siri. 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 even ask Siri questions like where can I sop for food etc.
- A more knowledgeable and international Siri: The voice-commanded personal assistant is getting a pretty good upgrade, she will develop wider info (sports scores, menus from restaurants, cinema times and movie reviews to name a few). 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 Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar, and Land Rover. Lastly, Siri is now available in a number of other languages and locations, including Canada, Spain, Mexico, Italy, Switzerland, Korea, Taiwan, China, and Hong Kong – local search will work around the world, too, which is great.
- 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. 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.
- Do not disturb and more phone options: The Phone app has received a pretty good 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.
- 3G-Enabled FaceTime: FaceTime also works over your 3G or 4G data connection, which is a massive plus – certainly one I will be using. 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.
- Parental controls: iOS also has a new feature called “Guided Access”, in which you can disable certain elements so a child can’t accidentally change your setting etc. 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.