Apple today previewed iOS 6, introducing over 200 new features to its mobile operating system, and released a beta version to iOS Developer Program members.
The update will be available this fall to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users for free, though some
features won't be available on all devices.
The iOS 6 software will sport more than 200 new
- New mapping program
As it was excpected, Apple is moving away from Google's
mapping solutrion and the company's mobile devices will
have a mapping program built in-house.
It will include "flyover" images taken by helicopters
hired by the company to fly over major cities. Google
said last week it's also sending its own planes to
produce similar images.
Apple's map program will be also integrated with Siri so
users wil be able to ask questions. It will also offer
visual and spoken turn-by-turn navigation and real-time
- New calling features
Apple's new software for iPhones gives you more options
for preventing messages and text notifications from
disturbing you at night, for instance. Now when you
decline an incoming call, you can instantly reply with a
text message or set a callback reminder. And when things
are just too hectic, turn on 'Do Not Disturb' and you
won't be bothered by anyone - except can't-miss contacts
like your boss or your better half.
There's a "call when you leave" feature that reminds you
to call back when you are leaving a building and office.
The phone can detect when you are leaving.
- Integration with Facebook
Apple's iOS 6 software will also have better integration
with Facebook. You will be able to share a photo to
Facebook right from Camera or Photos, post your
location right from Maps, brag about a high score right
from Game Center. If you have your hands full, just ask
Siri to post for you. You need to sign in to Facebook
only once, and you'll be off and sharing. Facebook
events will be also integrated into Calendar. And your
Facebook friends' profile information is integrated into
Contacts, so when they update an email address or phone
number you automatically stay up to date.
Facebook will be also integrated with Apple's online app
store so that you can declare you "like" specific apps
there, as well as songs and movies in iTunes.
- Enhanced Siri
Apple says iOS 6 will also have enhancements to Siri, a
virtual assistant that interprets voice commands and
talks back to the user.
With iOS 6, Siri understands more languages, works in
more countries, and is available on the new iPad for the
Apple says it is partnering with Yelp so that Siri can
include ratings and prices of restaurants when you ask
Siri for places to eat. The company is also partnering
with OpenTable to make reservations.
Even open your apps for you - no tapping required. Say
"Launch Flight Tracker" or "Open Where's My Water" and
Siri does just that. You can even use Siri to post
Facebook updates and tweet for you, too.
- Shared photo streams
Now you can share just the photos you want, with just
the people you choose. Simply select photos from the
Photos app, tap the Share button, choose who you want to
share your photos with, and they?re on their way.
Friends using iCloud on an iOS 6 device or a Mac running
Mountain Lion get the photos delivered immediately in
the Photos app or iPhoto. You can even view shared photo
streams on Apple TV. If the folks you're sharing with
aren?t using an Apple device, they can view your photos
on the web. People can like individual photos and make
comments. And you can share as much as you want: Your
shared photo streams don?t count against your iCloud
storage, and they work over Wi-Fi and cellular networks.
With Passbook, you can scan your iPhone or iPod touch to
check in for a flight, get into a movie, and redeem a
coupon. You can also see when your coupons expire, where
your concert seats are, and the balance left on that
all-important coffee bar card. Wake your iPhone or iPod
touch, and passes appear on your Lock screen at the
appropriate time and place - like when you reach the
airport or walk into the store to redeem your gift card
or coupon. And if your gate changes after you've checked
in for your flight, Passbook will even alert you to make
sure you're not relaxing in the wrong terminal.
FaceTime now works over cellular networks as well as
Wi-Fi, so you can make and receive FaceTime calls
wherever you happen to be. You can even make and receive
FaceTime calls on your iPad using your phone number.
That means you can use FaceTime wherever you are, on any
Redesigned with a more streamlined interface, Mail in
iOS 6 lets you set up a VIP list so you'll never miss an
important message from your accountant. It's even easier
to add photos and videos to email messages. And to
refresh your mailboxes, all you have to do is swipe
iOS 6 brings better web browsing to your iPhone, iPad,
and iPod touch. iCloud Tabs keeps track of which pages
you have open on your devices, so you can start browsing
on one device and pick up right where you left off on
whatever device is handy. Safari now saves web pages -
not just links - in your Reading List, so you can catch
up on your reading even when you can't connect to the
Internet. And when you're posting a photo or video to
eBay, Craigslist, or another site, you can take photos
and video - or choose from your Camera Roll - without
leaving Safari. When you really want to see the whole
picture, turn your iPhone or iPod touch to landscape and
tap the full-screen icon to view web pages without
- Guided access
iOS 6 also comes with even more features to make it
easier for people with vision, hearing, learning, and
mobility disabilities to get the most from their iOS
devices. Guided Access helps students with disabilities
such as autism remain on task and focused on content. It
allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an
iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button, as
well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the
screen. VoiceOver, the screen reader for blind and
low-vision users, is now integrated with Maps,
AssistiveTouch, and Zoom. And Apple is working with
manufacturers to introduce Made for iPhone hearing aids.
- Lost Mode
iOS 6 and iCloud now offer Lost mode, making it easier
to use Find My iPhone to locate and protect a missing
device. Immediately lock your missing iPhone with a
four-digit passcode and send it a message displaying a
contact number. That way a good Samaritan can call you
from your Lock screen without accessing the rest of the
information on your iPhone. And while in Lost mode, your
device will keep track of where it's been and report
back to you any time you check in with the Find My
- Find My Friends
Find My Friends is a new way to share locations with
friends and family. Those who share their locations with
you appear on a map so you can see where they are and
what they[re up to. And with iOS 6, you can get
location-based alerts - like when your kids leave school
or arrive home. Find My Friends can also notify others
about your location.
- New Features for China
With improved text input and built-in support for
popular Chinese Internet services, iOS 6 makes iPad,
iPhone, and iPod touch even better for Chinese-speaking
users. With a new Chinese dictionary and improved text
input, typing in Chinese is easier, faster, and more
accurate. You can mix full and abbreviated Pinyin and
even type English words in a Pinyin sentence without
switching keyboards. With support for over 30,000
characters, iOS 6 more than doubles the number of
Chinese characters supported in handwriting recognition.
And when you add words to your personal dictionary,
iCloud makes them available on all your devices. Baidu
is a built-in option in Safari, and you can share videos
directly to Youku and Tudou. You can also post to Sina
Weibo from Camera, Photos, Maps, Safari, and Game
New Mountain Lion OS
Apple's updated OS for desktops will be also be updated next month. The new Mountain Lion system narrows the gap between the PC and phone software packages, making Mac personal computers work more like iPhones.
Apple already demonstrated most
of the features of Mountain Lion in February and said it
will go on sale late this summer. Developers are already
able to download a version of the software.
Mountain Lion introduces more than 200 features including the all new Messages app, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, Facebook integration, Dictation, Power Nap, AirPlay Mirroring, Game Center and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper. It also integrates iCloud.