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Monday, June 11, 2012
Apple iOS6 Coming With Significant Enhancements


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 features:

- 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 traffic updates.

- 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 first time.

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.

- Passbook

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

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 device.

- Mail

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 down.



- Safari

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 distractions.

- 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 iPhone app.

- 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 Center.

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.


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