At the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) event today, company’s SVP of iOS, Scott Forstall promised a latest version of the operating system that powers its popular mobile devices. The SVP also said that the new version will have 200 new and exciting features, including tighter Facebook integration, an empowered Siri voice assistant, and the capability to conduct FaceTime calls over a cellular network.
The new version, iOS 6, will be available on September 19 for the iPhone 3 GS and later models, along with a version for second- and third-generation iPads. Not all the new features will be available for all iOS 6-compatible devices. Let’s peek into some of the features that were discussed at the event:
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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s voice assistant, Siri, was one of the popular apps when iPhone 4S was launched, however in the following months, some iPhone users raised doubts over its effectiveness. Apple is using iOS 6 to build on this feature to an integral method for interacting with the handset. The most remarkable upgrade to Siri will be its ability help launch apps. In the demo, Forstall asked to play Temple Run and the game launched immediately. Apart from this, Siri could also be used for updating your Facebook status or sending a tweet. Apple’s closest rival, Samsung, is also coming up with a similar feature in its upcoming Galaxy S III, calling it S-Voice.
Another feature that the company has improved upon is Navigation. Unlike its competitors, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s earlier handsets lacked turn-by-turn directions, but not now. As revealed today, the new feature will show where you are at a given time, and also a preview of upcoming turns when two directional points are close together. Siri will voice the directions, and one can also ask for the directions without touching the phone. Other exciting things will be the capability to rotate the vector-based maps with fingers, the traffic information, and the info cards, which display vital details about points of interest.
The new iOS 6 will help the user to place FaceTime calls over a cellular network, but this feature will be available only for iPhone 4S and the most recent iPad. Apple has integrated user’s phone numbers with its Apple ID, so as a result, a FaceTime call can be attended on iPhone, iPad, or Mac, which is really very helpful and logical.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) introduced new phone controls, with which the new iOS will help the user in replying to an incoming call with a text message, or ask to receive a reminder about the call later. Another useful addition is a Do Not Disturb option that will block incoming calls, while allowing texts and alerts through. Not only this, but the new OS will help in filtering calls by user groups, and set the phone to allow only the second call, if someone rings twice within 3 minutes.
On the email front, the new iOS introduces a ‘”VIP” option, which will alert the user on getting mail from a chosen contact. The company also added the option of adding photos directly into e-mail once a user starts typing them.
The new passbook feature will help the user to store and access electronic versions of their admission tickets, airline or train boarding passes, merchant loyalty cards, and coupons all in one place. This feature is for iPhone only. Forstall called it, “the simplest way to get all your passes in one place.” The new feature will also alert the user in case of any changes in the time based events, apart from this, it can use location to sense when you’re near a merchant and display the necessary card, even when the screen is locked.
iOS 6 will come with Facebook integration. Users will be able to post pictures and video directly to their account without using the Facebook app. The photo stream feature in iOS 5 only allows sharing photos with other iOS devices on the same account, but a new feature in iOS 6 will make it easy to share photos with friends and family as well. This iOS 6 feature works on both Wi-Fi and cellular connections. With the help of new features for Safari, users will be able to view a Web page in full-screen when using landscape mode, cache a Web page, and save it for reading later, even when they are offline, and share photo streams. The addition of iCloud will facilitate to pick up from where a user left off, without bothering about the device he/she was working on, be it iPhone or MacBook (running Mountain Lion).
Apart from these, there are many other add-on’s in the new iOS, which makes it really exciting. However the only disappointment was that not every feature will come to every iOS-compatible device.