This autumn a free update will be coming to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Here’s a look at the new features making their way to your device
At long last, FaceTime will work over the mobile data network, although this will only be on the most recent iPhone and iPad models. At the moment, it requires Wi-Fi, which is annoying if you want to brag to your colleagues that you’re sitting on a beach sipping sangria – or if you’re a nicer person and just want to call up your parents to let them see their granddaughter playing in the park.
Now that FaceTime works over cellular networks – likely to be limited to 3G and 4G – taunting (or tumbling tots) can be shared over a video chat from anywhere with a mobile signal.
Finally, the full Siri experience will make it outside the US. Not only is there support for more languages – including localised versions of Spanish, Mandarin and Cantonese – but it launches local search for more countries than just the US, including the UK This is Sin’s full debut on the iPad too, but only for the latest version.
The biggest new feature in i0S 6 is the Maps app. Apple has ditched Google and is now offering its own mapping with TomTom, and powering local search for businesses with Yelp.
There are two cool things to look out for (though only the iPhone 4S and the last two iPad versions will get them).The first is Flyover, where Apple is mapping major cities (and hopefully minor ones too, in the months ahead) in 3D. You can spin, pinch and tilt the whole city; it looks gorgeous, though it’s a shame we won’t get the equivalent of Google’s Street View.
The other thing is built-in, turn-by-turn directions, which transform your iPhone 4S or iPad 2 or 3 into a TomTom-like sat-nav, free. In fact, it’s not just TomTom-like -TomTom is powering it. There are live traffic updates, too.
The improvements to Safari aren’t as exciting as some of the others, but it’s still great to get fullscreen mode in landscape for iPhone and iPod touch, as well as the option of syncing open tabs between devices and computers using iCloud. Best of all, though, is the option of saving articles to read offline in Reading List.
Passbook is a single repository for store loyalty cards, tickets, vouchers, even payment cards. It can do clever things such as updating a boarding pass if your gate changes. Basically, it depends on companies recognising the opportunity and doing the hard work.
Shared Photo Streams
iOS 6 will make it simple to share photos with friends and family all over the world. Just select some shots, tap the Share button, and tell your device who you want to share your snaps with.
if your friends use iCloud on another iOS 6 device or on a Mac running Mountain Lion, the photos appear in the Photos app or iPhoto — and everyone can Like and comment on the shots, or even add shots themselves to the shared album.
Love to tweet or update your Facebook status? With iOS 6 it’ll be even quicker; there are buttons for Twitter and now Facebook in Notification Center, so all you have to do is swipe your finger down from the top of the screen and tap a button to share with the world.
The new Guided Access feature lets you lock down bits of apps, such as buttons that configure the app, say — so users can benefit from a distraction-free experience and use an app on their own without the danger that they’ll mess things up or get frustrated. This is particularly useful if you have kids…
Guided Access also lets you do things like suppress the Home button, so people can’t quit the app. (It’s easy to securely deactivate Guided Access, though.) This is a boon for, say, museums that want to use iOS devices for guide apps, or for educational establishments that want to use iOS devices for tests.
Built into iOS 6 is the idea of VIPs, contacts of yours whom you really want to hear from — whether that’s your boss, your partner, best friends or kids. Mail gives these special folk prominence by giving them their own mailbox, and by putting stars next to their name in message lists.
When a call comes in with iOS 6, as well as declining it, you can swipe up a phone icon to reveal the option of replying with an iMessage or SMS, or reminding you to return the call later. With the messages, you can pick from a handful of presets, or write something bespoke.
The reminder is even smarter: you can choose to be reminded in an hour, or, using Location Services, when you arrive at work or get home. What’s cooler still is you can tap ‘When I leave’, which will set up a temporary perimeter around wherever you happen to be, and trigger a reminder as soon as you move away from there.
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