The things we’re looking forward to are the flashes of genius that make using iOS devices a joy. Here are a few of them in iOS 6….
1. Unified phone number and Apple ID
Adding your iPhone phone number to your Apple ID means people can FaceTime you on your phone-number-less iPad or Mac by punching in your phone number. It also means iMessages sent specifically to your phone number also appear on your other Apple devices, not just your phone.
When you search for apps from the Home screen, iOS 6 will show you what folder they’re in, so you can make a note.
Find My iPhone is a great service for tracking your lost iOS devices, and it gets even better with iOS 6. Now if you lose your phone, you can ping it with an alternative number — your spouse’s, say, or your office phone number — and when someone finds your phone, they just have to tap a button to be connected straight to you. No longer do you have to rely on people rifling through your Contacts or getting stuck behind a passcode.
4. Better Reminders
Reminders gets some welcome improvements in iOS 6. Not only will you be able to set location-based reminders on the iPad as well as iPhone, but you can also both set those locations manually, and manually reorder items in the list. Being able to define geofences the areas that will trigger alerts when you enter or leave them — by hand is great, as currently you have to pick an address from your Contacts list.
5. Do Not Disturb
Sick of your iPhone disturbing your night’s sleep, or just want to get your head down and do some work? Do Not Disturb can suppress calls and notifications between set periods, but it’s clever enough to optionally let VIPs reach you, or allow folks to get through who have tried a few times in a set period.
6. Redesigned Stores
There aren’t many details of this yet, but we know that Apple is redesigning the store interfaces. Combined with Apple’s purchase of store search engine Chomp in February, and some work that’s being going on with adding layers of metadata to apps, this should mean that the App Store, iTunes Store and iBookstore are easier to browse and search.
7. Facebook contacts and calendars
Facebook is integrated deeply into the system and can do much more than just update your status. Not only can you share photos, links and more as you can with Twitter in iOS 5, but you can integrate your Facebook Events and friends’ birthdays into Calendar, sync your Facebook friends list with Contacts, and Like apps.
8. Insert photos into emails
Finally, you can now attach photos and videos to emails after you’ve started writing them. We would still like the option of attaching any document rather than just photos and videos, but without a file system (and we understand the reasons for not exposing a file system to users) this is a tricky proposition.
9. More support for China
iOS 6 will support a wide range of services popular in China, making it as easy for Chinese people to add an email account, say, for their provider as anyone might add a Gmail account. There’s support for 30,000 characters in iOS 6′s handwriting recognition — more than double that of iOS 5 — and a host of other features that makes the iPhone better for China.
10. App linking from Safari
The idea here is that if you have made an app and have a website — such as macformat.com and the app edition — you can trigger a banner as soon as someone comes to your website that tells them about the app and optionally takes them to the App Store. If they already have it installed, it knows this and instead offers to open that app — great for discovering apps when browsing.
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