With all of the attention that the iPhone 5 is receiving it seems as if some have overlooked an important part of this new device: iOS 6.
With the release of the newest iPhone, Apple is once again updating its mobile software. However, Apple learned the hard way several years ago that releasing a phone and a software update in the same day was not good for their servers or their support teams, so Apple is releasing iOS 6 prior to the release of the iPhone 5.
If you own an iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, the 4th or 5th generation iPod touch, an iPad 2 or iPad 3 (also known as the New iPad, even though it has been out for six months), then you will be able to update to the latest Apple iOS. With the last upgrade to its software, Apple added the over-the-air upgrade feature which will allow you to upgrade your device and enjoy the newest features of Apple’s mobile software without plugging your device into a computer.
Since the iPhone has been getting all of the attention I thought we would spend a little time looking at some of the new changes that Apple has in store for us with iOS 6.
What’s an iPhone without its phone application? An iPod touch of course, so the phone application gets an upgrade with iOS 6 for the first time since the release of the iPhone. What’s new? Now you will be able to decline a phone call and send the caller a pre-programmed message in reply. Handy when you are in a hurry and don’t have time to talk or in a meeting and can’t get to the phone. Not only can you reply, but your phone can also remind you to return the call at a specific time or location.
But my favorite function of the new phone application is the Do Not Disturb function. You can set your phone to not disturb you during a specific time (meetings, at night, or maybe even the Sunday afternoon nap hour) and you are also given the option to allow those in your favorites to get through during the Do Not Disturb times. This is great for setting your phone to allow you to sleep through the night uninterrupted but allowing important and emergency calls to reach you. Since many people use their phone for their alarm clocks now, Apple has just allowed everyone to sleep a little more peacefully.
Everyone’s favorite virtual assistant is getting a little smarter in iOS 6. Siri can now look up sports scores, movie reviews, and even make restaurant reservations for you. But the most exciting addition to Siri’s bag of tricks is the ability to open up apps. You no longer have to find the icon. Just tell Siri to “Play Angry Birds” and you will be launching your flock at those evil pigs in no time.
With iOS 6, Apple takes one more step away from Google by ditching the Google-powered map application and replacing it with their very own, built from the ground up, maps app. With stunning graphics and turn-by-turn directions included in the standard map app, there are some map companies around the globe cursing the release of iOS 6. You will no longer need your GPS. Just plug in your iPhone and let Apple show you the way to your next destination.
If you are a fan of Facebook, then you will love the integration of Facebook into iOS 6. Much like the Twitter integration into the current iOS, you will be able to post directly to Facebook from many of the applications on your phone or tablet. You will also be able to like music and apps and have those opinions post directly to your Facebook page as well.
If you are a world traveler or just like to go to the movies or out to get coffee, then you will appreciate the addition of Passbook to iOS 6. With passbook your airline tickets, movie tickets, concert tickets, or Starbucks gift card are available right on your iOS device. And Passbook is time and location-based so when you arrive at the airport for your flight, your boarding pass will appear on your lock screen. Flash your iPhone and hop aboard the plane for your next adventure.
If you own an iPhone or iPod touch then you will enjoy the newest addition to the camera application, panoramas. Grab your phone, press the panorama button, aim, and shoot, but don’t stop there, just start moving the phone and the camera does the rest. What you end up with is a seamlessly stitched panorama picture of up to 240 degrees.
I have only just skimmed the surface of all the new features that will be included in iOS 6. There will also be updates to mail, safari, photo sharing, accessibility and much more. And since iOS 6 is provided as a free upgrade, there is no reason for you not to upgrade your compatible iOS device.
So grab your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad and open Settings>General>Software Update to get your copy of iOS 6 and start enjoying the newest member of the iOS family today.
Do you own an iOS device? Which new feature are you most looking forward to?