At the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Apple previewed its forthcoming iOS 6 operating system, announced Siri's debut on the iPad, and unveiled the much anticipated Apple Maps application.
Siri will not only be available on the iPad 3, the Siri virtual assistant will also be significantly improved on the iPhone 4S. Users can expect a smarter, more helpful Siri all around. Users will also be able to access the majority of iOS 6's 200 new features by voice command through Siri, which will also now be able to launch third-party apps on command, which is very useful if you are in a rush and have four pages of apps. Also expect Siri to understand new languages, such as Spanish, Italian, and French.
The highly anticipated new Apple Maps app marks the beginning of a new era, as Apple is parting ways with Google Maps after a five year relationship. The new Apple mapping app will finally give iPhone users a full navigation application that's a part of the operating system, something that android phone-users have been enjoying for quite some time, and will finally offer turn-by-turn navigation.
Apple aims to top Google Maps by integrating real-time traffic data that includes rerouting options to avoid potential trouble spots. The maps will also allow users to fly over cities and view buildings and streets from multiple angles. When you zoom in to a certain level, a 3D animated image of the surroundings will pop up. You can even simulate your entire route with an animated car on a 3D map.
When it arrives later this fall, iOS 6 will support 3GS and greater iPhones, second-generation and newer iPads, as well as the fourth-generation iPod Touch.
FaceTime Over Cellular – For the first time ever, iPhone and iPad users will be able to make video-conferencing calls over the cellular data network without having to first connect to Wifi.
Phone Tweaks – For years, iOS hasn't done much with the phone portion of the iPhone. But now, users will be able to send reject a call and send a text response with one button, such as "I'll call you later." It could be very useful if you're at work and the boss is around. Best of all: it's geofenced, which means it can send you a reminder to return the call when you get to a predetermined destination, such as home.
Privacy – Location Services will be moved to a new 'Privacy' section, designed to give users quick access to the information apps are accessing.
Safari – The Apple Web browser will be faster and will make it much easier to quickly upload photos to Shutterfly and Smart App Banners.
Quicker Bluetooth Access– The bluetooth control has been moved from being buried in the settings to being placed directly under the WiFi control.
Messaging – Users will be able to designate certain contacts as VIPs so that their message will be highlighted in the user's mailbox. It will also be easier to insert photos and videos while composing an e-mail.
Hands-Free – Keep your hands on the wheel! Apple says a number of auto manufacturers including BMW, General Motors, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, Honda and potentially others will be adding a button on their vehicles' steering wheels that iPhone or iPad users can simply push to use their phone entirely by voice command.
Preset Text Messages for Incoming Calls – This feature will allow users to choose and send a preset text message to an incoming caller if they are otherwise occupied.
Do Not Disturb – The user will be able to set days and times when certain apps and notifications will not appear.
Photo Stream – Photo stream users will now be able to share their photos with friends and others not on their Apple account.
Passbook – This will be a one-stop shop for boarding passes, credit cards, movie tickets, sporting events, and other account information. It supports GPS activated notifications, so your Starbucks card will appear on your locked screen when you're in or near a Starbucks.
Lost Mode – If you lose your iPhone or iPad, you'll be able send a phone number to your lost device so anyone that may have found it can contact you.