The iOS 6.0 update for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch contains over 200 features and bug updates, including a number of great new features like Facebook integration and an improved Siri. But early impressions of the update haven't been entirely positive, with some reviewers bashing the new Maps application and the updated App Store.
Siri on the iPad. Siri didn't just come to the iPad. It was also improved to create a much more useful experience. Beyond looking up nearby pizza joints and setting reminders, Siri can now look up sports stats, launch apps, check reviews of restaurants on Yelp and even tweet your current status for you.
Apple Maps. With the contract between Apple and Google to provide Google Maps and YouTube expired, Apple introduced their own Maps application in the iOS 6.0 update. In the past few years, Apple has acquired several mapping companies, including Placebase, Poly9 and C3 Technologies. Going beyond flat maps, Poly9 and C3 Technologies specialized in providing 3D maps. In addition to these 3D maps, the new app also includes turn-by-turn directions.
Facebook Integration. Twitter was inserted into iOS with the 5.0 release, and a similar feature using Facebook was added for the 6.0 release. This integration will make it easier to share photos and video as well as like apps and update your contacts with Facebook information. It also includes new APIs to allow developers to more easily fold their app into Facebook, which will make it easier to login to various apps and meet up with friends as well as share app features.
Clock. The iPad has gained a clock application, which can display the time across multiple locations. The Clock also contains a stopwatch, a timer, and an alarm that can be routed to a song on your iPad.
FaceTime over 3G/4G. FaceTime is finally allowed over the data connection, which is something that is long overdue. No doubt, telecom companies are seeing the writing on the wall here. One day, they'll simply be selling a mobile data connection. For now, they should be happy that we are forced to buy a voice plan with our phone.
Notes and Reminders Syncing. In addition to syncing apps, songs, photos and contacts, iCloud will also sync your Notes and Reminders. This also includes syncing to your Mac, with the 'Mountain Lion' Mac OS update getting several cool iCloud features.
VIP Mailbox. Users can now flag email addresses as 'VIP', which will place them into a special folder in your inbox. This feature works with multiple accounts, so you can easily manage the most important contacts across several email accounts.
New App Store. The App Store has been updated with a new look-and-feel, including an app screenshot displayed within search results and new subcategories for games.
Other Changes Found in iOS 6.0:
- FaceTime on the iPad and iPod Touch supports receiving a call to your iPhone phone number
- Safari supports iCloud tabs to open a webpage across devices
- Safari supports uploading photos
- Game Center supports posting high scores to Facebook and Twitter
- Game Center supports friend recommendations from your Facebook friends
- If you only have a few songs from an album, you can 'complete my album' in iTunes to get the rest of it. This also works with TV shows to 'complete my season'.
- Search all of the fields in the Contacts list
- A movie mode provides improved video and sound quality
- Bluetooth MAP support
- Global network proxy for HTTP
- And many other additions and bug fixes.