10 Takeaways from Apple’s iOS6 presentation at WWDC 2012
iOS has been revealed, and as usual lately, we saw a long list of improvements but little real innovations.
Still, it seems like Apple continues to push iOS forward with a bunch of useful features and tools that will continue to position iOS as a leader in the mobile operating system space.
I think that the theme this time is making iOS smarter than in the past with many “intelligent” features.
Here are the top 10 new features in iOS 6:
- New maps: we saw it coming, it was required, and it’s finally here. There will not be a street view, and there will probably some early bugs for such a huge piece of development, but in general this was a required move by Apple against Google, and those maps look impressive on first look.
- Siri improvements: I’m not a huge fan of Siri, yet I believe that the huge set of improvements, and more importantly – the built-in integration with the new navigation system will make Siri much more useful than in the past. (still no API’s though). Besides, the ‘Integration’ part is a key in the next generation of Siri, with integration to services like Yelp, OpenTable, IMDB, Fandango, and other services that will turn Siri into a real assistant. Hopefully…
- Facebook integration: finally. Facebook integration is probably going to be more significant than the twitter integration (as it will come with calendar, birthdays, and maps integration), and from what we have seen it looks like it was implemented in an amazing way.
- Facetime using cellular network: yes! my parents are going to love being able to talk and see the kids when they are outside!
- Shared photo albums: another feature that was specifically created for my parents! Why sending them pictures of their grandchildren when I can simply share an album with them directly from my iPhone? Brilliant.
- iPhone is getting smarter with new convenience options:
- ‘Reply with a message’ to a call
- ‘Remind me later’ option with location aware notifications
- ‘Do not disturb’ option to put yourself and your push notifications to sleep
- Important calls filter – which will wake you up in case a truly important (and repeating) call happens. Another win for someone with old parents like myself.
- Smarter emails: if you think of it, the email application did not change for quite a long time. Now it is finally getting a little bit better:
- High priority mails (called VIP)
- Attachments straight from your mail (just when I found this amazing trick!)
- Safari improvements: I must admit the list did not make me that excited, but nevertheless:
- iCloud sync between your mobile browser and your (Mac) desktop browser (similar to Google’s latest Chrome mobile features)
- ‘Upload’ from the web (finally!)
- Offline reading list (this is a ‘ReadMeLater’ killer, courtesy of Apple…)
- Passbook: an intelligent app that is not only keeping your tickets and coupon organized but is also location aware and constantly updated to give you the most up to date information (including changes in your next flight or gate). Nice! Apple is finally thinking of business people traveling all day long? I’m shocked.
- New accessibility features: most people are not aware of this, but iOS is surprisingly strong in supporting accessibility features such as onscreen helpers, special UI navigation buttons (a mode most people do not use), fonts, and other features for users with disabilities. It seems like iOS 6 will bring some new features in this space, plus some new ‘single app’ modes to allow students take tests with iPads without being able to cheat by going to other apps and find the answers they need…
That’s it. My summary of Apple’s new iOS.
I’m glad I managed to successfully predict what features will not be included in iOS 6, and pretty content with the new stuff, although I would say, once again, that Apple’s iOS is no longer innovating like in the first 2-3 versions.
Will it be enough to fight Android? I don’t think so. But now we have iPhone 5 to wait for…