Apple took the wraps off the next version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6 at the WWDC keynote in San Francisco on Monday. With over 200 new features being added to the operating system, here are the few important ones:
The biggest highlight of the iOS 6 will be the addition of Apple's own Maps over Google Maps
. Integrated with Siri, the new Maps will have turn by turn voice navigation, 3D maps, real time traffic update and a feature called Flyover, which will have photo-realistic interactive 3D views.
As expected, Apple has also integrated Facebook to the iOS 6
, similar to the Twitter integration in the iOS 5. Facebook will be directly integrated with contacts and calendar and one will have the ability to post directly from Notification Center, Siri and Facebook enabled apps like Photos, Safari and Maps.
Shared Photo Streams is the new way of sharing photos with family and friends in the iOS6. Users need to select the photos, choose the contacts and the Shared Photo Stream album will be instantly available on their iOS devices, iPhoto and Aperture on their Mac, via the web or even through Apple TV.
There is also a new app, Passbook that is an easy to get all the passes in one place, including boarding passes. This app can scan the iPhone or iPod Touch to use a coupon, get into a concert or check into the hotel. It automatically displays the passes on the Lock Screen based on the location or time. For instance, when one walks into the favourite coffee shot, the loyalty card appears that can be scanned to buy a coffee.
The intelligence voice assistance on the iPhone 4S, Siri will now be available for the new iPad. Siri has been optimised to be used in 15 countries and can now be used to launch third party applications as well. It can check the latest sports score or make a restaurant reservation as well.
Other features include Safari's update with iCloud tabs for offline reading lists, support for FaceTime calls over cellular network, ability to set up a VIP mailbox for quickly viewing messages from important people designated as VIP, option to reject incoming call with a quick message and enabled anew Do Not Disturb option.
"iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device," said Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice-president of iOS Software. "We can't wait for hundreds of millions of iOS users to experience the incredible new features in iOS 6 including the new Maps app, expanded Siri support, deep Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and the innovative new Passbook app."
A beta version of the iOS 6 is available to the iOS Developer Programme members while the update will be available for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the new iPad, iPad 2 and the iPod Touch (Fourth Generation) later this year when the new iPhone will be announced. With some of the features hardware dependent, all features might not be available on all devices.