Thoughts on iOS 6

One thing Apple knows how to do is put on a good show! They understand how to build hype, they have a very passionate following and they have mastered the art of making small seemingly incremental updates look like God’s gift to mankind…but lets look past the shiny brushed aluminum, glossy white plastic, and the fanfare an event like WWDC  (Worldwide Developer Conference) brings and focus on  iOS 6 as a product. Does this new version of iOS 6 live up to the hype? Continue reading to find out.

The main new features and tweaks of iOS 6

Facetime over Cellular

You can now Facetime over 3G, 4G, and LTE. No need to wander aimlessly in search of Wi-Fi…just boot up Facetime anywhere you have signal and you’re good to go. This is something that should have been included from the onset but at least it finally came to the OS.

Maps

Apple revealed its own mapping service which will replace Google Maps on iOS devices. The new Map will be vector based for improved performance and will feature turn by turn navigation, integration with Yelp for access to millions of business and integration with Siri. Navigation will be rendered in full 3D similar to what Google revealed last week. The demos shown for the new Maps app look very good but it will take a head to head comparison with the new Google Maps to see which is superior.

Passbook

This is a brand new feature and I feel it will be particularly useful. Passbook stores all your information with barcodes into one well-organized app. You can scan the barcode of boarding passes and the pass will be stored for quick recall at any time. The same goes for movie passes, store receipts, giftcards, etc. Another neat aspect of this app is it collects location information. If you have a Macy’s coupon stored and you are close to a Macy’s you will receive an automatic notification!

Facebook Integration

Finally, Apple has seen fit to integrate Facebook into the core of its OS! iOS 5 brought with it Twitter integration but without having the biggest player in the social media arena something always felt off. In iOS 6, users will now be able to sign into Facebook in their settings and begin rattling off status updates, share photos and many other things outside of the Facebook app. Facebook integration also extends to your phone contacts so you can now keep track of birthdays and calendar events.

Siri upgrade

Apple called the previous release of Siri a beta but judging by the new improvements to the iOS 6 version of Siri, it looks like we may have a near complete version of Siri on deck. Siri will now be able to open applications at your command (or request…Siri has feelings too I suppose).  Apple has also increased the number of apps that Siri can access to get information for you went you ask. This could take the form of Siri using the ESPN app to research sports stats or using Flixster to find movie times

Apple is also looking to add Siri to cars. In the near future, you may be able to dock your iPhone, press the Siri button on your dashboard or steering wheel and get information from Siri just like you would your phone.

Safari tweaks

You can now sync open tabs on Safari between iOS devices. Apple is pretty late in the game with this one…Chrome and Opera have been able to do it for some time now but better late than never

Rant Time!

I can’t help but feel that my rants are a serious case of first world problems but here goes!

Unless there is something huge that Apple is not revealing until the iPhone 5 unveiling (fingers crossed that this is the case), I find iOS 6 to be very underwhelming. With a banner displaying iOS 6 – “The world’s most advanced operating system,” one would expect changes to the core UI/UX of iOS. Instead we are left disenchanted with a handful of improved apps/ gimmicks that are neither innovative or original. iOS has kept the same static UI since its inception 5 YEARS AGO! While sticking with this UI may be good from an ideological standpoint, it is not evolving with the OS. I’m not suggesting that they go the Windows or Android route but if they are going to “borrow” ideas from the two OS’s, they should certainly take cues from their respective UI’s and notification systems.

The main features and tweaks listed in the above section all contain elements borrowed from other operating systems. I find it ludicrous that Apple is applauded for finally bring 3G calling to Facetime…this should have been in place from the get go! While it is important to have Facebook integration on iOS, it will most certainly pale in comparison to how Windows Phone has seamlessly integrated Facebook into its operating system, practically doing away with the need for a Facebook app.

Conclusion

Having said all this, I don’t want to discount what Apple has done with iOS 6. Most of the features that were shown during the keynote address were not mind-blowing, but they did address points of weakness for iOS. Apple is slowly making improvements to the extremely solid foundation of iOS without disrupting the ecosystem they have spent years building. As tech enthusiasts, we always want to see the latest and greatest from companies that we shell our hard earned money out to every year. These high expectations create a sense of disappointment. However, we always know something new is right around the corner so the disappointment is replaced by anticipation once again.

Comment below your thoughts on iOS 6. Were you impressed? what did you like/ didn’t like?

By: Chisom Agada

Image sources: Softpedia,  Redmond PieAppleEvdo Info

Tags: , , ,

Categories: Editorial, WWDC

Author:chizzwhiz

Full Time Engineer, Oil and Gas Industry Full Time Tech Enthusiast...Part Time Blogger Favorite Sport: Soccer

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One Comment on “Thoughts on iOS 6”

  1. June 12, 2012 at 12:56 PM #

    You’re spot on about the UX commentary, however, I disagree with the idea of redesigning the UI. Apple has a long standing tradition of branding with familiarity. Especially with such a minimalist design in mind, it’s not only difficult, but nearly impossible to simplify the simple. Plus, the UI has become so iconic of not just apple but smartphones all around the board. Any competitor will borrow SOMETHING from apple’s design.

    That being said, if you’re brand loyal, apple is the easy choice. If you want to customize, develop, and modify something, windows phones take the cake.

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