iOS 6 has arrived and brought with it a range of changes and new features, both big and small. Part of the fascination with a new update is playing around with devices and trying to find some subtle changes. For the less patient or less curious, here are some of the major changes to look out for. One of the other things to note is that not all devices are created equal. While many of the features are compatible with all devices others, such as flyover and turn-by-turn navigation within Apple’s Maps app, are not supported on devices such as the iPhone 4 or iPod Touch.
We knew about this change some time ago, but iOS 6 does not sport a YouTube app out of the gate. Google responded last week with its own dedicated YouTube app, though it is geared towards iPhone users at the moment. A dedicated app for iPads is planned, but hasn’t hit the market just yet. You can download Google’s YouTube app from the app store before or after installing the iOS 6 update. In the meantime, iPad users can point their browsers to the YouTube website. Alternatively, a range of other video providers such as Squrl and ShowYou are attempting to make the most of YouTube’s brief absence from the iPad.
It does look as though Apple and Google haven’t been playing nice recently. Google Maps have also been dropped from iOS 6 in favour of Apple’s own Maps app. The new Maps feature “flyover” three-dimensional images taken from helicopters which were hired to fly over a number of major cities, in addition to voice navigation. Apple has also implemented turn-by-turn navigation, which is a significant upgrade and ensures that your attention can be focused elsewhere, such as on the road ahead.
Reaction has been mixed so far and it really depends on where you are based. If you live in a major city then you should have as much information as you did before and a new graphical representation to boot. However, other areas are less likely to have access to certain information and some countries do not have any representation within the new flyover map. If you like what you know and you know what you like, you can still access Google Maps from Safari, and we expect that Google is working away on its own app.
Phones used to be used to talk to other people, but the iPhone 4S introduced the novel concept of asking a machine for recommendations and advice. The iOS 6 update means that people will now be able to launch apps, get local-focused search results and even update their Twitter or Facebook using the virtual companion.
Do Not Disturb
There are times when you need to have your phone on just in case something drastic happens, but you don’t want to be disturbed by any old Tom, Dick or Harry. Apple has now introduced the Do Not Disturb feature, which allows users to manage calls that they are notified about. Users can also make use of the Repeated Calls option, which will allow certain calls to ring through if that person has tried to call twice within three minutes and they have made the personalised cut.
While we don’t take panorama shots everyday, it’s nice when the option is there. This allows users to “stitch” together photos to make a seamless landscape photo. The best part about this feature is that the panorama is created in real time; users no longer have to meticulously match up the apparent edges of their shots. iOS 6 supports this feature on devices such as the iPhone 5, iPhone 4 and iPod Touch (5th generation).
This is an element that has some potential, but we’ll have to wait and see it in a live setting before we can make a judgement call. Passbook essentially acts as a folder for all of your coupons, tickets, boarding passes and so on. Certain tickets and passes may require an additional app, but it will mean that you can travel without being weighed down by an abundance of paperwork. This could be one of the killer features of iOS 6, but we will have to see who backs it, how widespread the appeal is and how effortless it makes day-to-day life.
So there you have it: some of the key changes and new features that can be found within iOS 6. There is certainly potential and a variety of new tools and toys to play around with. Some of the changes may not change old habits; we could very well be downloading Google’s official apps as soon as they are made available for example.