Tuesday, June 12, 2012

iOS 6 Coming To An iPhone Near You This Fall

If at all you are on the market for a Smartphone, don't pull the trigger on decision making until you have looked long and hard at the all new iOS 6  features announced at the WWDC 2012 by Apple yesterday, due to be released this fall.

For starters the Apple iOS 6 update will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS and newer, iPad 2 and newer and the fourth generation iPod Touch and newer.  The only drag with upgrading from a system which is say a couple of years old is the noticeable slowing in performance as the antiquated hardware labors to keep up with the new operating software.

Some of the new features are not revolutionary in themselves as Android Ice Cream Sandwich is already offering some of them, and the Microsoft mobile platform has plenty new features as well.  What usually sets Apple apart is the simple and elegant integration of all the different parts to provide an augmented user experience on a closed but secure  platform.

There are over 200 new features arriving with iOS 6 but here are just a few of the more exciting ones:


An alternative to carrying a big wallet stacked with cards, Passbook will aggregate boarding passes, loyalty cards, shopping coupons etc in a way that will simplify the process of finding a needle in a haystack of cards from your wallet.  There is an App CardStar which I use now on my iPhone 4 though not as extensive in it's capability, provides an easy way to keep my loyalty cards in one place and I find it very useful.  Passbook seeks to go beyond that, where boarding passes and coupons will appear on your locked screen when you arrive at the airport or in the grocery store.

3D Maps

Google already provides StreetView in the Maps App, but here again Apple seems to forge ahead with relying less on it's main rival in the Smartphone market. The new Maps App will bring Text-to-Speech feature, which is a spoken turn-by-turn navigation instructions along with ability to do a birds eye view tour of cities. Now I am using Mapquest Mobile  which is a free navigation app that provides text-to-speech functionality and I must say works quite well.

Expanded Siri

Siri will now be available on the new iPad, in more languages and more countries.  And it will open Apps so you can tweet and update Facebook status by voice commands alone.  My buddy Stacy who upgraded from an old flip phone to the iPhone 4S looks so productive dictating his text messages and setting up reminders, he now swears by this feature.  If you are not big on typing on small touch screens you will appreciate this solution.

Facebook Integration

The lack of Facebook integration in the previous iOS iterations have always been one of my gripes with Apple but I can rest easy now that the same integration provided for the less popular twitter is extended to Facebook.

Facetime over Cellular Network

Now you can make Facetime calls over your Cellular network as well as over Wi-Fi.  It remains to be seen how practical making Facetime calls over the networks will be considering how expensive data is right now.

My friends on the Android platform will not trade in their phones for anything else and I find that to be the case with those using iOS.  If you are still  still on the fence deliberating which Smartphone to go with,   I recommend the iPhone only because I think it provides access to the largest App market and is also quite secure.  Plus I happen to own one, so excuse my bias.  The BlackBerry enthusiasts are also comfortable with their portion and I am happy for them.  Which ever platform you choose, don't look back after you make the decision and enjoy it for it's strengths.  Share your comments and thanks for reading...
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