What new features will be coming to iOS 6?

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Answered by: Andrew, An Expert in the Reviews Category
iOS 6 Coming Soon!

Back in June, Apple announced the upcoming release of the latest iOS version in iOS 6. With more than 200 new features announced, Apple has definitely decided to take iOS devices in "entirely new directions."

Out of all of the changes being made, perhaps the change making the most "noise," is the updated Maps application. Apple has decided to drop Google Maps from iOS devices in lieu of developing it's own app from the ground up.

The new Maps app features an updated icon for the homescreen but that's just the beginning.

"iOS 6 includes an all new Maps app with vector-based map elements that make graphics and text smooth, and panning, tilting, and zooming incredibly fluid. New turn-by-turn navigation guides you to your destinations with spoken directions, and the amazing Flyover feature has photo-realistic interactive 3D views. Real-time traffic information keeps you updated on how long it will take to get to your destination and offers alternate time-saving routes if traffic conditions change significantly. Additionally, local search includes information for over 100 million businesses with info cards that offer Yelp ratings, reviews, available deals and photos."

Upon launching the application, you will notice an entirely new interface complete with 2D and 3D views, as well as new turn-by-turn functionality. The turn-by-turn navigation will feature multiple and automatic reroutes for missed turns, as well as real-time traffic information to calculate ETA. On top of it all, turn-by-turn will work from the lock screen as well as through Siri to ask for destinations and arrival times. In a recent beta update to iOS 6, roadwork and traffic accidents have been added to show up in the Maps App.

The Mail application features a redesigned interface featuring "pull to refresh" to check for new messages inside a mailbox with a simple swipe down. Two new mailboxes were added, VIP and Flagged, alongside with single accounts in the main Mailboxes view. The VIP list is synced with iCloud which was feature first shown in Mountain Lion that has been adapted for iOS. VIP contacts will show a star next to a message in the mailbox as well as the ability to receive a notification from that person and a dedicated VIP mailbox. All VIP settings will be configurable in the Notification Settings. VIP list, VIP, and flagged smart mailboxes will only be available on the iPhone 4 or later and the iPad 2 or later.

One of the most talked about additions coming to iOS 6 is the new application developed by Apple named Passbook. Passbook will store boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards and will work with store card apps like Starbucks. Passbook is time and location-enabled, i.e, when you get to a movie theater, the ticket pops up on your lockscreen with a QR code for the cashier to screen. Many are speculating that with Passbook, Apple will be bringing NFC functionality to the iPhone.

Along with the revamped Maps application, the App Store receives it's first redesign since it's inception. iOS 6 brings a complete makeover to the iTunes Store, App Store and the iBookstore. In the App Store, app pages to include a new tabbed interface to move between Details, Reviews and Related apps. Also will provide support for sharing services i.e, users will be able to share an app via Facebook or Twitter.

Finally, Apple is no longer requiring users to enter passwords to download free app updates or to redwonload purchases from the iCloud.

New to the iPhone is a new system-wide control called Do Not Disturb. This service will suppress incoming calls and notifications with a simple ON/OFF switch. Integrated into Notifications to give the users control over the way iOS handles the muting of alerts. While activated, even though the various notifications will be silenced, the users will still be able to allow calls from Everyone, Favorite Contacts, or Groups with everything else going to voicemail.

The Phone.app also received a redesign with new options. The keypad has been updated and Facebook contacts now reside alongside standard iCloud contacts in the Contacts application. The ability to place and receive FaceTime calls on 3G depending upon the device. Also, iOS 6 will bring the unification of a phone number with a users Apple ID providing the ability for users to answer a FaceTime call using their Mac or iPad.

Safari has some small new capabilities such as users will now be able to upload photos to websites from either the camera roll or by taking a new picture from the Camera.app. Similar to Google Chrome's capabilities to sync tabs between mobile client and desktop version, iCloud will now have similar capacity in the form of iCloud tabs with Mountain Lion. An Instapaper-like service, Reading List, is being revamped for iOS 6 allowing offline support with the ability to save not just links, but entire websites. Reading List will only be available on the iPhone 4 or later and the iPad 2 or later.

Another anticipated addition coming to iOS 6 is an update to Siri. Siri is now compatible with the new iPad and has added features to the service itself. Siri now allows users to check team's scores and game schedule, as well as player stats and team records. Also new to Siri is the integration with Yelp and OpenTable for restaurant recommendations, and the ability to display reviews, photos, ratings, and pricing of your restaurant of choice. Another big update to Siri is the integration of movie review site, Rotten Tomatoes, with the ability to show ratings and reviews of available movies, as well as showtimes in your area. Perhaps one of the most requested features of Siri is the ability to open apps using the service, well now it's possible with iOS 6.

Much like Twitter's integration with iOS 5, Facebook will now receive a similar treatment in iOS 6. Facebook integration is complete with single sign-on for third-party apps, and developers will be able to access a user's Facebook credentials without relying on additional login screens or forcing users to switch to Mobile Safari.

A total of over 200 new features were shared with the public including, new privacy controls, location-based alerts for Find My Friends, Alarm with Song, faster Safari Javascript, a new iPad Clock app, and custom vibrations for alerts.

iOS 6 will be compatible with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S; iPod Touch 4th Generation, iPad 2, and the new ipad.

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