Apple announced some exciting new features for iOS 6 at the Worldwide Developers Conference today. The latest version of the mobile operating system, launching this fall, will include over 200 new features.
Siri got a lot smarter, and can now converse in Italian, Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese and other new additions to its international vocabulary. Apart from the number of languages it supports, the personal assistant has also expanded its knowledge. Users can make restaurant reservations thanks to an integration with OpenTable and Yelp, or get movie reviews through Rotten Tomatoes. Siri can even tweet for you, and launch apps.
iOS 6 comes with a system-wide Facebook integration. Similar to the existing Twitter integration, users log in to their Facebook account through the iOS settings applications and are able to easily post to their account or share media with friends. Events and birthdays appear in the iOS calendar, and users can ‘like’ applications on the new App Store.
Apple has added a very handy ‘do not disturb’ feature to the new update. Your phone will be quiet during meetings or overnight, but you can exclude certain groups of people meaning their calls will always come through. The feature also gives you the option to let your phone ring anyway if someone calls twice within three minutes.
iOS 6 makes it easier to share your Photo Streams with others. Choose a photo or an album, and friends will receive a notification. The social networking style serve lets users comment on and like photos.
A new app called ‘Passbook’ allows users to collect and store boarding passes, store cards, movie tickets and anything else you would normally have to print out. Once you’re near the place you would use it, Passbook pulls up the relevant card. The app updates automatically, which means your boarding pass will always display the latest gate change.
The rumors were already going around, and Apple did indeed ditch Google Maps for its latest iOS update. Its own mapping solution includes Yelp integration, crowd-sourced traffic information with real-time data, and ‘Flyover’, which shows 3-D models of geographical features and buildings. Siri will be able to tell your kids if you’re ‘almost there’ and guides you to wherever you want to go with turn-by-turn directions.
iOS 6 was released as a developer beta shortly after WWDC concluded. As Los Angeles iPhone app developers we’re going to be jumping right in and playing around with some of these new features. We plan to immediately start integrating new Facebook sharing features into our applications and see many opportunities to leverage the new maps API.