While today's World Wide Developer's Conference concentrated mostly on new Macbook hardware us iPad owners did get some major news with the release of the latest version of iOS, Version 6. Packed with tons of new features including an all new Maps app that replaces google maps, new expanded Siri functionality, deeper Facebook integration and more. Scott Forstall rounded up much of the new iOS 6 improvements in the following quote:
iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device,” said Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president of iOS Software. “We can’t wait for hundreds of millions of iOS users to experience the incredible new features in iOS 6 including the new Maps app, expanded Siri support, deep Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and the innovative new Passbook app.
Probably the most talked about new feature was the long rumored 'Maps App' that Apple has been working on. Featuring high resolution imaging, turn by turn navigation that is tied in with Siri and integration with Yelp as well as traffic information and notifications all integrated for a really incredible experience. Many auto manufacturers are also working with Apple to add 'one touch' integration of Siri into their cars that will work with any iOS device. This really could spell the end to stand-alone auto navigation systems such as TomTom and Garmin.
Siri receives a host of additional capabilities in iOS 6 including integration with OpenTable, local movie listings, sports scores and stats, and new languages such as spanish, french and italian.
Another long-awaited feature has to do with Facetime, Apple's video conferencing and video chat protocol. Well I'm happy to announce that it now only works over Wi-Fi now but also through cellular connections. That makes it much more useful as you can now contact anyone that is using an iPhone or iPad via a regular phone call now via video...not only over a Wi-fi network. Expect this feature to really take off now that that's available.
Facebook integration will be nearly ubiquitous with the ability to post from virtually any app, the ability to add contacts between Facebook and iOS apps and a host of new APIs that developers will be able to use for future apps that will tie Facebook into your iOS experience.
Notifications are an area that many have wanted improved and Apple is introducing a revamped notification system featuring a 'Do No Disturb' scheduled mode to select when you don't want to be bothered plus a host of great notification options.
Next up is the 'Shared Photo Stream' which allows you to share photos between iOS devices as well as selected family and friends. Finally Passport is a new app that consolidates all your electronic payment information into one place with a ton of partners that makes paying 'cashless' a real reality. From Starbucks to Fandango to United Airlines and various stores, all your information as well as purchase history and preferences can be stored to make purchasing as easy as everything else you do with an Apple product.
You can see the entire WWDC 2012 conference at the video link below including all the news about iOS 6 for your iPad. We'll be looking at some of these features more closely in the coming days but in the meantime what do you think? Let us know your opinion on the new iOS 6 in the comments!
The full WWDC 2012