Lots of new features are coming to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch —but not every feature to every device. The jam-packed WWDC keynote in June featured a lengthy preview of iOS 6, the next iteration of Apple s mobile OS, due out this fall. It has dozens of new features, big and small. The Maps app is totally redone, and Siri has learned some new tricks. But not every trick works on every device, and iOS 6 itself leaves a few more gadgets (the iPhone 3G and the original iPad) in the dust. Check out the additions we re most excited about on the next few pages-and the chart on P55 that explains which devices support which features. MAPS Good-bye Google; Maps is all new Maps is the app most changed in iOS 6, but as cool as those changes are. they re also the most problematic. In previous versions of iOS, the Maps app (with data from Google Maps) was pretty much the same across all devices. Street View looked better on the iPadbig screen, and only devices with a compass (iPhone 3GS and later) could reorient the map to the direction you faced —but other than that, the experience was identical.
For iOS 6. Apple rebuilt the Maps app from scratch, with a new look and new map data from Tom Tom. It got some cool features, like 3D views and turn-by-turn navigation —if you have the right hardware. And that s an iPhone 4S, iPad 2, or new third-gen iPad. The other iOS 6-compatible devices (iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, and fourth-gen iPod touch) get the new Maps app. but no 3D view or turn-by-turn navigation. You can still get directions and swipe through them yourself. Across all the iOS 6 devices. Maps has tighter integration with web services. Apple claims 100 million business listings, and when you search for them or tap them on the map, you ll see their Yelp rating, and reviews and photos too.Naturally, this requires an Internet connection, but the old Maps app does too. One of our favorite features of the older Maps app was the way Google Maps could give us driving, walking, and transit directions. Apple s new Maps app contains driving and walking directions, but for transit info it suggests third-party apps for the city you re searching in instead. While those apps often do a better job, not everyone wants to buy a new app for every city they visit. Apple s Flyover feature is a fancy term for manipulating a 3D map image to give you a bird eye view of a city. Using two fingers to zoom and rotate the map, you can check out buildings and landmarks from any angle, sort of like in Google Earth —but since Flyover is a feature of the 3D maps, only the newest hardware (iPhone 4S, iPad 2, and the new iPad) is invited to the party. We re excited to kick the tires on the new Maps app, but frustrated that the experience will vary between devices. SIRI More helpful than ever, and on the new iPad too Introduced as a voice-controlled “assistant” for the iPhone 4S, Siri makes for amusing TV commercials, but in real life, it s a mixed bag. Still-in-beta Siri can be helpful, but has some hiccups —it can take a few tries before you re understood, Siri requires an Internet connection, and from time to time, the service is just down temporarily. Apple is sticking with Siri, expanding it to the new (third-generation) iPad and, we presume, whatever iPhone comes after the 4S. Since iPads and iPhones sell by the millions, the installed user base of Siri is about to skyrocket. Siri has some new tricks, too. You can ask her about your favorite sports teams (baseball, football, basketball, hockey, and soccer), and you see a scoreboard for the last game, league standings, player stats, the kind of info you might normally fire up an app like ESPN Score Center for. Ask about movies, and Siri can tell you what playing nearby, let you check out trailers and Rotten Tomatoes reviews, and list other films from an actor or director. Restaurant listings are enhanced by Yelp reviews and ratings, and Siri can kick you out to Open Table for a reservation. Siri also lets you update your Twitter feed or Facebook status just with your voice. Well, your voice and whatever corrections you need to make to the dictation, anyway. But you won have to open an app. Although, if you want to open an app, ask Siri to do it for you, a handy alternative to Spotlight.
Apple is even partnering with nine automakers to add a Voice Command button to the steering wheel of new cars. Press it, and talk to Siri “Eyes Free.” to get directions, send a message, fire up your road-trip playlist —anything Siri can do. Your hands stay on the wheel, and the screen does’n even light up to distract you. PASSBOOK Tickets, coupons, gift cards, all at your fingertips Airlines like American, Delta, and US Airways already offer paperless boarding passes —OR codes that can be scanned right from your phone screen. It s a fun future-y way to get on board, although you do have to be sure to save a bit of battery power, getting the right screen up can take a few taps, and they re only available for certain airports. Apple wants to streamline and simplify that system with its Passbook feature in iOS 6. Passbook will let companies offer tickets, boarding passes, coupons, and loyalty cards that stay in your iPhone, popping up on the lock screen so you don t have to go hunting for them when you need them. Passes can even be time and location based. If you re walking by a Starbucks, a notification can appear, and when you swipe it, there s your Starbucks card. Tickets to a ballgame pop up at game time. When you reach the airport, there s your boarding pass. Push notifications can do more than just entice you to shop or eat: once you at the airport, Apple suggests, the airline can push a notification to you if your gate changes. This isn’ t the same as NFC, or near-field communication, which is built in to some phones to let them make payments, a la Google Wallet. NFC requires a chip in the phone that interacts with a chip in a credit card terminal, so you can just wave your phone instead of pulling out a card to swipe. The iPhone 4S doesnhave NFC, but Apple could have plans to add it to a future device. Perhaps Apple is just testing the waters with Passbook. Once you bought a few lattes with your prepaid Starbucks card in Passbook, maybe the idea of storing your credit card info in your phone —or using the one that already tied to your iTunes account —will be more comfortable. Unlike iOS 6other marquee features, Passbook s success depends on how many companies adopt it, but we definitely look forward to ditching a few more loyalty cards from our overstuffed wallets. OTHER HITS Elsewhere in iOS 6, additions big and small will change the way we use our iPhones and iPads FACEBOOK AND TWITTER The two big social media networks are all over iOS 6. You can sign in to both of your accounts in Settings, and then share almost anything via Facebook and Twitter, from photos to locations to webpages and more. Your friends’data can be added to your Contacts list, and Facebook Events to your calendar. Apps that tie in to Facebook and Twitter won t make you re-sign in, either. FACETIME OVER 3G Apple s easy-to-use video chat will work over 3G as well as Wi-Fi —if you have an iPhone 4S, or new third-gen iPad (the WiFi + 4G version, of course). Everyone else is stuck on Wi-Fi, as before. MAIL When you mark contacts as VIPs, new messages from them are starred, and go to a special VIP inbox. You can also set different notifications for VIP emails, and even tweak notifications per email account. If you only want the unread messages in your iCloud account to show up in the badge on the Mail icon, that s doable. Advanced notification settings for Mail. PHONE The iPhone is a phone too, remember? The Do Not Disturb feature lets you set times you don t want to be reached, but you can still let calls from your Favorites through, and/or anyone who calls more than once within three minutes. Can answer? iPhone can remind you to call back later, or you can use the cool Reply With Message feature to send back a quick text message instead. MOBILE SAFARI Apple s flagship browser is getting some new tricks, like an offline Reading List, and the ability to go full-screen in landscape orientation. iCloud Tabs saves your open tabs to your iCloud account, so you can quickly access them from your Mac, iPad, or iPhone. And you can more easily post images to websites without having to leave Safari. Reading List articles are available offline. SHARED PHOTO STREAMS Photo Stream is one of our favorite iCloud features —its great for automatically syncing your iPhone photos back to iPhoto on your Mac, and if you share one iCloud account with your special someone, they get to see all the photos you take. But who wants to share accounts? iOS 6 will let you select a group of pictures and invite friends and family to share them as a photo stream, either on their iOS 6 device, Mountain Lion Mac, or just on the Web. They can even leave comments on the photos and give em a thumbs up. BETTER PRIVACY SETTINGS The settings in iOS 5 already let you specify which apps can see your location data, and that idea is extended in iOS 6. You ll have total control over which apps can access not only your location, but also your contacts, calendar, reminders, and photos. GUIDED ACCESS Triple-click the Home button in an app you want to run as a single app. Good for teaching, or giving your phone to your kids —it disables the Home button so they can t change the app. You can even set some areas of the screen as off-limits to touch input. iBOOKSTORE, iTUNES STORE, AND APP STORE All of Applestore apps are getting a new look. The home pages have splashier preview images you can flip through, and in the App Store, each app s page has the screenshots moved higher to show off the app s design. Plus, a History button shows what items you ve looked at recently, so if you check something out on your iPhone but then decide later to buy it from your iPad, itjust a couple of taps away, no searching. Pingfate is still unclear, but since you can now “like” content on Facebook, who knows how much longer Ping will be a thing.
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