Recently Apple announced the next version of their mobile operating system, iOS 6, at the Worldwide Developer Conference. I cannot wait until the fall when we can all get our hands on it. Until then, here are the top 6 features that I am excited about.
1. Siri on the iPad – I didn’t upgrade to the iPhone 4S, so I have jealously been watching everyone else command their phones. But come this fall, my new iPad—which is what I use primarily these days for productivity—will get to join in. However if you have an original iPad, Siri will not work with it.
2. Passbook – It has always felt odd that in this paperless world, where I can purchase my tickets and gift cards online, that I would need a piece of paper or plastic to actually use them. Passbook will replace a bulky wallet full of tickets and passes with my iPhone. Not only that, but it will even pull up my boarding pass for me when I arrive at the airport.
3. Do Not Disturb – It comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I sleep with my iPad next to the bed. Aside from the fact that I use it as my alarm clock, it is nice to be able to grab it in the morning and catch up with the world. The downside is, when a notification comes in, the screen gets incredibly bright and can wake me up. Do Not Disturb allows me to schedule certain hours (say, midnight to 6am) when the notifications will be silent. It can even silence phone calls on the iPhone, while allowing you to exempt certain people from the restriction.
4. Facebook Integration – iOS 6 will not only feature the ability to post to Facebook from pretty much any app (like you can with Twitter now), but it will also integrate your Facebook contacts into your address book, as well as Facebook events into your calendar.
5. Unified Apple ID and Phone Number – Currently, if someone calls me over FaceTime or sends an iMessage to my phone number, it only comes to my iPhone. With iOS 6, all messages and FaceTime calls will come to both my phone and my iPad, allowing me to respond no matter what I happen to be holding at the time. And speaking of FaceTime, it will work over cellular (3G and 4G) data connections under iOS 6 as well.
6. Shared Photo Stream – This one will be huge for me. My husband and I take a lot of photos, and right now go through a laborious process to share with each other. With photo stream sharing, we can simply select the photos we want to share, and automatically send them to each other, even if the other person is not in the room.
Those are just a few of the new features of iOS 6. I cannot wait to be able to put these new features to good use. The upgrade will be coming this fall, and will be free for all supported devices.