Apple launched its 23rd Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) yesterday with a revealing keynote that started with a witty Siri.
“How many developers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
“None – That’s a hardware problem…… ba dum ching”
A sophisticated Siri was just one of the new features presented for iOS 6. Apple’s new operating system has a recurring theme – tighter app integration and enhanced iCloud synchronization.
The former Siri was ideal for entertaining and retrieving quick data. Siri has been promoted to your executive assistant. She launches apps for you, updates your Facebook Status and sends a Tweet on request. She can look for a restaurant via Yelp and make reservations through OpenTable. Dinner and a movie? No problem, she has you covered with Fandango. She’ll let you in on the recent reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. If you miss the game, she can present you with sports stats and scores without picking up the phone. Siri can increase your efficiency even in the car. The “Eyes Free” feature will be built into the steering wheel in certain BMW, Toyota, Mercedes Benz, General Motors, Honda and Audi models.
Apple’s navigation application flew right over Google Maps and didn’t look back. Maps is exquisite, offering convenience and productivity. It highlights turn by turn navigation; local searches, real-time traffic updates, 3D perspectives and the “flyover” feature which views a location as if you were in an aircraft.
Not the Perfect Time for a Phone Call? The iOS 6 update gives you options.
- Ignore the call, but reply to the incoming call with a quick text message.
- Ignore the call, but set a reminder about the call later.
- In class, a meeting or movie? Set the “Do Not Disturb” option. It will block incoming calls but receive texts and alerts.
Keep electronic versions of admission tickets, boarding passes, reward cards and coupons in one location. Live data updates alert you when there is a flight delay or rain date. Radar lets you know your favorite store is nearby. Pretty handy, right?
Finally, you can instantly add photos to your email. You can also have multiple email signatures and use the VIP option to receive alerts when emails arrive from select contacts (ie: Your Boss!).
Other Noteworthy Changes:
- Facebook has a closer harmonization in iOS 6. Facebook pictures, calendars, events and birthdays will be synced seamlessly. You’ll even be able to “Like” an app or song in the App Store.
- WiFi is no longer a mandatory element for FaceTime – it is now 3G capable.
- Safari: iCloud synchronization enables you to save tabs, cache pages and access an offline reading list without web connection. You’ll also be able to use Safari in landscape mode.
- Updated language support for 15 countries, now including Canadian French, Italian, Korean, Mandrin and Cantonese.
- Restructured App Store lets you save your browsing where you left off and access your history.
- There is much, much more to come. Approximately 200 features all together.
Arriving this fall, the iOS 6 updates pertain to specific Apple devices:
- iPod Touch 4th generation
- iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s
- iPad 2 and iPad 3
The annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference is June 11th – 15th. Stay tuned for more updates!
Do you own an Apple device? What do you think of the new iOS 6 software update?