30 reasons you need iOS 6

Mark Hattersley
11 July, 2012
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Apple’s new operating system is due to arrive in September and will introduce a raft of new features for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners. Here are 30 that will interest you.

1 Apple-designed Maps

Apple has completely replaced Google Maps with its own app.

The cartography has been designed by Apple, so as you’d expect it looks pretty special; although it appears to offer less detail than Google’s mapping service (this may be because Apple’s cartographers are still adding detailed information).

Google Maps is being replaced by Apple’s own cartography app.


2 Yelp reviews

One feature in Maps that’s incredibly welcome provides reviews of businesses and other local information. Clicking the ‘i’ button next to a Pin opens up a window with an address and contact information, along with a nice rotating satellite graphic. Clicking on the Reviews tab enables you to see what other people think of the business. This is all provided by the Yelp service.

3 Flyover

The marquee feature in iOS 6 is the stunning Flyover view, which renders 3D models of cities in real time: enabling you to pan, rotate and zoom around an extremely photorealistic 3D view of a city. While Apple is typically coy about the technology used, it seems that the company has built 3D wireframes and flown aircraft over a city from numerous angles and then superimposed the images on to the 3D buildings. It looks amazing.

This stunning feature lets you rotate and zoom into 3D models of cities.


4 Turn-by-turn navigation

Pedestrian and driving instructions will be updated as you move around.

One area that Maps has taken a definite and undeniable turn for the better is with built-in turn-by-turn navigation (sat-nav) technology provided by TomTom. This enables you to get pedestrian and driving instructions that update as you move around. It also interacts with the new 3D mode in Maps. In turn-by-turn mode, the Maps app uses TomTom data to inform you of relevant traffic conditions.

5 Eyes Free

There’s a new feature that works with Siri called Eyes Free, which will enable you to access Siri on your phone by pushing a button on your car steering wheel. The button will be implemented by major car manufacturers (such as BMW and Audi) in new vehicles, but some enterprising company may be able to install a supporting button in current ones.

6 Facebook

Facebook is a central part of iOS (you set up the account and password in Settings). Like Twitter, this also works alongside the regular app that you download from the App Store, but integrates features throughout iOS. A nice touch is that Siri can be used to create Facebook and Twitter posts; you can also share photos and web pages directly to Facebook and developers will be able to use the SDK to let you share from apps directly.

7 Facebook notification

Once Facebook is set up, you’ll be able to read posts in the Notification Centre (accessed by dragging your finger down from the top of the screen) you can also post directly from here. This should make it easier to interact with Facebook on the iPhone.

8 Facebook contacts

Perhaps the most useful Facebook-related feature is direct integration with the Contacts app. This means that once you’ve connected iOS to Facebook your Contacts will sync with Facebook. So if a friend changes their email on Facebook, it’ll also update on your iOS device (although this was included in the Facebook app, it now works more tightly with iOS).

If a friend’s details are updated, these will change in your Contacts app.


9 Siri business

iOS 6 brings a number of improvements to Siri, but one of the most important for users is that there’s now international support for Siri to locate business information in Maps. So you can now ask Siri for business information, such as “find me an Italian restaurant” and get search results in Maps.

10 Siri sports and films

Siri has also learnt about sport and will be able to provide detailed information about different players and statistics. Scott Forstall showed off baseball information and mentioned that it would include other sports as well.

If you want to keep up to date with the latest scores, you can now ask Siri.


11 Siri app launch

Another new Siri feature (one that’s working in the beta) is the ability to launch apps just by saying their name to Siri. While this is a small feature, the packed nature of iOS Home screens makes it a welcome one.

12 Siri on iPad

Siri is now also available for the iPad: holding down the Home button brings up a Siri box that pops up next to the Home button. It works in largely the same manner as the iPhone 4S, but you may find it suits the sit-back nature of the iPad better than the iPhone. Only the second- and third-generation iPad models run Siri, so owners of the first-generation iPad are out of luck.

13 Phone app: Remind with message

If you can’t take a phone call, you can choose from a set of three stock responses to send a message: “I’ll call you later”, “I’m on my way” and “What’s up?” A fourth “Custom” option lets you type in your own text. You push up the Answer Call slider (in a similar manner to accessing the Camera from the Home Screen) to get to the responses.

14 Phone app: Remind me when I leave

A nice touch is the Remind Me When I Leave option, which uses location services to deliver the reminder when you move from that place.

15 Reminders app

The Reminders app will have location services built in, which will make it infinitely more practical. With iOS 6 you will be able to set locations, such as Home and Work and then receive Reminders when you arrive at that location (rather than just by specific times).

16 Do Not Disturb

Another neat new feature is Do Not Disturb, which enables you to silence incoming calls and messages. There’s a switch in Settings to turn the function on or off and when Do Not Disturb is activated, a moon icon appears in the top bar. When this is activated you won’t receive any phone calls or alerts (messages will still arrive, but no sound will be made).

17 Do Not Disturb schedule

You can also schedule Do Not Disturb. The settings are currently located in the Notifications. Here you can click Schedule on and use the From and To pickers to choose quiet hours. An Allow Calls From setting enables exceptions for people or groups of people (the default is Favourites).

18 VIP inbox

iOS 6 introduces a second Mail inbox called VIP that displays messages in your main inbox from selected people (or groups). These VIPs have a star next to them (you indicate who’s a VIP using Mail messages or contacts).

19 Add images to email

There’s a new way to insert photos or video in the Compose window. You can now tap the text to bring up the window, tap the right arrow twice (which moves to Quote Level, then Insert Photo or Video) and click this to make your choice from the Photos app. Once you’ve picked a photo or video clip, it’ll be inserted into the email message.

20 Password Office docs

You can now open password-protected office docs, which will make life easier for those of us who have to view these (previously we could view them using an app like Docs2Go).

21 Apple Passbook

Passbook is another new app that will become a vital part of the iOS experience. Increasingly, when people purchase tickets for events or book into an airport (and get a boarding card) these are sent electronically. Passbook is an attempt to provide an integrated iOS solution that holds all of these in an Apple app. These can then be accessed from the Home screen or inside the app itself. So you can present a barcode from your Passbook App and scan in at airports and events.

22 Safari iCloud

Safari makes use of iCloud syncing to enable tabs open on one iOS device, to be quickly accessed on another. Clicking on the small iCloud icon in the menu bar enables you to view all open web pages on all your devices.

23 Offline Reading List

Reading List (a feature where you save interesting web pages to read later) has been available since iOS 5, but now it will cache the pages, so you can read them without having to reload the page.

24 Guided Access

This is an interesting new Accessibility feature, primarily aimed at children with autism. Once turned on (by triple-clicking the Home button) it locks the device to a single app, so clicking the Home button does not leave the app.
What’s more, you can use Guided Access to draw circles around buttons inside apps you want to disable, limiting the amount of interaction with an app.

25 New-look Music app

The Music app now features a refreshed design with a lighter, greyish design with grey buttons at the bottom (more in keeping with iTunes on the Mac). The Play, Next and Previous track buttons have a dividing line between them and are more distinct and the Slider controls have a larger circular button.

26 New App Store

Both the App Store and Music Store also have a new look and some new features. You can now scroll left and right across categories. When installing apps, you can see the loading bar inside Store itself. This makes it easier to reinstall apps using the Purchased menu.

27 Apps and songs in Facebook

Another neat Facebook feature is that you can now like and share apps and songs from the iTunes and App Store apps to Facebook.

28 3G FaceTime

You’ll now be able to use FaceTime video when connected via 3G, rather than just Wi-Fi. It’s not a marquee feature, but will be incredibly useful to those who like to use FaceTime on a regular basis. This will work incredibly well for users (mostly in the US) with 4G LTE connections.

29 Shared Photo Stream

You can now share photos and albums from your Photo Stream with other iOS 6 users. Photo Stream works with iCloud, so pictures taken on an iPhone, say, will be displayed on another iOS device. You’ll be able to select photos and share them with other iOS users and they’ll appear inside their Photos app.

Photos taken on an iPhone can be viewed on another iOS device.


30 Photo comments and alerts

You can now add comments to your Photos: when they’re shared with other friends they’ll get alerts and notifications. While it’s a small feature it makes the Photos app much more sociable.


11 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. james says:

    Can’t believe most new features aren’t available on the 4. That’s just poor. Apple getting greedy!!!!

  2. Susan Wong says:

    PS: According to Apple’s we site, turn by turn isn’t available in Australia.

    At Launch:
    UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, France, Ireland, India, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, South Africa and possibly more…

    Not At Launch:
    New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Japan, China, Brazil, South Korea and more…

    Source: http://www.apple.com/*countrycode*/ios/ios6/

  3. Grant W says:

    Lol, already available on Android for like 3yrs already. Cant believe Google is not suing Apple for a change, for copying all these Android features.
    I love Apple macbooks, tablets, but when it comes to phones, Android still does it for me.

  4. Ryan says:

    Wrong only iphone 4a and ipad 3 will get siri, look at the bottom of the ios apple page and look at the small print

  5. Stefano says:

    Siri on iPad 2? Are you sure or is just dictation?

  6. Eric says:

    @ Grant W

    You android guys crack me up with your belief that apple copies android. While it is true that they have taken a similair approach on certain features..Let’s not forget that the iPhone was BEFORE android. Funny how everything on android: apps, layout, Phone design and aesthetics (especially samsung devices) all resemble the iphone that was here first. So it would seem to me that if anyone “copies”, its Android not Apple. Every phone wishes it was the iphone and looks to it for inspiration on there future designs.

  7. Techman23 says:

    What? It said on the apple website that iPhone 4s and iPad 3 only will get Siri!!!!?????

  8. Macworld Australia Staff says:

    Note: iPad 2 will not receive Siri in iOS 6.

  9. Baz says:

    eer… no thanks. Not having street view would be a reason in itself not to upgrade to ios 6 for me. Who cares about 3D cities? Its of little navigation use. Its only good as a fun toy. I bet ya too that you’d most likely only going to be able to render into 3D selected cities, then again, as I won’t be flying my way through the city but walking on ground level, so what? Turnby Turn navigation? There are many apps in the iTune store which will already do that for you.

    Don’t get me started on Siri, so we were told we’d be able to search on businesses in Australia with Siri sometime this year when the 4s was launched last year. Well we are still waiting for it! I am alittle scepticle too about searching for Match scores on Siri, wouldn’t surprise me if the only scores available will be US ones. All honestly only use I’ve found for siri has been to use it as a quick call function to call someone in my Address book, other than that, Siri’s a dud with poor comprehension skills.

  10. mintslice says:

    @eric they are both copying each other and a whole load of other people. The BIG difference is that while Jobs was happy to admit that he steals ideas from other people (what was that quote?) he didn’t seem so happy that others might do it to him.

    This list of features reads like a summary of Android features. I especially love the option to SMS someone who’s ringing me.

    And while Apple seem to be trying to use the notification area as a defacto ‘widget’ space, the new notification features in Jelly Bean blow Apple out of the water with true usability (who wants weather or stock in there, they should be widgets on the home screens should you want them). Couple that with Google Now and decent voice recognition and I’ll not be changing platforms anytime soon.

    Apple might have been there early with the smart phone (don’t forget that Blackberry was there earlier and Palm before them) but Android is truly shining now.

  11. Ross says:

    After going through that list, I find nothing to make me want to go to 6.

    As everyone has said, most of the ‘new’ features aren’t that new and if it’s true that Street View won’t be available on iOS6 on my iPad, I won’t be going there just for that reason. Plus if Apple’s maps aren’t as detailed as Google’s, I wouldn’t bother with it either.

    I have an iPad but I don’t have Facebook or Twitter accounts , so that’s irrelevant, I don’t have an iPhone because when I use my phone, I just MAKE PHONE CALLS! LOL!!!
    My iPad is for emails and browsing, reading using both iBooks and the Kindle for IPad,some games and art apps and iOS5 is already just dandy for that.

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