As I often do, I jumped right in head first when the iOS 6 beta hit the intertubes. After seeing all the announcements about upcoming features, I was very excited to try out 6.0, I think even more so than 5.0. As I am writing this, we are about 1 week into beta 4. After updating to beta 4, I had that moment where you think “now this feels right”. Now they have the majority of the bugs worked out and it’s time to start polishing. iOS 6 has come a long way since beta 1 and the rough road was worth it.
Biggest changes and most notable features
Maps - I was definitely a bit more than skeptical when the news was announced that Apple was dropping Google maps for its own mapping technology but I have to say Apple maps are pretty great, and the navigation is really awesome! I especially like the turn-by-turn directions from the lock screen and Siri voice over.
Updated Siri - Siri has had a boost in what she is able to understand and information she is able to gather, from sports to movies to opening apps on your phone. Perhaps the best thing about Siri on iOS 6 is the availability of Siri on the iPad!
Facebook and Twitter integration - It is quite handy having social baked right in.
Reply with a message to missed calls - Someone is calling you but you can’t answer because you are in a meeting? This feature is for you! Simply slide up and send them a quick message telling them you will get back to them.
Fullscreen Safari on iPhone - Nice little tweak to allow you to use the full real estate when browsing in landscape.
Redesigned app store - Nothing has really changed feature-wise, but the store has been given a fresh new look.
No longer need to enter password for free updates - It appears that they have changed the way updates work: when you tap to update a previously installed app, you no longer have to type in your password. Thank you!
Do Not Disturb mode - Ability to set a time period when your phone won’t bother you. It also allows you to set up conditions for certain people to get through no matter what, and ability to say if someone calls you repeatedly it must be an emergency so let them through.
Passbook - Although it doesn’t currently function, I am very much hoping this takes off. The idea of having all those stupid store “perks” cards in my phone instead of in my wallet or at home where I forget them makes life much better.
I think that is it for now; I am sure there will be even more new things that they sneak in as we get closer to the launch of iOS6 and the new iPhone!
Also, on the plus side, MineTime has had zero interaction issues throughout the beta chain. :)
I <3 Beta. :)