At the 2012 World Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote on Monday the technology company unveiled the next generation of iOS. With over 200 new features and enhancements including increased Siri functionality, Facebook integration and new apps like Maps and Passbook, it’s clear the $600 billion corporation is focused on providing users with a customer-centric experience by enhancing their lifestyle digitally. The operating system (iOS 6) will support the 4th generation iPod Touch device; iPad 2 and later, as well as iPhone 3GS and beyond. (Sorry iPad 1 users!) The operating system won’t be available for compatible devices until this fall, but the first beta build is currently available to developers.–Hajj Flemings
The Facebook updates functionality will be similar to iOS 5’s Twitter integration. Users will be able to sync Facebook events and birthdays to their mobile device’s calendar. Consumers will be able to log into Facebook via iOS 6 to post status updates, share photos, and sync Facebook phone numbers to their contact list.
However, with the recent Facebook privacy controversy, it might be a little concerning to some people to have the social networking giant so tightly integrated into their iOS device, tracking their every move. Regardless, Facebook can expect an increase in activity similar to what Twitter experienced with the iOS 5 update.
I love the current Siri TV ads by Apple, and, quite frankly, it is the only place the personal assistant software seems to work. All jokes aside, it will be interesting to see Siri on new iPad. Here are some of its enhanced functions:
–Users will be able to post Facebook updates and send tweets with their voice.
–Siri has partnered with Yelp, OpenTable, Rotten Tomatoes, and sports score updates ranging from the latest scores to stats and schedules.
–The software assistant will continue expanding globally with its new language support, which will now feature Spanish, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Cantonese, and optimize languages in 15 countries.
Apple is working with automotive manufactures to launch “Eyes Free,” a new feature that will allow a car to bring up Siri voice control. Nine auto manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Jaguar and Toyota are working on this implementation with plans to incorporate the technology in the next 12 months.
Apple is creating its own mapping system powered by TomTom. The turn-by-turn navigation system used Siri to communicate the directions to the user. The company is integrating their own real-time crowd sourced traffic data that will enable users to report accidents and other traffic-related information.
Passbook is a great location-enabled feature that allows you to store boarding passes, movie tickets, loyalty cards and store cards in one convenient location—your mobile gadget.
The central app pinpoints your location and generates the appropriate card based upon your position. For example, your Starbucks’ card will appear on your lock screen when you are near a Starbucks. It simplifies the payment process for you. If you are in an airport and standing at your boarding gate, it will pull up your boarding pass to scan. The app will automatically alert you with gate changes at the airport. Passbook isn’t limited to air travel users, the service is available for Amtrak travelers as well.
Some of the other features include…
–FaceTime over cellular
–Safari becoming Instapaper-esque
–Sharing groups of photos over iCloud
–After declining an incoming call, users can send a text message or set a callback notice. You will even be able to enable the “Do Not Disturb” feature.
–Mail VIPs, which highlights important messages and allows emails to come right to the lock screen like a text message