With iOS 6 being a major upgrade to our beloved iOS devices, I’d like to give you a pretty good description of some major features for iPad. I’m going to try to be as detailed as possible, however if you still have any questions after reading the whole post, I’ll be happy to answer them through Twitter (@jakezarobsky), or the comments below this post.
Without further adieu, here’s some of the major features for iPad in iOS 6:
I’ve talked about Maps before, however I just got a chance to use it, and it is AMAZING. I was blown away at how quick and accurate the application was. The color scheme of the application is gorgeous and seems a lot less sterile than Google’s Maps. Another major feature is the ability to report anonymous accidents/reports on traffic. This feature requires a GPS chip, which is found within the Cellular iPad model. Also of note: 3D Maps are not compatible with pre-A5 devices. This is due to the graphics-intensive nature of the 3D maps.Turn-by-turn navigation also works really well, though the voice seems a bit more robotic than Siri’s usual voice.
The Maps app features that 3D/Locate button in the bottom left hand corner (which was leaked in the beginning of this summer), and a unified search field at the top. One of my favorite new features of the app is the ability to rotate maps whatever direction you want with two fingers. There’s also a print button within the application that will print maps and directions. There’s also neat little lay-over elements when selecting points-of-interest, and when searching for businesses. Apple also integrated with OpenTable and Yelp, so you can make reservations via OpenTable and read reviews from Yelp, right from the Maps application. (Click images to enlarge.)
Siri of course made her big debut in iOS 6 with new sport and movie capabilities, but she also made the jump to the new iPad. It works almost just the same as the iPhone, with the exception being that Siri pops up in a layover on the new iPad (as opposed to the whole screen on the iPhone 4S). Siri will only be available on the new iPad and on the iPhone 4S.
In order for Siri to work, Apple had to bring over a few applications. Or, they could integrate all of them into one handy application. Apple brought some weather capabilities and time-keeping capabilities to the iPad with a new Clock application for the iPad. It offers features similar to the smaller iPhone version. It does all of these with an amazing User Interface. Additionally, under the “Alarms” tab, the app gives you a nice weekly overview of your alarms, so you see when you scheduled alarms and when they will go off.
One of my favorite features of this new application is the views that it gives you. From the world clock, you can add cities around the world and lets you view them on a map, along with basic weather info, like the high and low for the day, as well as current conditions.
Another major feature throughout the OS is the ability to share to Facebook and Twitter. With buttons to share in almost every application, it’s a very prominent feature of the new OS. It works just as it should and features the same design for Twitter, and a slightly modified design for Facebook. Siri also has the ability to post updates to both services. Finally, in Notification Center, Apple added two buttons: “Tap to Tweet” and “Tap to Post” These buttons can easily be removed, just like the stocks and weather widgets. Hopefully Apple will add a Notification Center widget API in the near future.
Reading List got a pretty nice facelift at WWDC, that allows for offline reading. So if you’re at home, and you add an item to your reading list, it will sync to your wifi only iPad. If you leave the house, you can still read the article in your Reading List, hence the name offline reading. Reading List also got a small relocation: instead of being in a folder within the bookmarks, it not has its own separate tab at the bottom of the bookmarks layover.
Jake R. also mentioned this in his post, but the new stores offer an experience that trumps the old version ten-fold. All the stores received a facelift, however it is unknown whether or not they will allow better app discovery. Also of note, there’s a Genius tab at the bottom that works fairly well. It looks cleaner, works better and loads faster. What’s also interesting is that when downloading an application, you will no longer have to type in your password. Not having to type in your password is a nice addition that makes maintaining an iOS device a little easier.
There’s a new feature that Apple may have copied from Android, which is a database that shows which applications use things like Location data, contacts data, etc. This feature promotes transparency between developers, users, and Apple; and makes for a safer experience when using iOS. It’s biggest feature is that it eliminates grey areas of what access what, which will help avoid incidents like the big Path fiasco.
Mail also got some new updates, most notably Pull to Refresh, VIP Lists, and per account signatures. Pull to Refresh works just like in the Facebook, Twitter, and countless of other apps. All you have to do is scroll all the way up to the top and then some, and it will refresh the inbox/folder. VIP Lists allow you to have an inbox in which emails from specific people automatically go in there. It’s sort of like a reverse spam mailbox. Spam works by filtering bad mail out, while VIP lists filters good mail out. Per account signatures aren’t too exciting, however they’re a great addition if you need to have separate email signatures for a work account and a personal account.
Safari also got a major new feature called iCloud tabs. iCloud tabs syncs all of your open tabs across all of your devices. It’s a nifty feature, and one that a lot would consider very useful. Other than that, Safari’s remained generally untouched. Hopefully Apple will add the unified smart search bar that is found within OS X Mountain Lion to one of the next betas.
Passbook is not found on the iPad, which makes sense because it was made for things that put in your pocket. VIP inboxes are pretty cool and only available on iPhone 4 and newer. It looks like iPad owners are in for a treat when Apple launches iOS 6.
What’s your favorite feature in iOS 6? Let us know in the comments below, or by sending me a tweet.