Let me open up the first sentence saying that the iOS 6 is not a revolution, but is is a refinement. Yes, since the first iOS was introduced by Apple, it has been a gold standard for tablets and smartphones. Each successive version has just polished itself further and further. So, this means that iOS 6 is the same that was launched in 2007, but its competitor Android looks completely different from its first version in 2008 to the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS).
Let us have a brief look to what the iOS 6 actually is even though Apple claims of have been adding more than 200 new features but only the Maps app and Siri have done some sayings in the media.
Design and Performance
iOS 6 almost looks the same as iOS 5 apart from providing an extra row of icons on the newly released iPhone 5. Yes, few subtle tweaks can be seen but these are obvious changes such as the status bar now can change its hue to match currently open app more closely. The phone keypad has now brightened up little along with some other core apps.
Apart from small changes there are about 10 things that are still the same in iOS 6. The phone app has now got a new dialer but it still looks the same as vertical list of names and no images associated even though it can import Facebook contact photos. This is an odd omission of iOS.
The biggest new feature, and of course that made enough of news also, is the Maps app. It is not terribly different from that of Google Maps app in first glance, but it is equipped with all new brain. It is not as comprehensive as the other one. Public transport and Street View are missing.
3D flyover has been added to major metropolitan areas to give birds-eye view of city buildings. You can zoom in and out, rotate it and can also pan around the images to view what it may look like in person. However, it is very different from that of Street View of Google Maps.
The voice-controlled virtual personal assistant of Apple that we had seen first time in iPhone 4S with iOS 5 last year has also invaded the iOS 6. In this the Siri has included some added features such as directly display sports scores, provide movie listing, make restaurant reservations update Twitter and Facebook, launch third-party apps, and few more.
The most useful of the new features is launching of the third-party apps. If you say ‘Launch Google+’ and Siri flawlessly launches it.
Photo Streams and Camera
We have seen the Photo Streams with iOS 5, but in the iOS 6 it is much improved. Now you can share streams with other iOS, Mac, and Apple TV users. Also, users can comment on the streaming photos and like it. It is something like we experience in Facebook.
Passbook is something like mobile wallet, but it does not in fact act as mobile payments solution that we are experiencing with Google Wallet. It is something like virtual collection of coupons, movie tickets, boarding passes, loyalty cards etc.
In iOS 6 the email part has received just minor improvements. A “VIP” folder has been integrated to fetch emails from contacts that are pre-defined by you as VIP. Email from the user from any email account will be collected in one place. It is similar to the Priority Inbox in Gmail but it is not automatic.
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More to all these, the calling experience is the same, the FaceTime is frankly great on 4G LTE as well as 3G connection, Facebook and Twitter integration have become more interesting, the iTunes Store and App Store got good visual updates, the Safari browser deletes address bar in landscape orientation to get more real estate, and of course the iOS 6 is powerful, fast, easy, intuitive and complete.
Do share your own views.