iOS 6 Put Through its Paces – Not Perfect, But Very Close

Apple’s WWDC 2012 brought very few surprises but certainly didn’t let the world’s technology community down. True, tens of millions would have been infinitely happier with at least a mention of the iPhone 5, but at least in its place we got out first look at its likely mobile operating system – iOS 6.

While the final release of iOS 6 won’t be offered until later this fall – most likely when the iPhone 5 is ultimately released – reviewers and developers have already been giving the new OS a good going-over. So, do the likes of Apple Map, improvements to Siri and the deepest ever Facebook integration cut the mustard at this early stage?

iOS 6 Put Through its Paces  - Not Perfect, But Very Close

Discounting the inevitable bugs and omissions, early signs appear promising.

Apple Maps

As anyone keeping up with all things Apple will already know, the company’s decision to move away from Google Maps dependency is a biggie. After all, who on Earth would want to be entirely reliant on their single biggest rival for an incredibly important feature? First impressions of Apple Maps are suitably impressive and both the 3D rendering and texture overlays in certain areas – including Cupertino of course – are beyond stunning. On the other hand, fly over to New York City and the results are disappointing at best, but then again the software is far from finished.

Turn by turn navigation worked just as expected in walking tests, though hasn’t yet been tested by outside parties when driving.

Sadly, the transit directions feature really didn’t seem to be working very well at all and certainly didn’t deliver a great impression. Again though, there will be plenty of time for Apple to fix this in the meantime.

Facebook Integration

Facebook integration with iOS 6 basically refers to the way in which Facebook has been made a standard part of the OS to run pretty much round the clock – if you want it to that it. Essentially, the update makes it easier than ever before to upload images, keep an eye on status updates, “like” apps and other online content and also control security and privacy settings in greater detail.

Revolutionary? Not at all, as Apple is in a sense playing catch up in this area. However, caught up they have and in rather splendid style.

Siru Improvements

iOS 6 brings Siri to the iPad at long last…or the new iPad anyway. Most of the improvements to the Siri voice assistant center around both accuracy and its access to various new sources of information, therefore may not be immediately noticeable to casual users. However, really put the thing through its paces and the refinement becomes clear, though a few problems were noted when using Siri in conjunction with Twitter…minor hiccups at best.

All in All?

Given the fact that the version of iOS 6 under the microscope at present is nothing close to a final released, most developers and critics are united in their huge excitement. The features are great and the build is surprisingly stable – both of which are only likely to improve further before the official release of iOS 6 later this year along with the iPhone 5.

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