Just as expected, Apple has announced iOS 6 for its mobile devices at this year’s WWDC in San Francisco.
We had heard plenty of rumors about what features iOS 6 might offer, and now we get the official word. Apple’s giving Siri a tune-up, making it more able to answer some of the questions users come up with most. Siri will now be a sports expert ready to answer your questions about the latest scores and player stats, as well as be ready to help when you’re dining out, pulling info from sites like Yelp and OpenTable. Siri’s also getting support for additional languages, as well as “eyes free” integration with cars from several major manufacturers.
We knew about the possibility for iOS 6 getting deeper Facebook integration, and sure enough, it’s here. For those of you who still make voice calls, iOS 6 will get new controls to give you additional options for dealing with incoming calls, and that rumored do-not-disturb notifications option is here, too.
With iOS 6, FaceTime makes the leap from WiFi to cellular, with the app finally supporting video calls over standard cell networks (just watch those data allowances). Safari picks up the ability to easily download sites for later reading through a new offline reading list. You’ll also see support for photo uploads through web forms, giving you more ways to share pics than ever before. Speaking of photos, you’ll now be able to share your Photo Stream with friends.
Passbook is one new app that will be premiering in iOS 6, organizing things like boarding passes, e-tickets, and store loyalty and gift cards into one convenient place.
A good number of iOS rumors looked to changes coming to Maps, and sure enough, Apple’s dumping Google for its own solution. Beyond static maps, that will include real-time traffic data. Those traffic updates will come in handy when using the new turn-by-turn navigation instructions, complete with Siri support. And as for those 3D views we’ve been hearing about? Apple’s calling that feature Flyover, and it looks just as nice as we’d been hoping for.
No one wants to lose their iPhone, but with iOS 6, if you do, you can have the lost phone display a call-back number in case someone finds it and wants to help return it.
Developers get access to iOS 6 today, with the public release planned for sometime this fall. Compatible devices include the 3GS and newer, 4th generation iPod touch, and the two most recent iPads – looks like it’s the end of the road for the original model.