Apple iOS 6
A few days ago Apple released the new iOS 6 for your mobile Apple devices. iOS 6 brings a lot of cool, new features to the table and I am going to talk about some of them here.
First let’s talk about the Map app. Every since Apple started putting maps in their iOS devices they have used Google Maps, which a lot of people really liked. With iOS 6 they have actually taken that away and replaced it with a new map app that runs off of the new Apple Maps. It seems to work very similar to Google Maps, but being new isn’t as polished or evolved. So for people who really liked, or depending on Google Maps this may be a drawback. However Google is working with get a map app published to the Apple App Store and it is currently in review. So hopefully Apple will allow it and those Google fans (like me) will be able to get their Google Maps back. But keep in mind it will be a third party app, and not the default app of the iOS device. So if you are in another app and open map directions, they would still open in Apple Maps, not Google Maps.
Facetime has always been on of the more amazing things the newer iOS devices can do. The ability to video chat from a device you are holding in the palm of your hand. Before Facetime was restricted to areas with local wireless network, and could not be done on the cellular network. With iOS 6 Apple brings this function to work on cellular networks, however this all depends on your provider. Even though iOS 6 will let you Facetime on the cellular network, doesn’t mean the cellular network is capable of handling it. And keep in mind that you will not be using your limited cellular data plan, so watch how much data you use so you do not get overages from Facetime. While this is a cool add on, I know for myself I am going to keep my Facetime to local wireless networks.
The iTunes and Apple App Stores got a remodel with the iOS 6 upgrade too. The interface looks a lot more cleaner and more modern. Doing updates from the App Store now are a lot easier, as you can watch all the apps update and install from the App Store without being bounced back to your home screen. Also I have noticed it doesn’t prompt me for me Apple password every time it updates. It still requires it when installing a new app, but not as often when doing updates. This is a really nice feature, as having to type in my Apple password for every update on my iPhone was kind of annoying. One of the major drawbacks I found in the new App Store was they took away the ability to gift apps. Before iOS 6 you could buy and app and send it to a friend. This worked really well for me to send specific apps to friends, and especially my Mom who wasn’t always up for searching the App Store for an app I recommended. I am hoping they bring this feature back, but for the time being if you are used to gifting specific apps, it isn’t in the App Store anymore.
If you have one of the new iPads (iPad 3) iOS 6 brings Siri to your iPad, but if you have an iPad 2 you are out of luck. Siri allows users to issue voice commands to search the web, text, open different apps, set calendar appointments and much, much more. If you have an iPhone 4s though, Siri isn’t new, but it did get some nice upgrades and enhancements. More information about Siri can be found on Apple’s website at, http://www.apple.com/ios/siri.
One thing to watch out for was a wireless but they had on the release day of iOS 6. I noticed this when I did our upgrades when iOS 6 first came out. Apple seems to have resolved the issue, but what I noticed was that when it connected to wireless, it would fail and launch and try launching and Apple login page. It appears that iOS devices do this so they can verify they are on a wireless network and not a cellular network. And on launch day, something took down that site, which is what broke wireless on many iOS 6 devices. The issue seems to be resolved, so I would recommend going ahead with the upgrade. Just be aware of it in case your iOS 6 device fails to connect to your wireless and you see the Apple login page.
iOS 6 brings a lot of new, enhanced things to the table, and I mentioned a few of the new things about iOS 6, but there is even more. Check them out on Apple’s iOS 6 webpage. And if you haven’t upgraded I would recommend doing so. But if you have an older Apple device, such as the original iPad, or and iPhone 3G, you are out of luck because iOS 6 can only be installed on newer devices. So if you have one of those older iOS devices, you may want to consider a hardware upgrade, if you have the money for it.