There are several differences in the new operating system iOS 6.
First, is the increase in Siri’s abilities. Previously, one of my pet peeves was that Siri could not open apps for me. That is no longer an issue. With a simple voice command of “Open” or “Launch”, Siri will open whichever app you ask. I really love this change. Siri can still read new texts out loud. Unfortunately, she doesn’t read new emails yet.
I’ve been having fun just playing with Siri. I asked her for the best restaurant in town and she listed several restaurants near me that had reviews of four to five stars. However, she can’t figure out my age although my birthday is in the contacts.
The only part that I find funny, is Siri sounds robotic. Maybe, after using her for a while, she had picked up intonation and lost it with the update. I hope she gets it back. Because she sounds so robotic that sometimes she is difficult to understand. As I have played with her, she had gotten better. Or I have gotten used to her voice?
Another excellent improvement in iOS 6 is the voice guidance on the maps. Ask Siri how to get somewhere, and she will tell you step-by-step and turn-by-turn. So now there is a build in navigation system with voice commands. There is a large visual display of the distance to move forward and the ETA, total miles, and number of minutes for trip is posted.
One of the new features is the Passbook. It is a digital wallet that can hold coupons and tickets. When you are ready to use your coupons or tickets, open the passbook and scan the items code. For travel in the airlines, it is supposed to give you updates as to when to move to which gate. It is really handy. I hate carrying plastic cards or key-ring tabs. So far, there are only a few companies that have apps for Passbook, but that will change quickly. Now, when I first tried it, I opened it up and it wouldn’t do anything. When I tapped on the app tab, it told me that it couldn’t connect with iTunes.
Here’s how to launch the Passbook. It sounds really strange, but it works. Go to your settings. Open the General Settings. Open Date & Time. Turn the Set Automatically to “off”. Then change the year to 2013. Close your settings and go back to the Passbook. This time when you open it, it will let you go to the apps. Then you can choose which apps that use Passbook that you wish to download. I downloaded Fandango and Target. After you have downloaded the apps you want, go back to your settings and change the Date & Time back to automatic.
I also really love how Facebook is integrated throughout, they have been using a social media reporting tool that has worked amazingly. No longer do I have to go to the Facebook app to upload photos. I can upload photos from the camera roll, from the web, or from any other section of the phone. It is great! Another one of my “pet peeves” has been fixed!
Sharing photos is easier. Now it is possible to share a group of photos. Go to Photos and Photo Stream. Tap over to Cloud Photo Stream (at the bottom of the screen). Then choose Edit. Tap on all the photos you wish to share. Choose the share button. The option of whether to send in an email, text message, to the regular photo stream, twitter, Facebook, assign as the photo of a contact, print, copy, save to camera roll, or to use as wall paper pops up.
More options for phone calls are available. Now if you don’t wish to answer an incoming call, you can swipe up and a list of options appear. You can choose to “decline”, “answer”, “reply with a message”, or “get a reminder to call back later”. To reply you can choose to send an iMessage or sms (text message). There are several preset message to choose from such as “Can’t talk right now. Call you later.” Or you can create your own custom message. You can choose to get a reminder to call the person back based upon time such as after an hour or based upon a location such as when you leave work. A new feature is the Do Not Disturb option. With this you can schedule times when your phone will not ring. However, you can choose whose phone calls are allowed through such as your boss or your spouse.
I like the changes to the mail. Before when I wanted to flag an email, I had to look for the flag option at the top of the email. Now it is easy to find at the bottom of the screen. I like the VIP option. Now I can pinpoint people and keep their emails within easy reach. No more searching!
The reading list on Safari is improved. Find a page you would like to read later? Save it by adding it to the Reading List on the Share button and the web page is stored offline and not just the link.
Tomorrow I plan to play more with the improved Panorama feature of the camera. The software is supposed to seamlessly connect the photos into one seamless high def picture. So far it is fun and delivers clear photos. I’ve spun around on my office chair and photographing my office! lol. It is smart. It detects my movement to complete the photo.
In case your lose your phone, a new feature called “lost mode” has been added. It allows you to lock your phone, show your lock down message, and discover its location. The lock down message can include a phone number to contact you for returning your phone. This keeps others from accessing your data.
Conclusion on iOS 6
I’m sure there is more to find out about iOS 6. It is a large file, so it took some maneuvering to delete enough files to find space, but I think it was worth it. Honestly, I removed apps I wasn’t really using and some music videos I didn’t need. I’m definitely glad I downloaded it onto my iPhone 4S.