OMFG! Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference! It seems that the whole tech world stopped completely everything it did for those few precious hours where the largest technological company in the world took the spotlight and introduced us some of the things we are going to use (whether we like or not).
Although Apple presented some new products which appears to be pretty amazing like the new MacBook Pro with the Retina display, the most influential thing presented was definitely iOS 6 which will power so many popular products (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch). Excited? You’ll have to wait until the fall for its broad launch.
So, what are the most interesting new features and upgrades on iOS 6?
It has been anticipated for quite some time now that Apple will dump Google Maps and roll its own mapping service and on the WWDC it was finally presented to the world. And from what I’ve impressed so far, it looks amazing. I don’t believe that anybody can objectively compare it to Google Maps yet, but from the few glimpses Apple gave us, it certainly strikes like a contender.
Apple Maps’ interface appears to run smooth, accurate and it’s simply beautiful. The new mapping service will include high resolution interactive 3D views, complete spoken turn-by-turn direction to chosen locations, real-time traffic information which will offer better navigation timing and of course an integration with Siri.
Besides the obvious loser, Google Maps, from the launch of Apple’s new mapping service I think that there are even bigger losers as a result of this product. Apple Maps has the potential to kill other navigation services such as Waze and even premium mapping apps such as Garmin which will suffer from a significant reduction in demand.
As predicted, Apple announced on a deep collaboration with the most popular social network on the planet which will be implemented as almost an integral part of iOS. After loging into the Facebook account once for the first time the device is on, the user could begin enjoying this close relationship fruits across all services of the device.
Sharing photos to the Facebook account will be possible right through Apple’s camera or photos app, sharing location suppose to be very easy through the new mapping service, events from Facebook will be posted on iOS Calendar, it will be available to Like apps on the App Center and Siri will comply for Facebook sharing requests.
The losers from this move would be pretty much all other social networks but I still haven’t decided if it will be especially Twitter that will receive a less prominent social position on iOS or Google+ which would appear to many users as less relevant than ever.
It seems that Siri is going to be much smarter on the upcoming release of iOS 6. It will understand more complicated requests regarding sports results inquiries, restaurants suggestions/recommendations/directions and better movies support to acquire tickets, find showtimes or watch trailers.
Siri will be more obedient for social media demands to the integrated social networks, Facebook and Twitter, where sharing would be possible without typing anything. Siri will be also capable of opening apps by itself, but what would really impress me (which isn’t here yet) is if we could play games by using our voice. Perhaps on iOS 7?
But the most intriguing Siri upgrade which can turn out to be a real life improving feature is the integration with some car manufacturers where the driver will be able to take actions by using only voice, eyes kept on the road. In addition to all those improvements, Siri will be available in more languages on 15 countries all over the world (full list of countries can be found here).
Apple’s web browser will also receive some meaningful upgrades. In order to allow better crossover-device experience, the new Safari will contain iCloud tabs which offers browsing continuity on any iOS device the user has and synced with iCloud. This can be extremely useful for users which are switching devices frequently.
Another very helpful new feature is the “Offline Reading List”. Instead of saving only links, Safari will save whole pages, which means that even if the user doesn’t has an internet connection the pages on the Reading List would be still accessible. Additionally, Safari will allow full-screen browsing mode through a new tap icon.
Other new features on iOS 6 includes the new Passbook app which allows to store tickets, cards and coupons and a new redesigned mail app. Alright, now its Android turn.