iOS 6 Release Date, Key Features, Live Demo Video!

iOS 6, the latest version of Apple's operating system for its current mobile devices - including iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 3GS, iPod Touch 4th generation, iPad2 and the new iPad - will be publicly available as a free software update come September this year.

ios 6 release date

"We can’t wait for hundreds of millions of iOS users to experience the incredible new features in iOS 6 including the new Maps app, expanded Siri support, deep Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and the innovative new Passbook app," shared Scott Forstall, Senior Vice President of iOS Software at Apple.

Let's go through the key features of iOS 6 one by one --

1. Built-in Facebook Integration allows users to sign in once and post from Notification Center, Siri and Facebook-enabled apps, including Photos, Safari and Maps. Your Facebook friends' information is kept up to date across all your iOS devices, automatically updating details in Contacts when they change, and scheduling events and birthdays in your Calendar. You can also "Like" content directly from the App Store and iTunes and see what your friends recommend.

2. iOS 6 brings a slew of enhancements to Safari, which Apple calls "the world’s most popular mobile browser". These improvements include iCloud tabs, offline reading lists, photo uploads and full screen view.

3. The new Siri, which is now also available for the new iPad, includes language support for Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, Italian, and Cantonese aside from English, French, German and Japanese. Likewise, it's now optimized for use in 15 countries and helps users get even more done using their voice, whether it's making reservations in restaurants or finding the latest sports scores or stats. Also, users can now ask Siri to update status on Facebook, post to Twitter or even launch a game or application. Additionally, Siri takes hands-free functionality even further with a new Eyes Free mode; This enables users to interact with their iPhone using nothing more than your voice, which is specially useful when driving.

4. It used to be that you can only make FaceTime calls over Wifi. Well, iOS 6 finally lets users use FaceTime over cellular networks.

5. There's now an option to decline incoming calls with a quick message. You can also set a callback reminder and choose a new Do Not Disturb option. With Do Not Disturb, messages will still come to your phone, it just won't light up the screen or make a sound.

6. iOS lets you set up a VIP Mailbox, which makes it easier to access messages from important people you designate as VIPs.

7. Apple's new very-own Maps app (Yes, they've ditched Google Maps!) features vector-based map elements that, Apple says, will "make graphics and text smooth, and panning, tilting and zooming incredibly fluid." There's also new turn-by-turn navigation which guides the user to his or her destination with spoken directions, and the Flyover feature giving photo-realistic interactive 3D views of various cities in the world. Crowdsourced real-time traffic information keeps users updated on how long it will take to get to a destination and even provides alternate routes as traffic conditions change.

8. iCloud introduces new ways to share photos using Shared Photo Streams. Just select the photos you want to share, pick which friends or family members you want to receive the album, and the Shared Photo Stream album will show the shots on their iOS devices, iPhoto and Aperture on their Mac, or even through Apple TV.

9. Passbook app lets users keep and manage all passes - such as boarding passes and baseball tickets - in one place. According to Apple, "Passbook lets you scan your iPhone or iPod touch to use a coupon, get into a concert or check into your hotel. Passbook automatically displays your passes on your Lock Screen based on a specific time or location, so when you walk into your favorite coffee shop your loyalty card appears and you can scan it to buy a coffee or check your balance. Passbook can even alert you to last minute gate changes or flight delays at the airport."

10. iOS 6's Guided Access allows parents, teachers or administrators to disable hardware buttons to lock an iOS device into a single app. It also includes the ability to confine touch input to certain parts of the screen. This new feature is especially useful for helping someone with a disability stay focused on learning.

See iOS 6 in action by watching this exclusive demo video by Apple Critics:



TP Thoughts:

1. Facebook Integration on iOS has long been overdue. In fact, Android has had this feature for more than three years now. Such delay is not something to smile about but I guess, as they say, better late than never.

2. The unveiling of the new Maps app from Apple was one of the more exciting moments at this year's WWDC; 3D Maps and Flyover were welcomed with warm applause by the audience. But here's the thing: I know it looks great and all but really, it's hardly new. Actually, a similar map application - made by a company called C3 Technologies, which Apple purchased recently - has been available to Nokia N9 users since last year.

3. I admire Apple -- its history (the rise, fall and resurgence of the company), its people's drive for excellence and its trend-setting products. What I don't like is when Apple highlights some features of its products as if they're totally innovative or that it's our first to see them - when in fact, other companies have done them before. I mean, come on. But anyway, I'm looking forward to playing with iOS 6 on my iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 4th Gen and my #newTattooiPad. So there you go.

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