iOS 6: The Best And The Worst Features

Today is the day iOS 6 arrives, and it's going to make your iPhone better than ever. Here are all the reasons why you should upgrade to Apple's latest mobile operating system.

The Good

Facebook

Maybe the best and most overdue addition. (Almost) everyone uses Facebook, so the deeper it's stuffed into the soul of iOS, the better. Now, just like Twitter, you can directly link your Facebook account with your iOS, allowing your phone to talk directly to Mark Zuckerberg's big beautiful brain. You can directly post photos from your photo album to Facebook, update your status from Notification Center, and sync your contact list with each person's corresponding Facebook account. It takes a big step into the turf of Windows Phone — the current lord of social media integration. We want to see more of this.

Facetime Over 3G/4G

It took a couple years, but now FaceTime is as good as it could have been all along: make video calls from anywhere you have a mobile signal. It will kick your data plan in the shins, but the difference between mobile data and Wi-Fi is minor, and video quality is decent.

Power Privacy

This one's simple: there's now a list in settings of all the apps that have requested access to your location, contacts, calendars, reminders and photos. Turn access on and off as you see fit, or set a Do Not Disturb timer to keep your phone from ringing from all but the most important calls.

Sweet Rejection

Screening your calls and generally avoiding mankind is streamlined in iOS 6. Want to ignore someone? You can reject that person's call with a reminder to hit back later, or you can send a pre-programmed "hey sorry man I'm busy what's up" excuse text while simultaneously rejecting the call. All it takes is a quick swipe up on an incoming call, choose your method of avoidance, and with a couple of taps you've managed to dodge another call. You can also customise your reply messages with all sorts of zany excuses. It's brilliant.

Remodelled iTunes Store

Talk about stale! The iTunes Store on your phone was never easy to get around: too many lists, too many sections, too much scrolling. In iOS 6 it gets a chic makeover, highly reminiscent of the glamorous Apple TV storefront. The new iTunes Store also adds clever horizontal scrolling through lists and categories, which is less of a pain, and allows for a more digestible spread of information on a non-television screen. Featured albums, apps, videos and the like are all sorted together with big eye-easy graphics. It won't cost you any less, but you'll spend less sanity on your downloads.

The Bad

Passbook

There's no NFC in the new iPhone, but you'll be able to use your screen as a scannable gift card, boarding pass or shopping voucher with Passbook, which creates a virtual bundle of all those annoying cards you cram into your wallet. Here's an ideal little scenario for you: a free cup of coffee at some cafe because you've got a $25 credit built right into your phone. Hand it to the cashier, beep, coffee, slurp, bye. Or at least that's the idea.

Right now, there aren't really any apps available for Passbook in Australia. Airlines like Qantas and Virgin Australia are investigating the use of Passbook, but nothing is live just yet, making it a thumbs-down in our books. For now at least.

New Maps

Apple kicked Google out of its mapping party and made its own. It's a very mixed bag. Flyover and 3D building support for Australian capital cities is...interesting, but right now it's not much more than just another party trick.

There's a huge amount of detail missing. Check out Sydney's Bondi Beach, for example. Where's the beach?!

There are a few positives though, like vector based vs bitmap graphics.

The new maps are not bitmap-based anymore. Say goodbye to the horrible and slow tile loading. Now they are vector based, which means faster loading-it still loads sectors, but very fast based in our hands on experience-and smoother, much better graphics.

But that's not enough to save it.

Turn-by-turn navigation is also a disappointment. Why? Because we don't have it. Apple's Maps will provide turn-by-turn navigation, just like any other car GPS app. It looks quite good, but we wouldn't know how it goes just yet. Australia will get this functionality in October.

Siri Functionality

She has a lot more stuff to do, but still doesn't do much of it in Australia. Siri Directions isn't available, which means she can't tell you where you are or where to go, and while she can tell you all about the restaurants and cafés near you, you'll still have to book them all yourself the old fashioned way. She can also tell you all about movies, but you'll have to use Google if you want to know when and where they're playing.

What else have you noticed? What's good? What sucks? Tell us in the comments


Comments

    Hey, I don't actually WANT TO import all my Facebook pals into my iphone contacts. (Most of 'em aren't 'real' friends...) Can't figure out how to prevent it. As soon as I try to activate my Facebook account, it tells me it's about to import... help!

      I see the problem, you appear to have an 'iPhone', I'd suggesting going to the store and buying a different phone ASAP.

        Smooth.
        Though My windows phone does the same thing..

          Android asks you if you want to sync, but with Facebook's native app, I don't know if they'll try and change it.

            With my Google nexus, it didn't ask me if I wanted to sync my Google contacts when I set up my phone, the next thing I know, I have zillion contacts on my phone and I'm having to remove each and every one of them MANUALLY

          You can disable it in the settings i believe.

            on Windows Phone that is.
            On IOS6 you cant as far as i have heard.

              Windows Phone you can hide the contacts who arnt on your list or don't have a phone number attached. They are still searchable as part of the people hub but wont display as a normal contact.

              This dosnt effect linking them all together tho, (That's how Windows Phone does it) :)

              One major thing WP is king of... Social intergration... Both Droid and iOS have a lot more to copy to one up WP on that area

              Nope. You go into your contacts and uncheck Facebook contacts. Why make things up if you don't actually know?

            All my Android devices have always done this too, but you can tell it not to at least :)

              Can you tell you android not to include maleware in their apps? no :)

                Sure, don't download apps from chinese marketplaces. Not too difficult!

          Guess that’s true of most people who bothered reading an article about ios6.

        Shhh, this doesn't concern you.

        I think the real problem is you're using facebook, cancel your account and get on with your life. I made the move 18 months ago and it's the best thing i've done since quitting smoking.

      go to contacts > up the top click on Groups > and un-tick "All Facebook" > Done

      At the bottom there is a On/Off for Contacts and Mail. Go to Settings > Facebook, just right at the end.

        Sorry. Contacts and Calendar.

      Open Settings
      Scroll to Facebook
      Allow These Apps To Use Your Account:
      Calendar
      Contacts

      Just turn contacts off. No more Facebook friends in your contacts.

        Ah! You've got to go through the sign in process to get to those options!

          Wait, I'm a little confused. Can you do it without importing them? Or are you saying it's one of those poorly thought out things where you can't get access to the option not to import until after you've logged in, and logging in imports by default?

      after the contacts sync, simply go into your contacts app on the iphone, and tap groups. from there uncheck the box that says "all facebook". They will now disappear from your contacts list.

      In Settings > Facebook you can disable the Contacts app from using your Facebook account.

      actually you can disable it you just need to go to Contact>Groups> tap to uncheck "all facebook" then viola!.. done!

      Settings > Facebook> Contacts> Off.

      Hey Phil...

      Settings-> Facebook -> turn off contacts

      It's easy. Just go settings/facebook and turn contacts to off.

      Go to contacts.
      Top right corner select groups.
      Un tick Facebook. They won't appear in your contact list anymore.

      It gave me the warning message and when I continued, it asked me if I wanted to import them or not. It does actually give you the choice.

      Go into Contact and click on group at the top left. Scroll to the bottom and unselect all Facebook.

      Same problem Phil! I added the Chrome app & do facebook on that....It actually works much better anyway.

    nice to see the reject with a sms feature 'borrowed?' 'stolen?' from android! haha

      I had this on a Nokia, years ago. Not android sorry.

      From Android? Yeah, ok buddy. My Nokia from 5 years ok could do the same thing.

      Dude the whole android platform was 'borrowed from the iphone!

    Guess that's true of most people who bothered reading an article about ios6.

    I still cant see why these features are not supported by the Original iPad, especially since they are on a 4th Gen iPod Touch and they almost have the same specs.

    Easy fix for contacts. Don't want Facebook contacts at all?
    Settings -> Facebook -> Contacts (turn off)

    Want to just not see Facebook contacts in your phone app?
    Phone -> Contacts -> Groups -> Uncheck "All Facebook"

      ^beat me to it.

        Weird. I go to settings, Facebook... then a further settings option with vibrate, play sound, record HD video, notifications... or if I don't choose 'settings', just log in details, which then take me straight to a contact import... what am I missing?

          http://postimage.org/image/htfaf15cr/

          Should be those options there in that red box where you can turn off contact syncing.

          A decent phone

          As above, just discovered you've got to go through the sign in process to get to the options. Thanks all.

    Luke has anyone contacted google to see if you they are attempting to add a new google maps in?

      apparently they are - they already have youtube.. until tehn you can add maps.google.com to your homepage.. not as good but still its something i guess.

        or d/l google earth

    I refuse to buy another Apple product until all of last years broken promises are finally addressed.

    Siri and iCloud are the worst offenders for the actual experience being nothing like the hype.

      ace leo ace, aside from Siri not having an Australian database, what's your gripe with "last year's promises"?

        Dropping Facetime over 3G on the iPhone 4. The hardware is definitely fast enough/capable, and Facetime was originally advertised as *WiFi only. 3G coming soon. That was less than two years ago.
        I was a BIG Apple supporter... Now I realize their bottom line is not: make customers happy, it's make the stock holders happy. Which I reckon they are doing quite well at, for the moment.

    Does anyone know why not all my facebook friends show up in contacts. Seem to be missing about 5% of them. Cannot see a reason for it. When i look at just “All Facebook” they are missing. When i look in the facebook app can see them.

    The Whereis or Tom Tom apps will do a better job at turn by turn navigation for the time being.

    F*ckbook in IOS6 - that's all I need to know... pass on the upgrade

      Yeah, because it's not like you can just not set up Facebook on it or anything...

      If you don't have a facebook account then it wont matter. It's not going to force you to sign up.

    Upgraded this morning (4S) and while overall it is an improvement and the pros outweight the cons there is no doubt that maps has SERIOUS issues... Google, please, please, please get that stand alone map out FAST. It will take Apple years to catch up. I am not talking about turn by turn either... You will be amazed about how good being able to hit a link on an email/safari/contact or whatever and have the Google map pop with info, including streetview. Apple's version for AU does not cut it yet. The first map I loaded had details of a business that closed 2 years ago. At least I had the option to easily report it but still... This is 4 steps back.

      And those that suggest google.maps.com it obviously is not nearly the same.

    http://www.collegehumor.com/video/6611967/not-google-plus

    what I think of Facebook etc...

    One positive I have noticed already is that no longer does my audio out switch to bluetooth from the dock connector when my headunit's bluetooth connects. I was hoping for an option to disable a2dp but this works almost as well.

    Only one fanboy comment in this list (buying a new phone, etc). I'm impressed; maybe the silly phone loving arguments are finally dying out.

    We also haven't had a good ATI/nVIDIA argument for a while.

    I asked Siri to suggest somewhere for me to get lunch (just as a test)
    The first suggestion was the little takeaway shop across the road where I always get lunch. Off to a good start. The second suggestion was Rockpool Sydney. I live in Brisbane. Rockpool is more that 0.2km away

    Sports results are supposedly supported, but Siri knows nothing about Australian sports, so it's somewhat limited.

    What about Panorama? That's pretty nifty.

      +1 on Panorama. It is a GREAT feature. Works perfectly... much better than any third party app.

    what happened to the wifi plus 3g feature... ???

    Siri directions is coming to Australia in October
    http://www.apple.com/ios/feature-availability/#maps-3d-buildings-in-navigation

    Friends in China are saying the new maps, now that Google is out, is not accounting for the GPS offset that the Chinese government uses to.. ahem.. well.. it's suspected it's use is to curtail esponiage.. but I don't see how. Point is that there is an offset and everyone knows there's an offset.. which is why Google automatically corrected for that offset.. AppleMaps (whatever you want to call them) does not account for this offset.. hopefully they will fix it.

      It's not an offset for any nefarious purpose. It's the Chinese government employing a different geodetic datum to base official maps on. It's caused by trying to draw the surface of a mishapen sphere on a series of regular flat squares. We used to have the same problem in Australia, if ou were in northern Australia with an official map and a GPS set to an international datum, you were 100 - 150m off to the east all the time. Google obviously uses the correct datum in China, but Apple does not.

    iPhone is catching up to Windows Phone on the social side,... But its a feature I would not be without :) *hugs Lumia*

    Download, install, move app, crash, reboot and repeat.

    the problem is apple is not a big player as it thinks it is out side US. it does not have the variety of models, services that google or samsung have. if in any court case samsung or google gets a stay order on apple then it will kill apple. but as we have seen apple getting a stay order will not kill samsung as they are there outside US and also they have a lost of models

      So true, I bet Apple has no idea about its business. If only the worlds richest company could afford the insights of PAKRU.

    Wow the update for iOS6 is so minimal.

      That's why it's called an 'update' and not 'brand new OS'

    Virgin Australia has started to use passbook: http://blog.virginaustralia.com/experience/iphone-5-is-here-and-is-set-to-make-mobile-check-in-and-boarding-even-easier/

    I think calling iOS version 6 version 5.2 would've been more accurate.

      They should just go by the OSX numbering system, we'd only be upto 1.7 of whatever if this was the case =P

    directions work for me, but it wanted me to go the wrong way down a one way street, so I think I'll stick to my tomtom app...

    asked Siri if the sea eagles won their last game, came up with NFL results, asked if the manly sea eagles won their last game, she said she doesn't have any info on rugby, I asked when she will, and that snooty bitch just replied "no comment".

    passbook seems useless, especially since I know rf barcode scanners can't read barcodes on screens.

    like the new Music UI but seems out of place.

    overall, ios6 just seems really half assed and half baked. do something radical, redesign all your apps to look like Music then ill be happy

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