iOS 6: All The New Features Coming Soon To Your iPhone And iPad

Apple's new iOS 6 comes loaded with new features, including new maps, Facebook integration and a new version of the voice-activated personal assistant Siri. It looks quite sweet. These will be the new features of your iPhone and iPad.

We've now got a quick hands-on video of iOS 6 running on an iPhone to show you. It's only a quick run-through, and right now, we don't know which features are coming to Australia and which aren't. Apple Australia have told us that there's no information on feature availability at this time.

1. Siri

Siri keeps being updated. The new version on iOS 6 does sports scores and stats. You ask what was the score for the Giants and she will reply that they were downed by the Rangers. It will also tell you about batting averages.

Siri is being integrated with Yelp and OpenTable. You could ask for a good Italian restaurant near you and Siri will tell you about the best ones using Yelp information and allow you to make a reservation with your voice using OpenTable.

It's also bringing movies with IMDB for reviews and information. You can ask for a movie that stars your favourite star or director, and Siri will find them for you. The result screen is quite nice, with integrated Rotten Tomatoes ratings. I wonder how much more useful this will make Siri. Would people use it more now that it has some neat integration with these useful services?

Siri is also being updated with more languages: Canadian French; Spanish for Spain, Mexico and the US; Italian; French, German and Italian dialects for Switzerland; Korean; Mandarin; and Cantonese.

Siri will also be available on the new iPad with iOS 6. We reckon a lot of these new features won't be available outside of the US -- we'll see what filters through to users in Australia.

2. Facebook integration

Facebook is now completely integrated with the iPhone. You will be able post to Facebook from Apple's apps, just like you can with Twitter. That includes images directly from albums in the Photos app, location from Maps, and the Calendar app, so birthdays and events are automatically synchronised at all times with Facebook. It's even integrated with Siri.

The most interesting thing is that there will be an API for it, so every developer can enjoy the same Facebook services. This means that your favourite apps will be able to post things on Facebook or get Facebook information easily.

3. New phone features

This is a welcome surprise: Apple is updating the Phone ap, which has remained almost frozen all this time. Nokia had this feature implemented some years ago: you can reply automatically with a message when someone calls you. The phone will show you a list of messages such as "I'll call you later" or "I'm on my way" that you can click and automatically send while rejecting a call.

Do Not Disturb is a new feature in iOS 6 that tells your phone not to bother you with any push notifications or texts. If you want, you can choose not to receive any calls at all or just specify which people you don't want to hear from. However, if someone is calling you repeatedly and continuously, the new Phone app will push the call, assuming it's an emergency. This, I'm sure, has the potential to be misused.

4. New FaceTime

The first big news here is that iOS 6 will bring 3G support for FaceTime. The quality of a call will not be as good as Wi-Fi, but it will be supported.

Another neat feature of the new FaceTime in iOS 6 is that device IDs are being unified. When someone calls your phone number, you'll be able to answer the call from your iPad or your Mac straight away. The ID unification will be the same with iMessage, which will hopefully fix the confusion. Sometimes, users get messages on one device but not another.

5. New Safari

Safari is getting the live synchronisation of tabs with Mountain Lion, so your browsing experience is unified across devices using iCloud. It also uses iCloud synchronisation for an Offline Reading List, which allows you to read a story that you have marked to read later without a web connection. This is pretty neat for train commuters and flights.

One of the best features, however, is the new support for web forms uploads. It can be so frustrating not to be able to upload a photo to a website. Now you can click on the upload button, a Photo browser will appear, and you'll be able to upload. I wonder if this service will also be available for other file types, like Pages documents.

6. Photo streams on iCloud

In the past, iCloud allowed you to upload photos constantly to your personal stream. Now you can share specific streams with selected people. You can pick friends, and they will be able to see any photos you upload in a dedicated stream automatically and leave comments.

It's like creating private Instagram feeds from the Photos app.

7. Mail

Mail's Mailboxes have also been revamped for a new feature: VIPs. You can mark people as VIPs, and their emails will automatically go into a special folder. This is going to be the only folder I'm going to read from now on.

Another much-needed feature is attachment of photos and videos straight from the New Message window. At last!

8. Passbook

This a new app. It will allow you to have all your tickets and coupons -- aeroplanes, train, movies, concerts, sport events, gift cards, loyalty cards, whatever -- in a single wallet. It's quite pretty and useful. If you have a gift card, for example, it will show the card balance after you use it. It will also alert you about nearby shops when you have shop's coupons or gift cards.

Another really neat feature of Passbook is that it will update any changes to the gate number on your boarding pass in real time.

Again, it's doubtful that Passbook will be made available to users outside of the US.

9. New guided access features

This is one of the star features of the iPhone for people with disabilities. Apple is adding new things to this mode, such as custom enabling of controls. You can put an iPhone and iPad in single app mode now, which is also useful for schools. Teachers can send tests to students' iPads, locking them in the test so they can't go into other apps to cheat.

10. New maps

The new Maps -- fully developed in house -- seems pretty insane. It's a complete overhaul and it truly looks fantastic, much better than the old Google-based version. Here are all the new features:

New cartography Apple bought a cartography company in 2009 and this the result of that. The new Maps app has new cartography, completely different from the one provided by Google. This includes new points of interests, restaurants, shops... everything is new. We will need to compare to see what's better.

Vector based vs bitmap 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 on our hands-on experience -- and smoother with much better graphics.

Turn-by-turn navigation Apple's Maps will come with turn-by-turn navigation, just like any other car GPS app. It works with Siri driving directions and 3D view.

Business information card Now, every location in Maps includes a card that gives you all you need to know about it. If it's a restaurant, it will show you reviews and ratings, along with photographs.

Siri integration Siri is completely integrated with Maps. You can ask for directions with your voice, it will guide you while driving, and if you ask something like "Are we there yet?", Siri will answer you with the estimated time of arrival. And tell you to shut up.

Traffic information Traffic information loads constantly, even when you are not looking at it. If Maps detects a change on traffic conditions that would make your trip faster, it will ask you to reroute.

3D view Apple bought another company last year with cool 3D maps technology. Looking at the demo of the Flyover feature, it was worth the price. This thing is impressive. It looks like a movie, but it's rendered in 3D graphics in real time.

Missing features But for all this neat features and awesome interface, there are two important missing things in maps: public transit information and Street View.

The first is extremely important for those of us in big cities. The old Maps gives you this information easily and completely. You could really plan your commuting at any time. This feature is a must. Apple says that developers will be able to add this in their applications, plugging into Apple's Maps, but it's clearly a big miss.

Update: We tried this on our copy of iOS 6, and when you click on the public transit directions button, it will bring you up a list of apps you can choose from. Right now, that list is empty, but we imagine that once iOS 6 is released there will be apps that directly integrate into Maps in this third pane.

Street View is important too when you are going to new places. It gives you a street-level visual reference that the 2D maps and the new Flyover 3D view may not be able to give you. I've used Street View many times to locate obscure restaurants and shops, and it always saves time. Apple hasn't said anything about Street View.

It's expected to arrive later this year, perhaps with the iPhone 5. It will be available for iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, the 4th-generation iPod Touch, the latest iPad and iPad 2. So the rumours were right: the first iPad is out of this upgrade.

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    For an ipad 2/ipod touch 4 owner; there doesn't seem much reason to upgrade this time.

    Seems like majority of the features are only available to the iPhone 4s or iPad 2 (or 3).

    Maybe i woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning so im grumpy, i have an iPhone4 so im no trolling, but this is seemingly very underwhelming, I was hoping for a lot more than we got. The updates to Siri are mostly irrelevant/unavailable to aussies, most of the passbook features will most likely be unavailable (even though gig integration would be pretty easy), but if I can replace KeyRing and use it instead will be better than nothing. The VIP mail, maps, DND are interesting but need to see in action to see if its done in a useful way and finally after 2 years FaceTime on 3G but still no way to manage your call time or data usage natively with ease which I thought with the us adding restrictive quotas would start be neccessary over there (and unless the US needs it they wouldn't bother)

    Turn by turn could be good though what's the bet traffic feature will be US only, and maps via 3G/wifi not offline (and they will probably need 3G for routing which is probably handled via iCloud servers) so there may still be a need for 3rd party gps like metroview
    No widgets/live tiles/notification center bits is very disappointing, has me questioning if I should stay with iOS the iP4 was barely good enough to begin with (but miles a head of android at the time) but now the only thing that iPhones have over android is regular updates for an extended period of time (3 year old phone getting ios6).

    Now we have to wait and see if the iP5 can save brand.

    While I am in a complaining mood, the comments box on the mobile theme here only being 2.5 lines makes it hard to compose long comments.

      Something like Facebook integration requires a lot of work, design wise at least.

        Not really, even if it was, there would be more than 3 people writing iOS.

      I agree completely.
      Not being a Facebook user, I actually see it as a hinderence to me.
      Widgets / UI update are the only things I really wanted, and I was expecting a lot more.
      I'm sure we're not the only ones thinking of switching to android now..

    OK my Tuesday morning rant.!
    Initially, when I heard iPad 1 was not going to be supported for this upgrade I was a bit annoyed... But now after seeing what's in it I'm quite glad it is not included.... as long as I can keep Google maps. I use street view alot and cannot see the benefits of the new Apple map app. 3D flyover - woohoo!. Good for eyecandy but beyond that what is it for?? Turn-by-turn guide? Meh I have a GPS already and if I'm walking the 'inconvenience' of having to look at the screen is minimal. Most other features are social/location/commerce/convenience app integrations or tweaks that I don't need or want . I really need more Facebook integration in my life - NOT.
    On a side note. Am I the only person that has had just about enough of the tapered design of the iPad 2/3? So it is thinner... whoop-di-dah! But it is way harder to get a nice (tight-fitting) cover while still being able to get nice tactile access of buttons. The square sides of the original just worked, and the original Apple cover was both tight and accessible. So the new gens are thinner, but you have to whack a fatter cover on them so they get bulkier anayways... Ironies anyone?

    Underwhelmed here.

    Won't upgrade because I use public transport. :(

    It's more like iOS 5.2

    I have to say that overall the release is ok, but streetview and they fact that most of the features wont even work in most countries for the next 12 months (if you take siri's location and business info as an example) then its really limited on the feature set.

    on another hand if you watch the keynote i noticed that wifi and bluetooth on/off now appear under the Airplane mode. For those asking why this is a big deal its cause to enable bluetooth you had to goto

    Settings > General > Bluetooth, now its just settings.

    Wonder if the other 200 features will be the ability to enable/disable this from notification center or something

      like android

        hahah Ru, spot on!

        i was going to say a lot of the "key features" e.g. facebook integration, turn by turn have been available to android aaaaages ago anyway...

        so while it's good to see ios finally are offering these features, it's no big deal

      Ugh.. that means the Bluetooth app I bought (before Apple took it down from the store) won't work anymore, that sucks.. (launch the app to turn Bluetooth on/off)

    Like most things Apple thinks the world is AMERICA...

      Why wouldn't it make sense to roll out features for the majority of your users first then extend them to the rest of the world? Aussies need to remember we live in a far away, very small (population) backwater country on the arse end of the world. We should enjoy it!

        Indeed, I've given up waiting for Google Voice.

        In Australia, I'm just pleazed to be able to write without American spelling

        Physically we do, but virtually we are no different to the people that live in Cupertino.

          We are massively different as we use a wide variety of different services.

          Virtually yes we are all the same, but yeah many of these add-on services rely on companies who only have a strong physical presence in the US

    With the first iterations of iOS lacking so many simple feature, it easy to see that each new version will not be much different to the last. Each year is going to be harder and harder for apple to think up new stuff to stick in to it. The fact they leave stuff out of old hardware will be their undoing. Simply leaving feature out so people have to upgrade. Disrespectful. The iPhone 4 is easily powerful enough to run Siri. poor form on apple behalf, its just a glimpse of the future...

      Companies seem to think upgrading older products for free is not incentive for users not to upgrade the hardware, while thats true for some users, people like me would chose a device that gets more new features as it gets older over one that gets obsoleted faster.

    Technically, most of those aren't new, more improved than new.
    I am pretty disappointed, kinda had my heart set out to a new UI, or at least some degree of customization in the UI... or at least maybe mention some optimization of the OS so older devices won't lag as much. My fault for having high hopes I guess.

      Maybe it's time for you to get an Android phone then ;)

    Honestly, I'm not going to upgrade because of the lack of integrated public transport.

    Additionally, I like to use the tomtom app (despite the annoyances I have with it) because everything is offline! This one isn't as big of a problem, since this app will still be available but it means I wont be using the native app.

    I don't know, to me at least, the basic maps now seem so hamstrung it makes me not want to use it, I know public transport can't be used in all of the cities, but for the cities that it is available for, it becomes very much a part of your day to day life and it's frustrating to see it go for very little gain.

    When I saw Siri (still in Beta?) as the number one post I got very worried and when I read further it was confirmed that this is an IOS 5.2 dressed up all fancy because people just love numbers!

    I'm sorry I can only complete this comment in the U.S and using U.S English.

    I sincerely hope that Facebook integration is easily removed, want nothing to do with it. If it is forced on all iPhone users, then goodbye apple!

    Pretty sore about the Facebook integrations though it does come down to how they implement it. But no google maps? This to me doesn't seem to be a were unhappy with google maps so we need to make a better version to keep users happy, it comes across more as a gtfo google we want that market share and money.

      @g-man, they wont be banning the Google Maps app from what I understand, only that the Apple Maps App will probably be the default map app on devices using iOS6.

      I really want google maps to stay for the public transport integration, hope we get both.

    Do Not Disturb!!! Finally!! Love the abliity to be able to block out everything except phone calls from work (fire brigade). And maybe my girlfriend...

    Like windows pone. Facebook,twitter,im integration.

    No HD voice, what a joke. Immediate fail right there.

    Biggest news = suggestion of a siri API

    Seriously? Apple think that these are new features? My old Nokia N97 mini turn-by-turn GPS nav 4 years ago? wtf?

      It's not about who had it first, it's about who patented it first, or who hyped it up the most.

      iOS is akin to sticking someone's head underwater for a long time, then giving them five seconds of air. After doing that a few dozen times, you soon find that you no longer take air for granted.

      When I switched from Apple to Android (and even from Apple to my old Nokia 6260) I felt relieved because I didn't have to wait for Apple to throw me a tidbit from the table, I could just download it from the marketplace. The old dialer being hard to see? Download a new one! Need to be alerted about your data usage when your phone company doesn't have an app? Download 3G Watchdog!

      These people are the gatekeepers. You're in prison and sweet, sweet freedom is being handed to you one crumb at a time.

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