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Apple iOS 6 – need to know

Here's all you need to know about the new features in Apple's latest iteration of iOS

Apple has touted over 200 new features for its latest iteration of its mobile OS – iOS 6. We’ve rounded up the best of them for you to sink your teeth into.

iOS 6 – Maps

Apple cuts its mapping ties with Google and goes it alone with a Yelp-powered list of over 100 million businesses, live crowd-sourced traffic reports and turn by turn navigation. Siri is also present, offering the ability to answer questions like ‘are we there yet?’ and tell you where the nearest petrol station is. A 3D mode called Flyover looks impressive, with nicely detailed 3D renders of key cities around the world. Take that Google.

iOS 6 – Siri

First things first, Siri will be available on the new Apple iPad 3 once it’s updated to iOS 6. While original and iPad 2 owners cry out in anger, we’ll move straight on to Siri’s new features.

Siri can now open apps, check live sports results and check movie listings and reviews from Rotten Tomatoes. You can even book a table at a restaurant courtesy of OpenTable. Classy, no? And Siri will also be appearing in the new iPod Touch – read about it in our iPod touch story.

iOS 6 – Facebook integration

Following in the footsteps of Twitter, Facebook has been given a deeper integration into Apple’s latest version of iOS, with contact integration and support for Facebook messages now present. The Notification Center will also be getting a nice new ‘tap to post’ button, for quick and easy status updates without having to fire up the Facebook app. Birthdays will be integrated into the calendar (ideal for the forgetful among you) and you can also share which apps you’re a fan of directly from the App Store.

iOS 6 – FaceTime over 3G

As previously rumoured, FaceTime calls can now be made over 3G, freeing Appleites from the shackles of Wi-Fi. It’s about time. Also, if someone calls or texts your phone number, you can now choose to respond directly from your Mac or iPad, which is a nice touch.

iOS 6 – phone features

A new ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode will let you block all incoming calls and messages according to your schedule, although you can make exceptions if someone rings twice within a certain time period (most likely telling you that little Timmy has fallen down a well again). Another feature has also been added which has been standard in other phones for a while now – the ability to text replies from the call screen to let callers know why you can’t take a call.

iOS 6 – Photo Stream

Similar to Facebook, Apple’s Photo Stream service lets you select people you’d like to share your photos with. Once that’s done, they’ll get a notification each time you post a new photo of your cat in people clothes (or whatever else you happen to like taking snaps of).

iOS 6 – Mail

The same VIP feature in OS X Mountain Lion will also make its way into iOS 6, providing users with the ability to select important contacts which will trigger special notifications. Also, videos and photos can be directly inserted into in-line messages. About time too.

iOS 6 – Passbook

iOS 6 users will be treated to a Passbook – a shiny new app which will happily gobble up the details of anything with a barcode and collate it into one easy to organise app. Movie tickets, boarding passes – you name it, it’ll read it. It’ll even update in real time – so if your plane’s boarding gate changes, so will your ticket. And it can use location data to intelligently pick out your passes – knowing that if you’re in a Starbucks you’ll probably want to use your Starbucks card, for instance.

iOS 6 – Lost Mode

If you’ve gone and left your iPhone in the back of a taxi then this new feature could very well be your saviour. Lost Mode lets you send a phone number to your misplaced iPhone so that a kind-hearted soul can ring you back to arrange a reunion with your beloved iDevice.

iOS 6 – Safari

Safari has been updated on both Macs and on iDevices with a new feature called iCloud tabs, which lets you synchronise tabs with all mobile and full versions of the Safari browser for uninterrupted surfing.

iOS 6 – release date

iOS 6 is available to download from September 19th.

Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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