Taking a quick skim through iOS 6 and all that has been changed, it brings back memories of searching through iOS 5 when it first came out. Fortunately, the update has a lot more to offer than iOS 5 did. We are going to show you some of the icing on the cake and some things that have changed from iOS 5 to iOS 6 so you will know what to expect when you update to it this Fall.
1. New Application Banners
As soon as you power on your new iOS 6 device, the first thing you will want to do is visit the App Store and download your favorite applications. However, we chose to go into the Settings application and log into Twitter and Facebook first – this lets us install the Twitter and Facebook applications directly from the Settings application without the need to visit the App Store. As you can see, once a new application finishes downloading, a blue banner labeled “New” will appear on all new applications to alert you that they are freshly downloaded. Once you launch the application for the first time, the banner will disappear.
2. A Better Settings App
Also new to iOS 6 is a brand new Settings application. Instead of offering a preferences pane for every application on the device, Apple chose to group certain things together to not only make things easier to follow, but also to save space. Additionally, a Bluetooth toggle has been added to the primary pane under the Wi-Fi toggle. This is great because it used to be a pain to toggle Bluetooth on and off. Additionally, you can see the ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature right above the Notifications preferences pane that will allow you to silence notifications for a duration of time.
3. New Widgets
iOS 6 welcomes two new gorgeous widgets that allow you to quickly Tweet to Twitter or post on Facebook. Both buttons, when tapped, launch an interface from Notification Center where you can type your message and have it posted live. Unlike iOS 5, the Twitter interface is not laggy anymore as Apple seems to have greatly improved its performance. These features can only be done after you have signed into your Facebook and Twitter accounts from the Settings application.
4. Support for A Ton of Picture Sharing
When you go into your Photos application and attempt to share a photo like you would in iOS 5, a new interface that we are not familiar with will appear. The interface includes buttons for Mail, Twitter, Facebook, Weibo, assigning the picture to a contact, printing the picture, copying the picture, or using the picture as a wallpaper. The interface looks good and the flexibility we didn’t have before is just fabulous.
5. A New Maps Interface
Maps has been redesigned with speed and beauty in mind. The Maps application now uses Apple’s own mapping method instead of Google Maps. The maps load up very quickly and they look as great as they function. From the A4 device this demo is being presented on, you will have the ability to move between map view, hybrid view, and satellite view, as turn-by-turn navigation and Flyover view are unfortunately not supported on A4 devices.
6. A New Weather Interface
The Weather application appears the same for the most part, except for the color change and a more noticeable gradient being used. The change is completely cosmetic and doesn’t affect anything functionally.
7. A New App Store and iTunes Interface
The App Store and iTunes have been completely redesigned from the ground up. This is probably a good thing since the App Store seems to load so slowly. The newer App Store interface still takes a while to load up, so it seems heavily dependent on your Internet connection speed. From now on, when you search for a new application to download, you will be accompanied by a built-in download manager, which shows you your download progress from within the App Store application without the App Store auto-closing and taking you to the home screen. Additionally, when the application finishes downloading, the App Store will show you an ‘Open’ button that will launch your newly downloaded application. These are some nice things to have as it was a pain having to re-launch the App Store to download another application after you begin a download.
8. A New Camera Interface
Just like the Weather application, the Camera application sees some color changes. The black interface is the one noticeable change, but nothing appears to have changed functionally.
9. New Music Interface
iOS 6 comes with a completely redone Music application. You might not even recognize Apple’s design in this one. The music controls almost look like something right out of a Cydia theme. The interface has a large visual change, but functionally, everything still works the same.
10. New Timer Function
iOS 6 now includes a button in the Clock application to play one of your song library music tracks when a timer goes off. This button was not available in iOS 5. It will probably be nicer to wake up to music of your choice rather than a loud alarming distraction.
11. The Passbook App
Passbook is the new, highly controversial application that comes with iOS 6. It’s not yet known if this application is going to be a useful one or not, but hopefully it doesn’t end up like Newsstand and being hidden from my home screen. Unfortunately, we don’t have any Boarding Passes, Tickets, Store Cards, or Coupons to show you.
Not too shabby, eh? Who's ready to upgrade?!