At WWDC 2012, Apple took the wraps of of iOS 6. Due to be released in the fall of this year, Apple has added several new features to the OS that will surely be a boon for business. Lets jump in and talk about a few of these features and how they may benefit your organization.
One of the most talked about Apps to receive an upgrade in iOS 6 is Maps. Apple chose to drop Google as its map provider and built a new solution from the ground up, using crowed sourced data for traffic and Tom Tom technologies for navigation. The App now renders maps using vector art, making the App much more responsive while adding a great new feature called Flyover, which renders cities in stunning 3D. Siri is now fully integrated as well, so asking for directions will instantly produce turn-by-turn navigation results. You can even ask Siri, while navigating, how much longer until you reach your destination. Personally, I think this will be a welcomed feature for most professionals, providing a quick and easy solution for finding locations and making it to your meetings on time.
For those of you out there that manage your organization’s social media, the introduction of Facebook integration will almost certainly be assisting in your day-to-day task. Simply add your Facebook username and password within the iOS setting, just as you do with Twitter now, and Facebook will automatically authenticate Apps that use Facebook authentication. Share your information using hooks that can be built into any App using Apple’s Facebook API and from most every App that comes native in iOS.
Passbook is a very interesting tool that Apple will be making available in iOS 6. Think of Passbook as your digital wallet, allowing you to store boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and more. Granted Passbook will make travel far more convenient with powerful features such as real time updates such as gate changes and location based notifications. Where I think Passbook will really shine is for businesses that take advantage of the App and create unique experiences for their customers.
There isn’t really much new with FaceTime. Essentially it’s the same App as before, only now FaceTime works over 3G. But combined with the power of AirPlay, and the ability to project your conference to a display, I foresee a renaissance in telecommuting, networking, and conferencing. As more iOS devices come to market and business adopts them, video conferencing will become far more accessible. FaceTime is remarkably easy to use and convenient, as it can be accessed while traveling.
The phone App received some simple but great new features, and features that seem to be targeted right at professional users. In the new phone App, declining a call produces a new set of actions, such as Reply with Message or Remind Me Later, allowing you to message the caller or remind yourself after a meeting while sending your call to voice mail. Additionally, for those times that your undivided attention is needed, Apple has provided a new Do-not-Disturb preference within the OS Settings.
Mail has received a few minor but useful tweaks such as a new VIP inbox that allows you to easily select contacts from your address book that will place any email communications into a specially marked inbox. Also mail now has the ability to add photos and videos inline.
Apple has listed several other updates to iOS 6 which you can see here: http://www.apple.com/ios/ios6/