Thursday, September 20, 2012

New iPhone iOS Features - First Blush

I have to admit, although I had my hands on iOS 6 Beta for many months, I was totally afraid to upgrade my phone because I rely on it from moment to moment for just about everything in my life!  Pathetic, eh?

So I updated yesterday when 6 came out, and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised.  Just a few new things I noticed:

  1. Panoramic pictures - YEAH!  This is SOO cool, and if you have a fairly steady hand it turns out with almost no distortion.
  2. New Map app - everyone was so up-in-arms about replacing Google Maps, I always said big deal, the Google Map app on iPhone sucked anyway.  Apple's is better, I only will use it occasionally for searching (and not for traffic, directions, etc. - I use MotionX, much better at all of the above!)
  3. Update social networks from Siri - YEAH!  Finally.
  4. In fact, tons of new features on Siri, totally great, I already am about ready to replace my wi...WiFi.  Yeah, that's what I was gonna say.
  5. Do Not Disturb mode in Settings - sends all calls to voice mail, but you can still use your phone.  Great for when you are doing MotionX and trying to navigate, say, the streets of Boston or Pittsburgh!
  6. Privacy (in Settings), allows you to control app access to Twitter, Facebook, and other phone services - FANTASTIC
  7. Snappy!  Yes, iOS 6 has tons of new features, but I think it may even be faster than 5, if that is possible.
  8. THE BIGGIE:  Passbook.  I know people wanted NFC to do wireless payment, but the tech is nowhere near mature and secure enough, so Apple steered clear.  Good move.  Now they offer a common "wallet" where you can store loyalty cards, gift cards, boarding passes, tickets (movie/sport events/concerts/etc.), and more.  App developers need to write their apps to take advantage of Passbook, and store the stuff you get in there, but there are a handful of apps out as of Day 1, and more in process.  This is really great, Droid doesn't have anything to compare.
  9. Support down to 3GS - iOS 6 is retroactively supported down to those old phones, so most current customers can get the cool new features (except Siri of course, and I understand turn-by-turn guidance on the map app, but then again - go ahead and get MotionX).
All in all, I am VERY happy and impressed.  Kudos, Apple (like you need more).  Maybe your stock will break 700...oh, wait.  It did.  Well, maybe it will stay above.

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