Apple previewed iOS 6, the next major new version of the iPad and iPhone operating system, at their WWDC keynote event today – and announced that it will be released this fall.
iOS 6, like iOS 5 before it, boasts a large number of new features for the iPad. Here are some of the big ones that have caught my eye so far, in no particular order:
— New Maps – Apple is replacing Google Maps with a new in-house developed maps system which sounded hugely impressive at today’s event.
Map elements are vector based, so graphics and text are incredibly detailed — even when you zoom all the way in — and panning is smooth. Tilt and rotate to view an area, and Maps keeps the names of streets and places where they belong. Get visual and spoken turn-by-turn navigation and real-time traffic updates. Even soar over cityscapes to see the sights from the air in amazing, high-resolution quality.
— Facebook Integration: Facebook is integrated throughout iOS 6. With iOS 6 we’ll be able to post photos to Facebook directly from the Camera and Photos apps, post our location directly from the Maps app, and use Siri to post on Facebook, Facebook events will be integrated in the Calendar app and Facebook friends’ profile info will be in Contacts.
— Siri for iPad: As with many of the features announced this one was widely expected. Siri will have the ability to launch apps in iOS 6, post to Facebook, post tweets to Twitter, look up sports scores and information, and find movie reviews and showtimes – much more than she currently does in iOS 5.
Image Source: gdgt
— Improved Mail App:
Redesigned with a more streamlined interface for easier reading and writing, Mail in iOS 6 lets you set up a VIP list so you’ll never miss an important message from your accountant, your boss, or your BFF.5It’s even easier to add photos and videos to email messages. And to refresh your mailboxes, all you have to do is swipe down.
– Remodeled Stores: iTunes, the App Store, and the iBookstore are all getting a makeover. Things like iCloud history tracking have been added.
— Guided Access: This sounds extremely useful for educational environments:
iOS 6 comes with even more features to make it easier for people with vision, hearing, learning, and mobility disabilities to get the most from their iOS devices. Guided Access helps students with disabilities such as autism remain on task and focused on content. It allows a parent, teacher, or administrator to limit an iOS device to one app by disabling the Home button, as well as restrict touch input on certain areas of the screen.
iOS 6 will be available this Fall for the iPad 2 and new iPad 3 – not for the original iPad.
For more details on iOS 6 check out Apple’s iOS 6 features page.