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Tech Report – iOS 6



By TheTechDad

iOS 6, Apple’s new operating system for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will be available from 1 pm ET (10 am PT) on September 19, 2012. While soon-to-be iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation) owners can relax – iOS 6 will already be installed – everyone else can take advantage of the upgrades and new features via a free download from iTunes.

While not all iOS 6 features will be available on every device (e.g. the new Panorama camera feature will only be available on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and the new iPod touch), there is enough to get excited about. Here are just some of the iOS 6 features you can look forward to:

Maps

Apple has finally cut the cord with Google Maps and has built an entirely new mapping solution of its own. Apple hopes Maps is ready for primetime and we shall find out soon enough. Features include turn-by-turn navigation, real-time traffic reporting, Yelp integration, and a 3D option called Flyover, which allows you to view major metro areas from the air, complete with landmark buildings and informational pop-ups.

(Turn-by-turn navigation and Flyover are only available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2 or later, and iPod touch (5th generation).)

FaceTime

Apple’s FaceTime video chat service now works over cellular networks as well as Wi-Fi, although you might want to make sure you have 4G service rather than 3G to ensure quality and no interruptions. Also keep in mind that constant video chat over a cellular network may put a dent in your data plan, so it’s best to find out how your wireless carrier will treat those calls.

(FaceTime over cellular is only available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPad (3rd generation) with cellular data capability.)

Siri

Siri is getting smarter. You will now be able to use Siri to open apps, get the latest sports scores, make reservations at restaurants, and a whole lot more. Apple is also working with car manufacturers to integrate Siri into voice command systems, so more tasks can be completed hands-free while driving. Siri is also finally available for the iPad (3rd generation only).

(Siri is available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad (3rd generation) and iPod touch (5th generation).)

Shared Photo Streams

Shared Photo Streams allows you to share photos with select friends and family right from the photo app. Just tap Share, choose who you want to send the photos to, and off they go. Friends using iCloud on an iOS 6 device will get them immediately and others can access them via the Web. You can also add comments.

(Shared Photo Streams will be available on iPhone 3GS and later, iPad 2 and later, and iPod touch (4th generation) and later.)

Facebook integration

iOS 6 features much closer integration with Facebook than we have previously seen on Apple devices, with access to the social network baked right into many of the signature features. You can share a photo right from Camera or Photos, post a location from Maps, and boast about a high score from Game Center, all without the need to visit the Facebook app. iOS 6 even integrates Facebook friends and events into Contacts and Calendar, so everything is automatically updated.

(Facebook integration will be available on iPhone 3GS and later, iPad 2 and later, and iPod touch (4th generation) and later.)

Passbook

Passbook is a brand new feature that allows you to store e-passes, boarding cards, coupons, store cards and more in what amounts to a digital wallet. No more searching through e-mails or logging into web sites to get the information you need. Everything is right there, neatly stored in credit card-style wallet sections. Passbook can even detect when your passes might be needed and bring them up on your screen, like when you enter an airport or walk into a Starbucks.

(Passbook will be available on iPhone 3GS and later, iPad 2 and later, and iPod touch (4th generation) and later.)

Camera with Panorama

The new Panorama feature allows you to capture a panoramic view of up to 240 degrees with one sweeping camera shot. The camera takes multiple photos and the software seamlessly stitches them all together.

(Panorama is available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation).)

Find My Friends, Find My iPhone

With Find My Friends, you can share locations with friends and family. Shared locations will appear on a map so you can quickly see where individuals are and what they are up to. You can even get location-based alerts, like when your kids leave school or arrive home.

If you misplace your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, Find My iPhone helps you locate and protect the missing device. You can use a four-digit passcode to lock your phone and then send it a message to display a contact number. While in Lost Mode, your device will keep track of where it’s been and report back to you anytime you check in.

(Find My Friends and Find My iPhone require iCloud on iPhone 3GS and later, iPad, and iPod touch (3rd generation) and later. The device needs to be turned on and connected to a registered Wi-Fi network or have an active data plan.)

Full details of the iOS 6 upgrade can be found at www.apple.com/iOS

Follow TheTechDad on Twitter.



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