Maps: Yes, there has been a lot of discussion regarding the failures of the iOS 6 maps app. While I hate to echo the crowd, I'm inclined to agree that the Maps app is not as comprehensive as Google's Maps app. The Apple version may be visually stunning, but there’s no denying that it is not as user friendly as Google's well-researched app. For city dwellers, Apple's version is especially cumbersome because it lacks the public transit data that many commuters rely on. While many users are growing increasingly frustrated and demanding that Google launch their own app (this is to be expected by Christmas), I fully expect that Apple will work to upgrade their current app. I don't imagine that the juggernaut tech company will allow such a vital component of their phone to remain at such subpar levels.
If you are really missing Google maps, the easiest fix is to access it via Safari and adding it on your home screen for quick and easy access. Using Google maps on Safari proved to be a little more choppy than normal but in general, it’s still quite user friendly.
Photos and Camera: The new Facebook integration on the iOS 6 has certainly made sharing photos a whole lot easier. My particular favorite upgrade is the revamped camera, which now allows users to take panorama pictures. While many may assume that this cool new feature is only available on the iPhone 5, the new camera feature is actually a software and not a hardware upgrade, so devices with the updated software will be able to utilize this photo tool as well.
Do not Disturb: This feature that allows you to control notifications at certain periods of time in the day. It allows users to select a specific time period when all calls and notifications will be automatically silenced. With how addicted we all seem to be to our smartphones, this feature might just be a much-needed tech relief. Luckily, the feature is fully customizable so users will be able to opt to allow calls from favorite contacts.
FaceTime: Users will now be able to utilize the video chatting option via 3G in addition to WiFi. Of course, this does not apply to AT&T users. Y'all are out of luck.
Passbook: As with all Apple products, there’s no denying that Passbook looks pretty sleek and elegant. Unfortunately aesthetics is about all it has to offer right now. As of right now, there simply aren’t many Passbook enabled apps available. There are some big names like Target, Fandango and Sephora, but powerhouses like Starbucks have yet to jump on the Passbook bandwagon.
Mail: I’ve never had any major complaints regarding iOS Mail, so I was curious to see exactly what specific improvements were added on to this update. The update now boasts Pull-to-Refresh and a much celebrated new signature feature, which allows users to have a different signature for different email addresses. The VIP mail feature could also prove very popular—it allows users to automatically filter emails from specified people into a separate inbox. One of my favorite improvements has been the ability to insert photos and videos into emails. It sounds like a relatively basic task, but before, users would have to start the process in the Photos app and sending it via email from there.
Siri: Siri has been revamped and includes a variety of improvements, most of which is listed here. Early tests on Siri indicate that the system has indeed improved, but it’s difficult to tell how it’ll hold up with increased traffic once more devices opt to update to iOS 6. Personally, with how bad Siri has failed in the past, I don’t imagine that I’ll ever get used to relying on Siri. Sure, these new features and tricks are cool and quite possibly even useful, but iPhone users have gotten too used to Siri’s failures in the past and I simply don’t see there being enough of an improvement for users to really utilize the tool.
App Store: The app store received a much-needed facelift, and now includes cool new features like rotating banners and improved graphics. Also worth noting: Before when you purchased an app in the App Store, you were automatically routed to the homescreen. The update prevents that from happening. What’s been most impressive with the App Store update has been the way it presents search results. Before, users were shown a list of apps based on a specified search term. Now, a search term returns with a carousel display of relevant apps. The browsing experience is more seamless and a marked visual improvement.
Phone: While the calling experience on the iOS 6 has remained largely the same, users now have the ability to reject calls with a text message or an option to remind you to call the person back at later time.
Final Thoughts: If you're wondering, "Should I download iOS 6?", my advice would be to simply go for it. Unless you are particularly reliant on the public transit information on Google Maps, I'd say that the iOS 6 update is worth it. The whole iPhone experience is a lot more seamless and all the separate components have been integrated in a much more helpful manner. As a self-declared lover of all things pretty, there's also denying that the updated visuals of iOS 6 is quite stunning.
Did y'all upgrade to iOS 6? Share your thoughts!