The skies were clear and blue and San Francisco was glowing a bit more. It was the most looked forward to day for the Tech world and fans. The Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco was buzzing with tech and media people as the 2012 Apple Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) took off at 10 a.m. Pacific.
iOS 6 was the showstopper at Monday’s keynote address. Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS software, introduced a list of updates to the new operating system, which will be available on iPad, iPhone and iPod devices come fall.
Siri is much smarter than she used to be — she can now easily provide detailed information on sports, restaurant, and movie information. That’s all well and good but one of the biggest new additions is that Siri can now launch apps when asked. That lack of functionality from day one seemed like a serious shortcoming especially considering how Apple was trying to position her as a smart new way of interacting with the iPhone. Forestall demonstrated this on-stage by commanding her to launch Temple Run and she launched it.
- Siri will also let you Tweet by voice.
- Siri is smart about sports. It can pull in scores, game summaries and player stats.
- Siri integrates with Yelp and OpenTable for restaurant reviews and reservations
- Siri in iOS 6 will also integrate with Rotten Tomatoes for movie times and reviews.
- Siri is also available in a handful of new languages including Italian, Korea, Mandarin (for Taiwan), and Cantonese.
- Siri is coming to the new iPad. You can access it by hold-tapping the home button on the iPad.
- Siri is getting its own button on BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota and Honda cars, right on your steering wheel. When you press a switch on your steering wheel, Siri will pop up on your phone (via Bluetooth) and assist you on the road, like your very own AAA agent. The company is calling Siri In The Car “Eyes Free.”
The keynote audience were delighted in downtown San Francisco’s Moscone Center when Forstall announced the system-wide integration of Facebook.
After signing in once with your username and password, you’ll be able to post instantly to Facebook from most corners of Apple’s new mobile operating system. In fact, if your hands are tied, you can just ask Siri to do it for you.
Photos, links, locations, Game Center content, and more can all be posted straight to the Social Network, and you are now able to “Like” different apps and songs. Another smart move by Apple is the added synchronization between the two platforms: syncing Facebook Events and birthdays with the Calendar app, and bringing Facebook friends into Contacts.
Apple also opened up a public Facebook iOS 6 API.
Twitter saw a major boost after its integration into iOS 5 — Apple reported that 10 billion tweets have been sent from its operating system. What the new partnership with Facebook will yield remains to be seen.
In the phone app, Apple has added reminders that will make it easy for users to remind themselves to call or text-back later, if they can’t take a call right now.
There is also a “Do Not Disturb” mode. Messages will still come to your phone, but the screen won’t light up or make any noise. There are also new ways to group contacts and control how their calls are handled.
As far as texting goes, there are a couple quick replies like “I’ll call you later” or “What’s up?” which can be sent with the press of a button.
FaceTime Over Cellular
Look out Skype, FaceTime will now work over cellular connections. Even better, if someone calls your phone, you can choose to answer on your iPad or Mac. And Apple is doing the same thing with iMessage.
Google Maps have always been part of iPhone since the device’s launch, but Apple announced its own version of Maps for iOS 6 — one that will be replace the Google service on its smartphones.
After acquiring three mapping companies over the past few years, Apple will surely offer this service much more reliably than Google.
The app will offer turn-by-turn navigation spoken aloud in a familiar voice called Siri and a 3D mode. You can rotate and zoom, or simply tap on a place in 3D mode to learn about it. The 3D “Flyover” mode is gorgeous and gives you a birds-eye view of a particular area.
Siri can also find certain venues, like a gas station, for you on your way to somewhere and will also answer every car driver’s favorite question: Are we there yet?
Apple Maps also comes complete with traffic condition information crowd-sourced anonymously from an army of iOS users. This should let you know if it’s a small delay or a major collision up ahead.
Transit directions – another useful Google Maps feature – is thankfully coming back in the form of Apple’s own version of this service. Apple will actually “integrate” transit apps from third-party developers.
Both Google Maps and Apple Maps allow you to look up a particular restaurant near you. Apple’s version, however, also integrates Yelp information into searches, allowing you to see a particular resturant’s rating and read reviews.
- The App will allow you to store tickets, boarding passes, coupons, and retail loyalty cards in one place.
- The Passbook app will even check to see if your flight is delayed or if your gate has changed, and alerts you immediately.
- The notifications appear as pop-ups on lock screens.
- It works with other apps that make natural sense, like the Starbucks store app, Fandango, United, Amtrak, and Apple Store of course.
- Shared photo streams: “Choose your photos you’d like to share, choose the friends you’d like to share it with, and you’re done.”
- Commenting is built-in.
- Available on Mac, Apple TV, and via web.
· It also has Facebook and Twitter integration.
· Safari in iOS will add an offline reading list.
- You’ll be able to upload photos straight from Safari.
- Smart App Banners will let people know about your native app in the App Store.
- iCloud Tabs will work in Safari only and is is exclusive to OS X Mountain Lion and iOS 6.
- The feature offers a synchronized list of tabs open across all iDevices.
- The feature essentially offers you a way to “star” email correspondents that are most frequently contacted or “very important people.” It will be hooked into iCloud, meaning that all VIP Contacts will be synced across devices.
- You can insert a photo or video from the Compose field.
- There’ll be two extra inboxes: VIP inbox and a flagged inbox.
Apple is also adding the ability to open password-locked documents in mail and pull-to-refresh for messages.
- iOS 6 will be supported on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, and iPhone 3GS.
- iOS 6 will be supported on the iPad 2, and the new iPad.
- iOS 6 will be supported on the fourth-generation iPod touch.
- No word on Apple TV support.
- Beta is going out today, the release for the stores Coming this fall.