Six cool iOS 6 features for iPhone, iPad & iPod Touch

iOS 6 LogoThe big Apple news of recent days has of course been the launch of iPhone 5, but for us, iOS 6 - available for download right now - is the bigger deal. Why?
  • iPhone 5 is effectively an evolution rather than a revolution, with many new features that are playing catch-up to the oppostion
  • iOS 6 brings over 200 new features to older iPhones, iPad and iPod Touch
  • Many of these new features are extremely cool!
We know that a sizeable proportion of our customers use Apple devices, so we thought we'd devote some time to covering these new features. So here are our six favourite new features of iOS 6. Did we miss any? Or are there features that Apple missed? Let us know on our Facebook page.

iOS 6 Compatibility

Before you get too excited, here are the Apple products that are compatible with iOS 6: iPhone: iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 iPad: iPad 2, iPad 3rd Generation iPod Touch: iPod Touch 4th Generation, iPod Touch 5th Generation Some features in iOS 6 are not compatible with some devices - we'll highlight those when they come up.

1) Panorama

Apple panoramaA clever combination of software and hardware that lets you easily create panoramic photos, the new Panorama feature creates images up to 240 degrees wide or high. To take a panoramic photo, you sweep the phone in a single motion across your vista, then let the software do the rest. Panorama is available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPod Touch 5th Generation

2) Maps with Turn-By-Turn Navigation

- Since the launch of iOS 6, it's been clear that Apple's Maps app is not up to scratch, and even Apple have apologised for its shortcomings. If you use Google Maps a lot, we'd recommend not updating to iOS 6 until Apple gets their Maps app up to Google's level of detail and sophistication. apple maps trafficIn iOS 6 Apple have replaced Google's maps with their own app. Their maps are vector-based for smooth detail at all zoom levels, and street & place names rotate with the map for easy reading. Apple's Maps also features real-time traffic updates, helping you estimate your ETA, see what's causing a delay, and navigate your way around it if need be. What we're also excited about is the turn-by-turn navigation feature, confirmed to be available down under in October. Siri also pops up here, as you will now be able to ask Siri how to get somewhere and Maps will show you the fastest route. apple maps flyoverOne fun new feature is Flyover - high-resolution 3D maps of major cities that let you explore the city interactively by zooming, panning, tilting and rotating your way around the city's sights. This is available for may cities worldwide, however it's only available for Sydney and Melbourne in Australia (so far). Apple's Maps also include Local Search - similar to the Google+ Local search feature, letting you find local businesses, restaurants, entertainment and more. Siri now works with Local Search in Australia too - a big plus! Turn-by-turn Navigation, Flyover and Siri are available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 2 or later (iPad 3rd Gen for Siri) and iPod Touch (5th Gen; excluding Navigation).

3) Find My Phone and Find My Friends

find-my-phoneThe Find My Phone feature has been updated with Lost Mode. If you lose your phone, you can lock it via iCloud and send a contact number to the phone that will appear on the Lock screen, so anyone finding it can call you easily.   find-my-friendsFind My Friends is a feature that will have privacy watchdogs jumping up and down! With this feature you can set permission for certain people to track your whereabouts via your phone...great for close friends and parents, but perhaps a little concerning for many! We can see a few spousal arguments over this one! A good feature for parents is location-based alerts, that will let you know when a child leaves school or arrives home for example.

4) Facebook Integration

iOS 6 Facebook IntegrationFacebook is now integrated much more fully into iOS. You can now share photos directly from the camera or the Photos app, share your location from Maps, even get Siri to post for you. Calendar and Contacts get new functionality too, with events and birthdays added directly to the Calendar from Facebook, as well as contact information.

5) FaceTime over 3G / 4G

Facetime over 3GWith iOS 6 you will be able to use FaceTime over the phone network; previously it was limited to WiFi only. You can now video call wherever you are - but beware of network data charges! FaceTime over cellular networks requires iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 or iPad (3rd gen).

6) New Calling Features

Some nice new features have been added to the iPhone. You can now decline a call and instantly reply with a text message (pre-set or customised) or set a call-back reminder. If you're super busy, switch on Do Not Disturb mode - you won't be bothered by any calls, unless they're from someone important that you've set as a VIP like your boss or your children.

What do you think?

Did we miss out on any important features...or did Apple? If you're using Android or another OS, what feature can't you live without? Let us know over on our Facebook page!

How to download iOS 6

Downloading iOS 6 is easy - you can do it right from your iPhone or iPad. Go to Settings-->General-->Software Update. You should see iOS 6 available; from there just follow the prompts. Some tips:
  • Back up your phone first, to be on the safe side.
  • Do the update while your phone is connected to a wi-fi network or your computer - it's a 600MB download!
  • Depending on your internet connection, the whole thing could take an hour, and it's a good idea to plug into the mains so you don't run out of battery juice half way.

More information

Want more info? Visit Apple's site for a detailed rundown on the main new features: