iOS 6 brings new Map app, Siri updates, FaceTime over 3G, more

By on June 11, 2012, 3:29 PM

As expected, Apple unveiled the latest iteration of its mobile operating system during today's Worldwide Developer Conference. The changes include improvements to Siri, which has been criticized for being too beta-like, the introduction of Apple's own Map app, the integration of Facebook, as well as various tweaks to the Phone app, FaceTime, Safari, Mail, Photo Stream and more. A developer beta is available today, while everyone else (dating back to the 3GS) will have to wait until later this year.

Siri: Now available on the iPad. Supports new languages including Canadian French, Spanish for Spain, Mexico and the US, Italian in Italy, French, German and Italian dialects for Switzerland, as well as a few Asian languages. You can ask sports and movie questions now, while OpenTable integration enables restaurant reservations. Siri can also launch apps and dictate tweets, while a new "Eyes Free" feature will appear in cars later this year and let you access Siri by pressing a button on your steering wheel.

Map: Confirming rumors, Apple announced that it is ditching Google Maps in iOS 6 in favor of its own solution. Among other features, the new Map app will offer Yelp integration, crowd-sourced traffic reports, turn-by-turn navigation that works even with your phone locked, and a "Flyover" mode, which is basically satellite view but includes a 3D photographic model of several cities. Apple's Map app is also backed by Siri, so you can ask questions like "are we there yet?" for an estimated arrival time.

Facebook: This time last year, Apple introduced iOS 5 with Twitter integration, and the company has given Facebook similar treatment this time around. You can now post to Facebook directly through Apple's app, including images yanked from the Photos app. Apple's Facebook solution is integrated with Siri as well as the Calendar app allowing events to be synchronized. Also, the company will provide an API, so third-party applications will be able to pull information from or post information to Facebook.

Phone: Despite making significant changes to its operating system over the years, Apple has left the Phone app largely untouched. With iOS 6, you'll be able to automatically reject a call and reply with a preset text message, such as "I'll call you later." A new Do Not Disturb mode lets you mute notifications (it won't even light up your screen), yet it can filter important calls. For instance, you can create a whitelist allowing notifications from certain individuals and folks who call multiple times can get through.

FaceTime: Although the quality won't be as good, you'll soon be able to make video calls over 3G -- a feature iOS users have requested since the iPhone 4's arrival in June 2010. It's unclear if all carriers will support this. Apple is also unifying device IDs, so when someone sends a FaceTime request to your phone number, you'll be able to answer it from your iPad or Mac. This will also work with messages.

Safari/Photo Stream: Apple's browser will gain fullscreen support in landscape mode, as well as live tab syncing with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion via iCloud, and an offline reading mode that lets you access an article you marked to read later, which currently requires a third-party application. The update will also let you upload photos to popular sites from directly within Safari, while Apple's Photo Stream service will let you select people who will receive a notification whenever you post a new image.

Other: A new "Passbook" app will house and provide information about all your tickets, boarding passes and coupons. For instance, it can display a gift card's balance after you use it and it can update your gate number in real time. The Mail app will gain inline video and photo support as well as VIP and pull-to-refresh functionality. A new "Lost Mode" will let you send a phone number to your phone and, assuming the person who finds your device is honest, they'll be able to tap a message to call you back.




User Comments: 23

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

"Apple designed" Maps?

No: [link]

Apple stop lying.

m4a4 m4a4 said:

"Apple designed" Maps?

No: [link]

Apple stop lying.

Yeah, I saw that and started laughing. Then shaking my head. I can't find a word to describe my feelings towards apple... hate and disgust no longer describes it...

Guest said:

Just wait until Apple sue's Google for having Google maps.No doubt Apple has a patent on it somewhere.

Guest said:

Yelp integration? That is a very Bad thing. Yelp is evil. Ask any merchant who does not pay yelp. Yelp gives preferential treatment to paying merchants, and penalizes many others. Apple, shame on you for poor diligence on Yelp's shady business practices.

2 people like this | lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"Apple designed" Maps?

No: [link]

Apple stop lying.

Yeah, I saw that and started laughing. Then shaking my head. I can't find a word to describe my feelings towards apple... hate and disgust no longer describes it...

And here I come to bring some... sense into this site.

Apple did design Maps. You know, as in the application; as in, the way the application both is and interacts with rest of the OS.

Whether the map data is provided by Google or Tom Tom makes no difference. On top of that, Tom Tom is not the only provider of map data in iOS 6.

One thing the article makes no mention of--and a thing that is perhaps the most interesting--is what the Facebook integration truly entails:

Google tried to use Facebook's APIs to properly integrate Facebook within ICS. Facebook said no to Google. But yes to Apple.

Panda218 Panda218 said:

"Apple designed" Maps?

No: [link]

Apple stop lying.

Yeah, I saw that and started laughing. Then shaking my head. I can't find a word to describe my feelings towards apple... hate and disgust no longer describes it...

And here I come to bring some... sense into this site.

Apple did design Maps. You know, as in the application; as in, the way the application both is and interacts with rest of the OS.

Whether the map data is provided by Google or Tom Tom makes no difference. On top of that, Tom Tom is not the only provider of map data in iOS 6.

One thing the article makes no mention of--and a thing that is perhaps the most interesting--is what the Facebook integration truly entails:

Google tried to use Facebook's APIs to properly integrate Facebook within ICS. Facebook said no to Google. But yes to Apple.

How in the world did that bring any more sense to this website?

Everyone understands that apple desinged the app, but pulled the data from other sources.

We could also care less about facebook integration. As apple would say "there's an app for that"

It's 2012 and apple finally has turn by turn navigation woohoo. (only plus in my book)

Guest said:

you windows freaks do make I laugh, do you really think Microsoft makes it's own products (ie office etc)

Office is made by a subsidiary purchased late 1990's ironically it's still classed as a "third party" so they cannot get hold of the windows source code, which is why "Microsoft office" doesn't work that well on windows platforms.... ironically, the mac version is fantastic and works how businesses wants windows to work on it's own o/s...

purchasing smaller "app" or software houses is the norm for corporations, the difference being MS usually shuts them down after 2-3 years successful or not..

Mat

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

One thing the article makes no mention of--and a thing that is perhaps the most interesting--is what the Facebook integration truly entails:

Google tried to use Facebook's APIs to properly integrate Facebook within ICS. Facebook said no to Google. But yes to Apple.

Its not that amazing. Google is a direct competitor with FB. Apple is not. Yet. Once they run out of game changing hardware ideas, they'll release a social network...probably with a hologram Steve Jobs announcing it.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

How in the world did that bring any more sense to this website?

Everyone understands that apple desinged the app, but pulled the data from other sources.

We could also care less about facebook integration. As apple would say "there's an app for that"

It's 2012 and apple finally has turn by turn navigation woohoo. (only plus in my book)

Clearly my comment didn't apply to you since you know Apple created the application, but pulls the data from proprietary sources. It seems more common than ever for commenters on this site to just baselessly bash products/companies, seemingly just because everyone seems to be doing it. I usually try to bring some sense into those.

And you say "we"? Who are you talking of, yourself? If you have no interest in Facebook, that is ok, but understand you are in the minority. Either way I don't think you understood what that level of Facebook integration meant. Windows Phone has deeper FB integration because MS holds FB shares, so it makes sense for them to partner. Android is not a direct Facebook competitor, yet it was denied access to the APIs. Apple was allowed. That right there is interesting in and of itself.

Ultimately I don't see the purpose of your response. The only thing you seem to disagree with me is that "everyone" knows Apple designed the map but pulled the data from third-parties, which, funnily, is quite contradictory to the first two comments of this article that prompted my response.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Its not that amazing. Google is a direct competitor with FB. Apple is not. Yet. Once they run out of game changing hardware ideas, they'll release a social network...probably with a hologram Steve Jobs announcing it.

Except Android is not a Facebook competitor.

Giving APIs access to Android would have done nothing but help Facebook. Something else was going on...

Guest said:

"Except Android is not a Facebook competitor.

Giving APIs access to Android would have done nothing but help Facebook. Something else was going on..."

Facebook is either tracking data from your phone or getting $$ from Apple in some form. I'd be willing to bet Facebook is getting some data from your phone out of this since that's more their style.

DanUK DanUK said:

It would be nice if they expanded some of Siri's core functionality to work outside the US, until they do this I think it's just a bit of a gimic really. I've had the 4s since it was released and after a few days of trying to use Siri I haven't touched it since.

Guest said:

Um, Android is not a Facebook competitor? Are you forgetting who created Android? And that Google has their Google + which IS a Facebook competitor...Though, it's exactly because of that which makes me wonder why Google even wanted to use Facebook APIs...

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Um, Android is not a Facebook competitor? Are you forgetting who created Android? And that Google has their Google + which IS a Facebook competitor...Though, it's exactly because of that which makes me wonder why Google even wanted to use Facebook APIs...

Please bestow upon us all your knowledge and tell us how is Android, an open-source operating system, competing with Facebook, a social network? Don't worry we'll wait.

You have an amazing logic right there. So because Google+ is a competitor of Facebook, that makes Android, an operating system, with no relation to the service whatsoever, a competitor? I mean, repeat what you just said out loud, and see if you don't notice anything wrong with that.

The reason why Google wanted Facebook in ICS is the same reason Apple wants Facebook in iOS. Having FB baked into the OS would have done nothing but help Facebook. That tells us either Apple is selling some info from its user to FB, or Google couldn't meet FB demands. Or it could just be the opposite: Google's proposed use of the APIs seemed fishy to Facebook. Who knows.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Except Android is not a Facebook competitor.

Giving APIs access to Android would have done nothing but help Facebook. Something else was going on...

Well if you want to get all conspiratorial, Guest 12 is probably more on the money. I haven't gotten into one of those iOS discussions in a while, but IIRC they have some pretty liberal TOS in terms of what they can do, and they got a bunch of patents regarding ad delivery.

It all boils down to ad money somehow. And Apple knows that nobody is going to leave their iProducts even if the new FB and iOS TOS basically would let both companies listen and read everything you do and deliver ads based on that. I'm willing to bet that if you read the fine print for both companies, you'll figure out what this alliance means.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well if you want to get all conspiratorial, Guest 12 is probably more on the money. I haven't gotten into one of those iOS discussions in a while, but IIRC they have some pretty liberal TOS in terms of what they can do, and they got a bunch of patents regarding ad delivery.

It all boils down to ad money somehow. And Apple knows that nobody is going to leave their iProducts even if the new FB and iOS TOS basically would let both companies listen and read everything you do and deliver ads based on that. I'm willing to bet that if you read the fine print for both companies, you'll figure out what this alliance means.

I wouldn't say it all sounds conspiratorial to me as it sounds revealing. Picture this: taking away the fact that allowing API access on ICS wouldn't have negatively impacted FB's core service at all--quite the opposite actually--, one has to wonder, Facebook being this low privacy service actually denied offering its APIs to Google who is equally infamous for its "lack of tact" when it comes to the privacy of its users. That tells me Google's proposed FB integration was something FB decided against.

In the end, the profit margin of having its service integrated in both iOS 6 and ICS would have been monumentally higher than just one of those, I just find peculiar that only Microsoft and Apple were allowed. But its all speculation, really, nothing but part of a healthy tech discussion.

Uvindu said:

Ok, all I want to know is, Will Siri be supported on the iPad 2? The article says, "now available on the iPad"...

Staff
Jos Jos said:

Ok, all I want to know is, Will Siri be supported on the iPad 2? The article says, "now available on the iPad"...

It will be available on the latest-generation iPad only.

Guest said:

Sir you are right... I've been a NON paying yelp member for years and have never had a phone call from my Yelp site, despite having approx. 12 clients preach our services.

Wadaya mean Apple didn't invent the map Columbus used. I've been let down.

I'll just have to upgrade my Nexus One to the Galaxy S3 then.

Guest said:

....Take off the tinfoil hats, lol.

Of course facebook gets something out of it, but it's hardly as sinister as you are making out... App store/iTunes 'likes' which lets them build a better picture of what their users spend money on, which in turn helps advertising because you have targeted data about money spent, which is the best kind of data to have.

Want to opt out? Don't 'like' things, it's nothing different to what fb does currently.

Panda218 Panda218 said:

Clearly my comment didn't apply to you since you know Apple created the application, but pulls the data from proprietary sources. It seems more common than ever for commenters on this site to just baselessly bash products/companies, seemingly just because everyone seems to be doing it. I usually try to bring some sense into those.

And you say "we"? Who are you talking of, yourself? If you have no interest in Facebook, that is ok, but understand you are in the minority. Either way I don't think you understood what that level of Facebook integration meant. Windows Phone has deeper FB integration because MS holds FB shares, so it makes sense for them to partner. Android is not a direct Facebook competitor, yet it was denied access to the APIs. Apple was allowed. That right there is interesting in and of itself.

Ultimately I don't see the purpose of your response. The only thing you seem to disagree with me is that "everyone" knows Apple designed the map but pulled the data from third-parties, which, funnily, is quite contradictory to the first two comments of this article that prompted my response.

hehehe sorry for my response I had a few too many drinks in the bag at this point. Cheers!

Guest said:

Well!... yeah I got nothin...

LookinAround LookinAround, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The Apple / TomTom map data deal is no surprise. In fact, it was rather predictable given the existing Microsoft / Nokia partnership. But, I am surprised the article (nor most anything else I've read over the past year) ever makes mention of M$/Nokia and how first the Microsoft and now the Apple deals impact each other and the rest of the industry. The common denominator between all of this is: Smartphones, software (mapping apps) and map data.

Plain and simple: There are only three providers of navigable map data: Tele Atlas, NAVTEQ and Google. Other map vendors only provide generalized, "zoomed-out" map views. Their maps lack the quality of road geometry and detail needed to support real-time navigation and route guidance.

In the beginning there were just two providers: TeleAtas and NAVTEQ, then

* In July, 2007, TomTom bought TeleAtlas

* In October 2007, Nokia bought NAVTEQ (for a whopping 8.1 billion USD! back when the market was high and Nokia was $40/share vs. $13 now)

Then about 2009, Google came along and made it three.

M$ has been using NAVTEQ data to power key products (including its Streets and Trips, Bing Maps and Flight Simulator X) even before the 2007 Nokia purchase. So in 2011 it was also no surprise when M$ announced its strategic relationship with Nokia.

So with a) Google marketing its own Google branded apps and map data, and b) the M$ / Nokia deal, what choice did Apple really have? To differentiate itself and have its iOS stand apart from its competitors: Google Android vs Microsoft products and other Windows or Android based Smartphones, it HAD to drop Google and strike the deal with TomTom.

Two footnotes:

1) When Stephen Elop, Nokia's CEO, said in March, 2011 "I'm not aware of a strategic interest that Microsoft would have in the rest of the business" (see TechSpot article [link] ) IMO it seemed outrageous bull****. I didn't believe it.

2) And in June, 2012 we heard reports Microsoft considered buying Nokia but walked after seeing their books, IMO M$ may be able to walk away from Nokia Smartphones but IMO whatever it takes, Microsoft can't walk away from Nokia's 'Location & Commerce' business unit (nor watch it go under) that integrates the NAVTEQ business unit into the rest of Nokia.

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