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Apple Fans Count Their iOS 6 Blessings

By Erika Morphy MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Sep 20, 2012 8:47 AM PT

As the clock ticks down to the iPhone 5's Friday delivery date, diehard Apple fans can sate their hunger with Apple's other shiny new toy: iOS 6, which became available on Wednesday.

Apple Fans Count Their iOS 6 Blessings

Its new features include vector-based Maps functionality -- perhaps the highlight of iOS 6 -- with upgrades including detailed graphics and text, visual and spoken turn-by-turn navigation, and real-time traffic updates.

Siri also received an update and now speaks in more languages and has additional capabilities.

Tighter integration with Facebook and other social networks is part of the iOS 6 mix; now users can post to the social network without having to leave an app. They can share photos from the camera or photos section, or post a location from Maps, for example.

Passbook is another new feature. It stores boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons and loyalty cards. To use or redeem any of these, users scan the display on their iPhone or iPod touch.

FaceTime works over cellular networks as well as WiFi in iOS 6.

There are new calling features, such as replying with a text message to an incoming call you have declined or setting a callback reminder.

Mail in iOS 6 now lets users set up a VIP list.

Finally, Web browsing has been enhanced, and there is Guided Access for people with vision, hearing, learning and mobility disabilities.

The Great and Not So Good

The top improvements of the new release, according to Kevin Y. Kim, cofounder of AppOrchard, are built-in integration with Twitter, Facebook and Sina Weibo; the non-Google Maps functionality; and Passbook.

Passbook is possibly a stealth e-wallet move, he told MacNewsWorld.

On the negative side, Siri is still lacking, Kim said, and the map search for vendors represents a step back in functionality.

The Marketer's iPhone

The iPhone 5 will be a marketer's dream device -- and iOS 6 is the perfect complement, said Matevz Klanjsek, chief product officer at Celtra.

"With larger screen size and the same aspect ratio as the one available on most Android smartphones, the iPhone 5 will make it easier for advertisers to create one ad and run it across both platforms," he told MacNewsWorld. "But much bigger changes for mobile advertising are coming not only with the new iPhone but with iOS 6."

There's the introduction of Advertising Identifier, for example, which Klanjsek described as having "a profound effect on ad targeting -- it will make it significantly more accurate and reliable. But on the other hand, it will give a control over targeting to use, and some will certainly opt out."

On the ad creative side, "iOS 6 will finally allow advertisers access to the camera and image and video libraries," he continued, "which will open many exciting new opportunities for even more effective, engaging and fun ads."

A Developer's Dream

iOS 6 -- particularly its new mapping function -- is also ideal for developers, said Chuck Goldman, founder and CSO of Apperian.

It will be easier to use core location as metadata to make enterprise data smarter, he told MacNewsWorld.

"For instance, when a salesperson uses turn-by-turn information to get to an appointment, developers can now integrate it with CRM data to add information -- like sales orders and other information that loads in the background -- so the salesperson can have all that information on one dashboard just in time for the meeting."

Limited Compatibility

One downside of iOS 6 is that it can't be installed on older devices, noted Dave Meeker, the director of emerging technology at Roundarch Isobar. "That is a bummer to a lot of consumers that already own legacy Apple products including the original iPad and iPhone 3."

To a certain extent, it is understandable from Apple's perspective -- the older devices would not be able to support iOS 6, and Apple is all about providing an optimal customer experience. It also should "push owners of legacy products down the upgrade path," Meeker told MacNewsWorld.

Even for those who can't migrate, user interest in iOS 6 is high, Oliver Bussman, CIO of SAP, told MacNewsWorld.

"Even if they're running on an older OS or won't be moving to the iPhone 5, they're still drawn to the spectacle," he noted, "which is good for the whole mobile industry."

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