ios 6 preview

iOS 6 preview

iOS 6 was previewed at Apple's WWDC 2012 and has been in a closed developer beta ever since. While Apple has promised some 200 new features, we've only seen them show off 10 major ones to date. Still, there's a lot within those 10 for us to sink out teeth into. We've compared them to previous iOS flagship features, and to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, Windows Phone 8, and BlackBerry 10 flagship features, and explained why the focus this year might be more on Apple's platform than user-facing features. We've also broken them down feature by feature, looked at what Apple's has said about them, and analyzed what they have to offer.

Now we're rounding all the up here, and we'll keep it updated here through the Gold Master (GM) seed we expect on September 12, and the release we anticipate sometime around September 19.

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iOS 6 preview: Safari tab sync, uploads, banners, and full screen mode

Safari has been on the iPhone since the first version launched in 2007, and has been steadily improved, year after year, version after version, ever since. iOS 6 follows the same, steady, evolutionary pattern, addressing long standing user pain-points like image uploads, and providing parity with features from other browsers, like Chrome's tab sync. It also makes Reading List more robust, and provides an interesting way for websites to alert users about, and move them into, apps.

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iOS 6 preview: Passbook

Passbook is a brand new, built-in app for iOS 6 designed to serve as a one-stop repository for all the tickets, coupons, gift cards, and other vouchers provided by third-party App Store apps. That means all the stuff in your Apple Store app, Starbucks app, Delta app, Fandango app, and more is easily accessible via a single Home screen icon, and what's more -- Passbook knows what time it is and where you are, so it can put whatever card you need right on your Lock screen, right when you need it.

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iOS 6 preview: Do Not Disturb and Remind Me Later

While Apple improved their alert system with Notification Center in iOS 5, they're finally bringing some sanity and serenity to it with iOS 6. Too much notification turns into interruption, especially if your only options are to answer or hang up, to leave everything on or turn everything off. It makes us the single-points of failure in our memory chain, and let's face it, why bother having these fancy devices if we're the ones who have to remember to call back, or remember to activate and deactivate alerts every morning and night. Which brings us to Remind Me Later and Do Not Disturb.

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iOS 6 preview: Guided Access and single-app mode

Something that Apple absolutely does not get enough credit for is their longstanding -- and outstanding -- support for accessibility features, and iOS 6 is no exception. To the already impressive list of accessibility features, Apple is adding Guided Access, a way to lock the iPad into a single app, to help people with autism or similar challenges work independently, without having to worry about accidentally closing an app. It also provides single-app mode functionality for everyone, which makes the iPad far more useful for everything from school tests to mall kiosks.

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iOS 6 preview: Facebook integration

iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad in full force. We're talking built-in status sharing, content sharing, calendar and contacts integration, and a whole lot of stuff you can Like, built-in.

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iOS 6 preview: Shared Photo Streams

Photo Stream debuted in iOS 5 as part of iCloud and while it offered some nifty automatic backup and sync store and push features, it lacked a lot of the sharing and gallery features that made Mobile Me so family friendly. Now, with iOS 6, Apple is adding sharing back to their cloud photo solution, and while it's not the same as before, it could be just as social.

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iOS 6 preview: Maps takes you on a Flyover

With iOS 6, the Google-powered Maps app is gone and in its place is an all-new, all-Apple Maps app, with data supplied by TomTom and others. While Google-specific features like Street View are gone, new Apple-specific ones like Flyover will now be available. Based on 3D techniques Apple acquired when they purchased C3 Technologies, it looks almost cinematic.

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iOS 6 preview: Siri for iPad

Siri with iOS 5 was a decidedly iPhone 4S-only affair, with Apple choosing not to make anything more than Dictation available, even on their 2012 new iPad. That might have been due to the challenges involved in scaling Siri up from the full, albeit small iPhone interface, to the bigger iPad screen. With iOS 6, however, Apple has done it, and Siri is fully launching on the new iPad.

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iOS 6 preview: Siri shares to Facebook and Twitter, launches apps for everyone

Siri was a bit of a tease on iOS 5 and the iPhone 4S -- while it could send Messages and Mails, it couldn't send status updates to Twitter or Facebook, and it couldn't even open an app. With iOS 6, however, Siri is not only launching on the iPad, but it's launching you into any app on your device, and posting tweets and updates like a social champ.

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