Apple announced iOS 6 at WWDC today and it's got some new long awaited features for iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. Here's what we like:
A Completely New Maps App with Turn-By-Turn Navigation
The new version of Maps, means that Apple has ditched Google as its primary maps provider. They have their own system with maps for all over the world now, and it has a ton of listings for local businesses and integrates with Yelp for reviews, and other info as well.
You can also switch it into a traffic view to plan your routes, and view incident reports to keep up on accidents and when they might clear. This is crowdsourced from iOS users though Apple didn't explain if this is going to be anything like how Waze does it. Waze lets individuals manually report things like these.
Maps will also have a photographic 3D view of a number of cities called Flyover, which is very cool but not super useful.
But here's where it gets interesting. Turn by turn navigation, though its only on the iPhone 4S and above. Find a location on your map, and with one tap you can start navigating, dictated by Siri.
The navigation gives you an ETA, and updates it as traffic speeds change. It'll also give you an updated route if an accident happens or if traffic gets slow enough to require a detour, and it can even do so from the lock screen.
A More Knowledgeable and International Siri
Siri is also getting a good updated in iOS 6. She'll be available on the iPad, and will be more knowledgeable than before. She'll know things like sport scores, stats, standings, schedules, and more. From restaurant reviews to prices, to locations, and trailers, and the lot. She's like the wise sage on top of the mountain.
Siri can also launch apps directly with one simple voice command (like "Play Temple Run"). Also, Siri has a new feature called Eyes Free, a mode designed for cars.
A press of the button on the steering wheel will activate her or have her read things back to you. Apple has already partnered with a whole bunch of car manufacturers including GM, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Jaguar and Land Rover.
Siri is also now available in a number of other languages and locations from Canada, Spain, Mexico, Switzerland, Italian, Korea, Taiwan, China and Hong Kong. Local search will work around the world too not just in the states.
System-Wide Facebook and Twitter Integration
This feature has been long awaited for, and as expected iOS 6 is going to have Facebook integration, similar to the Twitter integration we saw in iOS 5. You can log into your FB account from the Settings app and stay logged in on any app that uses Facebook, so you don't have to log in multiple times.
Post photos, websites, Game Center scores, and other things Facebook-ey, from iOS 6. Facebook events will show up right in your calendar app, and of course, the whole thing integrates with Siri.
Both Facebook and Twitter have been added to the notification dropdown, so you can post a new status without having to open their respective apps.
Passbook: One App for All Your Scannable Tickets and Gift Cards
Passbook is an app that holds all your airline tickets, movie tickets, gift cards and other items in one central app. It'll show you the balance of your gift cards as you use them and let you scan QR codes pretty much anywhere you go. It'll integrate with the notification center, sending you push notifications when you arrive at a location that works with one of your passes like Starbucks. You can delete your passes if you don't need it anymore. Do Not Disturb and More Phone Options
The Do Not Disturb feature will be able to silence all notifications while its on, and while you still get them, your phone just won't make the noise or light up like it used to. Of course, the easier way to disable these things is to just silence your phone. But anyway, you can also customize Do Not Disturb to automatically turn on at certain times, for example, allowing phone calls from certain contacts or groups of contacts.
You'll also see a new icon on the lock screen when you get a call, not unlike the camera icon you have on the lock screen in iOS 5.1. When you get a call, you can slide this up to send the caller a message, or have iOS remind you to call them back.
Priority Contacts, Embedded Media, and Pull to Refresh in Mail
The new mail app has a feature called "VIPs" made for those important contacts that you want to read from. You can also view all messages from VIPs with one tap in your inbox.
Mail also now lets you embed photos and video into a message, open password protected office documents, view flagged messages, and pull to refresh the mailbox.
3G-Enabled FaceTime, Messages and FaceTime Now Work Between All Your Devices
Now FaceTime will work over your 3G or 4G data connection, which is awesome. FaceTime and Messages have been updated to work more seamlessly between all iOS devices. If you get a FaceTime invitation or message on one device, it'll show up on the other too.
Tab Syncing and Third-Party App Integration in Safari
Safari is joining the cloud party, and has now the ability to sync between your open tabs from all your iOS devices, and has a full screen view in landscape mode, and the ability to read articles from your Reading List offline, and upload your photos to your favorite websites from Safari.
Smart App Banners, which can detect when you're on a web site that has an iOS app available will show up. You'll get a banner that leads you to the App Store to download the app.
Photo Stream, Parental Controls, and More
The iOS Photo Stream Feature now lets you share your photo streams with your friends.
iOS also has a new feature called "Guided Access", in which you can disable certain elements of the UI so a child can't accidentally change them when playing their games or using apps. You can also turn on a "Single App Mode", which turns off the home button and keeps them in the app they're currently using.
Then there are the rest of the other features like better privacy controls, per account signatures in mail, more accessibility, options, and easier methods for finding a lost phone. Over 200 other features. It's going to be huge. iOS 6 will only be available in Fall.