I’ve just been to the recently concluded World Wide Developers Convention (WWDC) 2012, and man is my excitement stoked! Sure, the lack of iPhone 5 news may have been a bit if a bummer (as evidenced by a cursory stroll through Internet land’s myriad forums and message boards), but the iOS 6 presentation more than made up for that. In fact, I’d venture to say that it says as much about what the iPhone 5 will be like despite that gadget’s absence at the show; it certainly has gotten me more psyched than ever to sell my old iPhone 4 and switch to the 5 once it comes out.
Two standout features of the iOS 6 demonstrated at the convention were the new Maps app and the vastly improved Siri. With Maps, Apple finally cuts ties with Google and instead constructs its own navigation system from the ground up. It includes the staples such as detailed terrain mapping, and clear and concise symbols and labels. It will also update traffic reports on-the-fly, as well as give accident reports should there be any. What separates Maps from Google’s navigation system is its “turn-by-turn” navigation, which simply means that the on-screen map reorients itself based on the user’s position. This certainly is a very convenient and intuitive feature that’s sure to make navigation easier.
An even more convenient Maps feature is the Flyover mode, which is basically a 3D rendering of (as of the moment) a select number of major cities, in which a user can zoom in and out of, and can fly through and over, to better see how his destination will look. This is a rather neat way to navigate, to say the least; and if improved upon, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it become a standard feature for future navigation systems.
As impressive as the Maps demo was, what’s more sure to make people consider an iPhone trade in is the new and improved Siri. We of course get the expected upgrade in English regional differentiation, along with more languages added to her repertoire like Chinese, Korean, and Spanish. More than this, Siri has expanded her virtual assistant role by incorporating herself more with the iGadgets’ apps. That is, no longer will a user have to browse back and forth between apps just to do simple tasks like tweet messages and access notification updates. All he needs to do is tell Siri what he wants done, and she takes care of the rest, without the user ever having to leave the Siri app.
Even more amazing is Siri’s integration with automobile systems to deliver the so-called “eyes-free” functionality to drivers. Basically, an iPhone with Siri is docked onto a car’s dashboard, which is then activated by a button on the car’s steering wheel. With this, Siri is now able to provide navigation information (in conjunction with the aforementioned Maps app), type dictated messages, update Facebook statuses, make phone calls, and whatnot; all without the driver ever having to take his eyes off the road. This utilization of Siri spells out quite the number of possibilities, as well as speculations on how technology might evolve within the next decade. I mean, a talking car? Color me excited!
These are but two of the hundreds of new features the iOS 6 has to offer, but for my money, it is these two which will be making the most useful impact on the way people will live their lives from now on. I don’t know about you, but selling my old iPhone and getting the iPhone 5 once it comes out is looking sweeter and sweeter
Megan Cunningham is a young Web Enthusiast, Graphic Artist, Blogger and contributing author for CashForBerrys.com, where she has published a number of articles about Blackberry such as ,How to Sell used BlackberryRecycling your Gadgets, Tech News and more. You can catch her on Twitter @Meganbility