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Heading into the WWDC keynote this year, we had a pretty good idea as for what to expect. There has been talk of slimmer and more powerful MacBooks with Retina Displays, new Macs and even the possibility of a smaller iPad for some time now. And the iOS 6 banners that were unveiled Friday afternoon all but confirmed that we would see the next OS version at the developers conference.

In typical Apple jargon, the tag line beneath the new iOS 6 logo on the banner reads, "The world's most advanced operating system."

Hopes have been high for a major improvement this year. For months now, we all have been trying to piece together what the next iteration of iOS would bear. And some of use have been letting our expectations soar with our imaginations. Will we see Siri stretch its reach to the iPad? The iPhone 4? Will Facebook be integrated system-wide? Will Apple finally implement a front-end file system? Will there be an interface redesign?

Possibilities for improving iOS are endless. The software is aging and so are its looks. There are more than a few sore points, and feature requests stretch far and wide.

Just moments ago, during the WWDC opening keynote, Apple's fearless leader Tim Cook made iOS 6 official. And with the aid of some of his most notable employees, the highlights of the new version were detailed. Just as last year, this version comes packed with hundreds of new features and improvements.

So what are those new features we've all been dying to learn?

First Scott Forstall took the stage to tout some impressive feats of Apple with iOS and to make iOS 6 officially official. Just like iOS 5, iOS version 6.0 comes with more than 200 new features.

First up is Siri. Siri can now give users information on sports (scores, player stats, comparisons, standings, schedules, etc.). Dinner recommendations now return a lot more information than previous searches. They now yield things such as Yelp ratings, average price and quick access to reservations via OpenTable. Siri now has Rotten Tomatoes integration for movies, the ability to launch applications and more. Then there is a new feature called Eyes Free, which lets you keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel. BMW, GM, Mercedes, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda all are promising support for a Siri-compatible button on the steering wheels in their cars in the next 12 months. Siri will be available in new languages, in new countries and on the new iPad.

As we all expected (and much to my dismay), Apple has decided to integrate Facebook throughout iOS. Just like the Twitter integration we saw last year, you can now share Web pages, locations, photos and more to Facebook from virtually anywhere in the OS. There is now contact syncing and the ability to like applications from within App Store. "Also your Facebook events will appear in calendars, and birthdays." (Call me a curmudgeon, but that's one thing I do not want.)

Next is the ability to set call reminders or ignore calls and immediately reply with a preset text message. Reminders can be set for an hour, when you leave, when you get home or when you get to work. There is also a new feature called Do Not Disturb. For use at night or when you need a break from your phone, with Do Not Disturb, "messages will still come to your phone, it just won't light up the screen or make a sound." You can put Do Not Disturb on a schedule and ignore repeat callers. (A second call from the same person within three minutes will be silenced.)

FaceTime has now been extended from Wi-Fi only calls to calls over cellular. (Goodbye, gigabytes!)

Apple also updated mobile Safari with iCloud Tabs and an offline Reading List ability. You can now view open tabs from your desktop Safari and read the pages you saved when not connected to Wi-Fi or cellular. You can also upload pictures from your camera roll directly to websites now. There are now smart app banners, which notify you if you're using a Web site of an application that is installed on your phone, or one that has an application that you can download. And they have added full screen mode in landscape

You can now share Photo Streams with your closest friends and family members now, too. And Apple made some much needed changes to the Mail app. You can now make contacts VIP by starring them, and with the VIP inbox, you can view emails by only those who have been starred. Apple also added the much-needed ability to add photos and videos from the Compose page in Mail. You no longer have to begin an email by sending photos from the Photo app, but you can add them in-line during composition. They also added the pull to refresh feature to Mail. (Yay!)

Also new is Passbook, which strives to organize all your different store cards, boarding passed, movie ticket apps, etc. When you are near a location that you may want to use such an app, geolocation will notify you. "When you get to the movie theater or the airport, you have to fumble around to find the pass. This organizes them," says Forstall.

There is now Guided Access for accessibility options, single-app mode and the ability to disable hardware buttons. Forstall also introduced the new Maps in iOS 6. (Goodbye, Google Maps!) This new version of maps comes with an anonymous, crowd-sourced incident report system to fuel a traffic service. And, wait for it … buitl-in turn-by-turn navigation with real time traffic re-routing. Apple has integrated Siri with Maps, and one of the coolest features is the turn-by-turn navigation can be accessed and viewed from the lock screen. There is Flyover mode, 3D mode and the ability to bookmark locations.

There were also improvements added to iCloud. One new iCloud feature, for instance, is iCloud Tabs, which syncs your open tabs across your Apple devices, similar to how tab sync in Chrome for Android works with the desktop version. With Tabview, you can also preview your open tabs from Safari.

Apparently, all of these changes are just scratching the surface. One of the final iOS 6 slides showed a few more unmentioned features, such as: redesigned stores, improved privacy controls, custom vibrations for alerts, alarms with songs, control camera focus and exposure, per account signatures in Mail (yes!!) and many more.

The update will be available in beta form (to developers) today, and will be made available for the iPhone 3GS and later, the fourth generation iPod and second and third generation iPads. 

To be completely honest, I'm sort of surprised … and somewhat impressed. Some of the features that I wrote about in my last-minute feature request article last night were things I really didn't expect Apple to implement, like turn-by-turn navigation, full screen Safari mode, iCloud tab sync, etc. These were things that came off the top of my head last night that I really wanted to see in iOS. There were even some I've mentioned in the past and forgot about, like the ability to add photos to emails while composing (and not just before), Siri for the iPad and FaceTime over cellular data. And, come later today (when I install the beta on my phone), I will have them. And I'm excited for that.

But there are come caveats. There was no interface refresh; Notification Center looks and acts the same (at least on iOS); there are no improved multitasking options; Apple didn't open up sharing APIs like I had hoped; and iOS is still, more or less, the same iOS we've come to know over the last six years. It wasn't the major overhaul I was hoping for. It wasn't the major overhaul Apple desperately needs. It was, like always, just a plethora of new hit or miss features that will subside complaints for a few months.

Does any of this make iOS 6 the most advanced mobile operating system in the world? That's a tough question to answer. But it's certainly nothing to scoff at, especially when it comes to user base and developer support. Tim Cook revealed that there are now over 650,000 iOS applications and 225,000 that are specifically for iPad. There have been over 30 billion downloads from App Store and there are over 400 million App Store accounts. Over 365 million iOS devices had been sold as of March 2012. And one of Apple's latest services, iCloud, has garnered 125 million users.

Still, none of that makes iOS any more advanced; just … unquestionably popular and widely adored. The new Maps are great. I will definitely take advantage of free turn-by-turn navigation. And Facebook integration and the extension of Siri to the iPad are nice touches. But I'm not inclined to say any of this makes iOS any more advanced than, say, Android. Until I can share images, Web pages or other content to virtually any service from within any application on iOS, the title for most advanced mobile operating system in the world is still up for grabs.

What say you, folks? Does the iOS 6 update make Apple's mobile platform the most advanced mobile operating system in the world? Or does it still have a long way to go before nabbing that title? Is it missing features you were hoping for? Or was it everything you wanted? Sound off and share your sentiments below!

Image via The Verge


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92 Reactions to this post

"Is iOS 6 everything you hoped for?"


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Robert Hoellering
Robert Hoellering Well i for one am jailbreaking my iphone till my upgrade date and then going to android iOS is boring and with none of the new stuff in iOS 6 coming to my iphone then what the heck do i need iOS for
Anthony Andrade
Anthony Andrade No and I have an iPhone.
Jarno ElHore Lineri
Jarno ElHore Lineri we tell what customers want........ ????? WTF...
Jacob Grumbles
Jacob Grumbles @ Oscar where did you get that 90% from ?
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel HTC ONE X!
Mahdi Mfi
Mahdi Mfi iOS Sucks....
Kevin Joel
Kevin Joel Lol... Sarcasm ain't it?
Eduardo Ordaz
Eduardo Ordaz @David Dude what's trash is having the same looking UI now that's trash.
Richard John Soares
Richard John Soares Im a apple fan boy. But my current phone is a HTC one x. And the longer I have this phone the more it makes me want to burn my iPhone 4s. I'm bored of ios. Tiles and tiles nothing is diffrent. Loving the new android experience. Still love my MacBook. But I personally think iPhone will die in the next couple of years unless they change ios completely... Just my 2cents
Tyler Kirchman
Tyler Kirchman I wish android would update like iOS that's the only thing that's better. They shlould get rid of custom UI's there useless and slow updates down. Hardware requirements for android to have a more optimized version.
Thy Heng
Thy Heng Paper champ! Paper champ! iOS 6 is weak. Can't wait for jelly bean
Lauri Honkala
Lauri Honkala Not :(
Daniel Stansberry
Daniel Stansberry YOLO
David DiPilla
David DiPilla Its a Shame it really is apple knows what we want in the New ios 6 and they do.minor improvements the stuff that's in the ios 6 should of been done. A year or 2 ago
Zach Brito
Zach Brito If you only know apple, then it's probably groundbreaking to you, if not, then you know it's just trying to play catch up with Android. #applefelloff
David DiPilla
David DiPilla Wow I was hoping for a big improvements including widgets and more customized stuff I am disappointed now I don't know if I will get the nee iPhone 5 I love Apple and the iPhone but android phones are ahead of them even that the android system is trash not made right
Ray Sital
Ray Sital Several of our readers scoured the fine print on Apple's freshly launched iOS 6 Maps page, and informed us that the Flyover and turn-by-turn features will only be available to folks with an iPhone 4S or iPad 2 or later. Guess that's just one more reason to upgrade, eh?
Oscar Alfieri
Oscar Alfieri Change isn't* always for the better
Oscar Alfieri
Oscar Alfieri It's so obvious this thread is bias to Android. Therefore ranting wont be necessary. To answer your question, Yes, I am very excited for this Fall's update to iOS6. It will be interesting to see the update to Maps incl Navigation. In addition to all the other updates and Siri. -- I am sure Apple will release a new environment/landscape when they feel it is suitably. Why change something that is great, stable, and 90 percent of the industry prefers? So stop hating -- I don't need iOS to change. Allow the developer to continue perfecting their craft. Change is always for the better.
TuCan Dan
TuCan Dan Look it..... Was the iPhone the FIRST phone?........no,apple just perfected the art! Was Apple the first mobile OS with Voice navigation and a Notification center......no,Apple just perfected it.
Tony Abiama
Tony Abiama Same ol boring iOS... I'm waiting to see what Windows Phone will bring,mso far I'm loving my Galaxy Nexus... Waiting on Jellybean as well
Luqman Hadhi Santosa
Luqman Hadhi Santosa Waitin For the New iPhone :P
T Louis Michael
T Louis Michael Waiting on iOS7.
Mason Hartley
Mason Hartley @Ben Landwehr did you read the "without viruses" part making the reference that pc has viruses. Android doesn't so why buy an iPhone, get it. The comment was for Android and against IOS.
Ed Di E
Ed Di E The only reason I am considering going from ICS to iPhone 5 is because everything revolves around iPhones these days. Which sucks. But cars, music docks, and everything else are more focused on iPhone than anything else.
TuCan Dan
TuCan Dan Dang...and I thought apple fanboys were bad. I think Apple waits to adopt most of the features Andoid jumps on, so they do them right.....without a hitch
Ryel Reed Baldovino Laxamana
Ryel Reed Baldovino Laxamana Well, good luck with those features and groundbreaking apps Apple. You've been left behind big time this time! Android and WP just punk'd you! The best in the world! lol
Alex Arana
Alex Arana Wasn't even aware of ios 6 yawn stuff that android already had
Andres Barroeta
Andres Barroeta No
Jacky On
Jacky On Windows phone 7 is still better, and it's getting an update.
Vlad Valentine McBride
Vlad Valentine McBride Did anyone catch that it's a BETA? Google maps sucks on iPhone because the map has to load every time, unlike windows phone where it's quick and simple (I would know I am a wind tech who is usually out in the middle of edge network 45% of the time. Siri is stupid, takes me 3-4 tries to set something up unlike with windows phone where I hit a tile and hit speak-to-text and it recognizes what I say from first try. Real iOS6 will be great, right now Apple is testing everyone with this garbage :)
Juha Wahlsten
Juha Wahlsten No but it still beats laggy and buggy Android. iOS FTW!
Ben Landwehr
Ben Landwehr Viruses on Android? Are you retarded? This isn't 2009. That's like non-issue.. I hope that was a dumb troll attempt. -_- And no iOS6 was a disappointment. Which sucks, I was excited for it being an Android guy myself.
Mason Hartley
Mason Hartley Ios and Android are like pc and mac without viruses remind me again why you would spend more for something that does less. Oh, I forgot 6 years like to play games. Trololol
Frank De Leon
Frank De Leon Nope !
Ed Seitzinger
Ed Seitzinger It is the most advanced os for apple phones, just not for smartphones :)
John Luttrell
John Luttrell Goodbye iPhone !! S3 here I come
Cesario Brito Jr.
Cesario Brito Jr. Lmao ummmm no.
Chad Forthman
Chad Forthman Because apple fan boys and girls have nothing to defend its still the same old stale OS.Adding Facebook and Maps and more crap for Siri doesn't make it a new OS.No one I know would jump ship from WP7 or Android for IOS 6.
Pete Bradley
Pete Bradley Nope
Bacherki Hatim
Bacherki Hatim no no no no
Kevin Kaufman
Kevin Kaufman very weak
Chris Kettler
Chris Kettler not impressed, sounds like all the things android already has... at least things i already have with ics/sense 4.0 on my htc one x
Tommy Snyder
Tommy Snyder wow not to many apple fan boys on here like there usually is
Anthony Bailey
Anthony Bailey iOS 6 would only have been everything I hoped for, if it came with a built-in "Self Destruct" command prompt with an outgoing message conceding its inferiority and irrelevance to Android and even WinMo. Pathetic article from a pathetic company. Android bitch slaps iOS eight ways from Sunday.
Ryno Bones
Ryno Bones Honestly, one of the top five things keeping me away from iOS is the interface....I really enjoy having my systems look and work the way I want them to. Until Apple makes that improvement, I'm sticking with Android....And even then...I'm sticking with Android.
Richard Jesse Salinas
Richard Jesse Salinas Yawn...finally iOS adds features that android has had for years! Good to see Apples finally catching up lulz
Kevin Hart
Kevin Hart It introduced features that more phones already have and provided almost no upgrade. Plus google maps has been more reliable than any tom tom I have ever used...
Chaitan Sukhadia
Chaitan Sukhadia No because I can not do some basic stuff like use any ringtone I like, no true multitasking.... so no
John Mercado
John Mercado Android + iOS = World`s Most Advanced Mobile OS. AndriOS
Ed Thamarus
Ed Thamarus The best thing about iOS is that 3GS, 4 and 4S will see 6. Unlike android where it depends if your device will get the update
Henry Murillo
Henry Murillo Pretty stocked :) even if android could wipe my ass, I still wouldn't use it.
Edgar Emanuel Rivera Rojas
Edgar Emanuel Rivera Rojas No IOS sucks,Windows Phone 8 will be a true revolution,Windows Rules
Elliot M George
Elliot M George Yes!
Brian Dingle
Brian Dingle Jellybean 5.0 enough said
Richard Kalva
Richard Kalva Pile of crap Apple
Andrew Ray Carmona
Andrew Ray Carmona IOS 6 will become the most advanced operating system when POD2G get his hands on it to jailbreak it :)
Andrew Ray Carmona
Andrew Ray Carmona yes it can
Chris Hyson
Chris Hyson might be if Verizon keeps delaying ICS.
Dorian Delandro
Dorian Delandro No changes to the UI?....Bollocks
Alfonso Ortiz J
Alfonso Ortiz J IOS6 its the same bullshit as the first IOS, only with more gadgets. Dammit. I prefer the Samsung.
Chris Hagood
Chris Hagood Nope. But I do believe it is the most advanced for the simpleton looking to get into the smartphone market. Though, I would go Windows Phone before going to the iPhone.
Jose Calderon
Jose Calderon Turn by Turn Groundbreaking lmao...its been available for years now on android..
John Luttrell
John Luttrell I don't think it looks that great, looks like some ideas where taken from Android. Animated wall paper would be nice too as well as flip to mute would be cool
Ayham Assil
Ayham Assil Meh it failed in every thing
Ronald Johnson
Ronald Johnson No, no phone to go with it
Cristian Tomasito
Cristian Tomasito Here is the truth, Ios 6 is nothing but dated technology. Nothing new. Android on the other hand is always pushing the limit with features however it can be VERY sloppy at times and it can feel unpolished, as software updates very and even apps are hit or miss. This is where Windows 8 comes in. The UI is very suttle but at the same time will deliver an experience only rivaled by the late webOS id say. It will be feature rich and simplistic at the same time. wp7.5 has done a good job setting the tone for what looks to be the future in computing and W8 will truely be REVOLUTIONARY.
John Delacruz
John Delacruz when steve jobs died so did the company :( i was disappointed
Chris Payne
Chris Payne Hahahahahahahaha!!!! No.
Bibek Gurung
Bibek Gurung and best OS? we can only decide or comment end of year, windows phone still got windows phone 8 coming out and android might be bringing 5.0, soo IOS might be the best or not, we have to wait and see..
Joshua Correa
Joshua Correa Still isn't as customizable like the mighty Android OS
Wasim Mazahreh
Wasim Mazahreh iOS 6 is a great improvement on the software side. I'm sure Apple will introduce newer exclusive software improvements once newer hardware is announced. aka iPhone 5. But I'm really happy we finally got turn by turn navigation Siri looks like it is improving nicely.
Bibek Gurung
Bibek Gurung same old grid design, facebook integration? windows phone had since start, own map? android had google map, wp has bing (all tho not as good but still there own), facetime in 3g WOW -.- ... don't think its improving more like catching up, don't you think
Chad Forthman
Chad Forthman No short cuts or widgets no thanks.I will stick with my Windows and Android phone:)
Ryan Meyer
Ryan Meyer Wish it had moving backgrounds, icons and you could change the keyboard... I like the features they introduced though
Dave Carton
Dave Carton Nope. Just because Tim & co. pat themselves on the back and call themselves revolutionary and awesome doesn't make it so. That was 2 hours of nothing....
Lamdrum Chambers
Lamdrum Chambers Why would it be if it is struggling to catch up?
William Wadsworth
William Wadsworth Nope. Android 5.0 will be.
Christopher Kinslow
Christopher Kinslow Nope
Prabhath Jay
Prabhath Jay can it run on 3GS
Chris Baham
Chris Baham Samsung is the walmart of cell phone companies.
Steve C Trevino
Steve C Trevino Turn by turn navigation.. Groundbreaking.
Miguel Richiez
Miguel Richiez Nope. Just the most colorful.
Sam Moore
Sam Moore Nothing revolutionary added really, feels like more of a 5.2 then a whole new version I'd say
Blake Alexander Urbaniak
Blake Alexander Urbaniak Disappointing! Couple new apps and features that oughta just be addded in a 5.xx update.
Dalton Melear
Dalton Melear Haha. Is it ever? But it seems to be quite an update; only Autumn will tell.
Darren Polak
Darren Polak Haha, not a chance
Alejandro Castro
Alejandro Castro Apple sucks. Samsung & HTC left them in the dust.
Arvydas Grušeckas
Arvydas Grušeckas No. Windows Phone 8 will kill it
Mimoun Tu Rigoleras
Mimoun Tu Rigoleras never
Alexandros Simeonidis
Alexandros Simeonidis Sounded really weak
Dustin Carney
Dustin Carney no.




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