New features of Apple iOS 6, criticism of Maps
Apple has launched iOS 6 with new features including Facebook Integration, Maps, enhanced Siri and Panorama. The new mobile OS is available to be downloaded wirelessly or through iTunes and has more than 200 new features, claims Apple.
One of the most talked about change with the upgrade is Facebook Integration. Fans of the social network are in for a treat as Apple has integrated Facebook activity with almost all its default apps. Users will be able to instantly share a photo or post their game scores to Facebook.
Certain apps on the other hand will suck data and updates from Facebook profiles. Right from contacts to calendars, iOS 6 integrates and to an extent, syncs with Facebook profiles.
For example, if a Facebook friend updates his/her email address, a corresponding update will be made in the device’s contacts.
Apple says that iOS 6 ‘gives you more features to make the things you do every day even better’ and rightly so. Developers have tweaked something as basic as the actual Phone by making improvements that are set to be a hit. Answering a call on an Apple device with iOS 6 has become more than just a one-swipe operation.
In addition to the usual Answer and Decline buttons, the ‘slide to answer’ swipe will reveal additional buttons including Reply with Message and Remind Me Later. Reply with Message will reveal a list of preset/custom messages which can be sent to the caller with a single tap. Remind Me Later will open up various time frames within which the device will prompt users with a reminder of the call.
Siri has also been tweaked to deliver enhanced voice assistance to users. Launching apps, looking for restaurants, posting to Facebook and a host of other everyday functions can be carried out by voice commands. Users should note that Siri is available only on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPad 3 and the 5th generation iPod.
With iOS 6, Apple has removed Google Maps as a default app after its license expired. It has now been replaced with Apple’s own Maps app. Like Google Map’s voice navigation, Maps in iOS 6 offers turn-by-turn voice navigation by Siri on compatible devices. The feature is not available on Indian shores yet.
Upon launch, the Maps app has faced significant criticism from iOS 6 early adopters. Users are voicing concerns about faulty maps, incorrect directions, errors in graphics and an inadequate database. Inaccuracy and lack of local business listings has also been a common complaint from early bird users of iOS 6. Social Media has been buzz with users thrashing iOS 6 maps and many have infact put off updating to iOS 6 specifically for this reason. Here is one photo uploaded on Twitter, which really tells the whole story!
Apple is not just any company and users are known to pay a premium to buy its products. Expectations are sky high and the slightest of errors are ripped apart. The immense criticism faced by one of the world’s most iconic companies was topped off by a Forbes.com post that said "Steve Jobs Would Have Never Released iOS 6 Like This"
Negative reviews are prominently being driven by the underperformance of a single app, Maps. Rumours on Twitter and tech blogs suggest that Google Maps app for Apple is awaiting approval and could possibly be available soon. Until and if that happens, fans of Google Maps will continue to be able to access Google’s services via maps.google.com from their browsers.
The new iOS has many other tweaks and refinements to Apple’s existing app bank. The camera is now armed with panorama, a feature which allows users to take 240 degree panoramic pictures horizontally or vertically. Shutterbugs will love the option of taking landscape or portrait panoramic photos.
Among other features, Apple has introduced an app called Passbook which can be used to store and use a host of real-life documents including coupons, movie tickets, gift cards and even boarding passes. Video calls via FaceTime can now be made over cellular connections. In earlier versions including iOS 5.1.1, using FaceTime was restricted to Wi-Fi connectivity only.
Safari has gone under the knife with numerous small refinements that heighten user experience. Full screen browsing is now possible when devices are in landscape mode. Safari’s newfound integration with iCloud will allow users with multiple Apple products to seamlessly switch between devices at the last browsing point. Via iCloud, Safari will also save entire web pages for offline reading.