Last week Apple unveiled the new iPhone 5 in yet another major Apple event. While the new iPhone 5 looks impressive, my Samsung Galaxy Nexus has most of the new features that the newest iPhone 5 will sport (8MP Camera, 4G/LTE,etc). However, the Achilles’ heel of Google devices is the operating system — and no other mobile device has a better OS than Apple. This week (09/19/12), iOS 6 will be available for download for current iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch owners. There are a load of awesome tweaks to prior elements (social, Siri,) with some new useful features that will continue to make your life easier.
If you cannot wait until 09/19/12, to get the official Apple release iOS 6 update, there are plenty of places on the web where you can get the Gold Master Build, which is the final beta version of iOS that is given or seeded to iOS developers. Here is one site that has easy instructions on how to get iOS 6 on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch (TechnoBloom). A word of caution — if you’re not familiar with this process, I suggest you wait for the official Apple iOS 6 release, which is only a few days away, but here are some of the new and improved features you will be missing until then:
1) Passbook - This is a new iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch native application that provides your boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, loyalty cards, and similar information in one location. Now you can have coupons, boarding passes and more scanned at participating locations with only your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. This is a great feature and moves us all more towards our mobile devices becoming our wallet or purse. Imagine the future where essentially your mobile device will have “EVERYTHING” important and relevant to your life, and be a critical part of your daily routine/survival. Yeah, I know, it sounds freaky, but that is where were are going — so hold on.
2) Do Not Disturb - This is by far my favorite new feature. I have been scratching my head trying to figure out why Apple removed a 1 switch button to turn off all notifications from a prior iOS update (as this is needed for me when I shoot app videos). I am sure there are plenty of others that step into meetings, church, or some other place where you do not want to be disturbed. I had to go through each of my 100+ apps and manually adjust notifications settings, and mind you, there are multiple settings to adjust, which makes this a pain in the side. iOS 6 provides a “Do Not Disturb” feature (1 toggle button) to mute all notifications. There are some additional settings such as allowing specific people to ring/text through as well as a 2 ring get through feature in case of emergencies or something important. This works very well and can be found in notification settings.
3) Face Time over Cellular - While I do not really use Face Time at all, those who do will be able to Face Time over cellular, but I am sure this will be limited to those areas that have really great connectivity, like 4G/LTE areas. Unfortunately, if you’re like me and in a remote area, connectivity is not awesome. I tried to test this from my iPhone 4S using iOS 6, but the OS would not allow without a FaceTime enabled AT&T wireless data plan, but the funny thing is, I have up to 4GB of data and personal hotspot on my plan. This may be because I have an iOS 6 Beta version, but it may not — we will have to wait until 09/19/12, to find out for sure. It may just be that AT&T wants you to accept an agreement on going over your data plan?
There a variety of other tweaks, upgraded features for Mail, Safari, Accessibility, (of course Maps) and much more. You can find out more about at Apple iOS 6 official news site.
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