Introduction

By this point, we’re all familiar with Apple’s revised release cadence for iOS and iOS devices. Introduce a new iOS release at WWDC, beta test it through to the Fall event, and release it alongside the next iOS device. This year is no different with iOS 6 and the iPhone 5.

A lot has happened in the mobile OS space in the past few months; and with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and Windows Phone 8, the competition is really heating up. At this point however, all major mobile OSes have pretty mature feature set; notifications, copy/paste, multitasking and so on have all been implemented and checked off the list. The focus is now slowly shifting towards re-evaluating basic usage scenarios and implementing small tweaks and UI enhancements that improve the end-user experience.

For the most part, iOS 6 seems to focus on these smaller tweaks and under-the-hood refinements to build on iOS 5 and improve the end-user experience. There’s no way around saying it, iOS 6 is an evolution rather than revolution of the iOS platform. Today, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch make up a significant portion of Apple’s revenue, and as a result moving the platform along is more of a question of minimizing friction points rather than completely reinventing the OS. iOS 6 does exactly that, and builds on the platform with a number of noteworthy new features and UI changes. Let’s see what’s changed.

Maps in iOS 6
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  • crankerchick - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I was going to comment and quote the same statement. I'm an avid tech junkie. i've owned a variety of mobile electronics devices. I recently purchased first an iPad and then a MacBook Pro to replace my Xoom and Dell laptop and now I find myself feeling almost "forced" (I know no one forces me to spend my money) to buy an iPhone 5 because trying to find cross platform applications to sync with my Galaxy Nexus (which I really like) is just tough. Add in that iOS doesn't permit data sharing in the background, it makes being completely on iOS (for iCloud) or completely on Android for things to work together. Obviously, the Galaxy Nexus can't access iCloud, so to have things just seemlessly work together, I have to give up the iPad or migrate to the iPhone.

    It's obviously not the worse problem to have, but it sure is nice for things to work together. Right now, you really have to sign up for one or the other completely, for the best experience. Not to mention being on 2 different platforms means paying for the "same" app twice.
    Reply
  • Fx1 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    When AT says on the internet that iOS STILL FEELS FRESH. You need to take a long hard look at your reporting because it stinks of Apple all over it. Reply
  • anactoraaron - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    I know what you mean. I only had to read what was on the first page to see it. This is what first made me scratch my head...

    "Today, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch make up a significant portion of Apple’s revenue, and as a result moving the platform along is more of a question of minimizing friction points rather than completely reinventing the OS. "

    Why the hell not reinvent the wheel again? Oh right. Apple didn't reinvent it the first time around either. They 'stole' a bunch of ideas and put them together.
    Reply
  • steven75 - Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - link

    Yep, barely any phones these days look like that original 2007 iPhone.

    Oh no wait--THEY ALL DO!
    Reply
  • Sufo - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I have to agree. iOS does many things well, however "feeling fresh" is firmly at the bottom of that list. Visually, the experience has barely changed since the first iteration - yet the handsets cost, in essence, £1000 now... Reply
  • robinthakur - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    Well if you come from iOS5 to iOS6 it feels pretty fresh. I would imagine that this is what they meant. The changes are nice improvements in my cursory glance round them so far on iPad3 and IP4S, with Siri having massively improved in the UK. Having demo-ed it this morning in the office, a few people pre-ordered the IP5...

    I did buy a Samsung Galaxy 3 and kept it for a month, but didn't like the Android OS so went back to iPhone. Android does look nice (though obviously not as smooth) with some good ideas but I just felt that iOS is more integrated and some things just work more reliably. App choice was a big decider as well with a few of my favourite ones missing on Android, but the worst thing was the reception on the phone and the narrow ear-speaker which made me realise the 4S was actually quite good as a phone! If you feel restricted by the capabilities of the iPhone, then Android is probably a good bet, but I just bought it due to screen envy and wanting a new toy which then got bored after I finished playing.

    Having gone from a WiMo phone back in 2007 to the first iPhone, and used Blackberrys, Sony P Series and others, I can say with certainty that anactoraaron's statement about "Apple didn't reinvent it the first time around either. They 'stole' a bunch of ideas and put them together. " is utter nonsense and the iPhone OS *was* completely revolutionary. People used to stop in the street and watch me using it, which seems unbelievable now, but true.

    The best proof of this is that all phones now (barring perhaps Windows phone) operate and look like an iPhone. I concede though that if you never owned an iPhone/3G and went straight to Androids, perhaps they might even seem derrivative, but they were completely ground breaking when they were introduced.
    Reply
  • maximumGPU - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I went from ios 5 to 6, and it certainly doesn't feel novel.
    We've been having incremental improvements over the past 5 years, and while it was incredible in 2007, ios feels dated now.
    It's gonna be windows phone for me now, that's a mobile os that feels "fresh".
    Reply
  • Sufo - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Yes, windows phones are lovely - I adored my Lumia 800 (as a windows phone and as a physical handset) however lack of apps is a real and legitimate concern. If they can just drag more devs over I can really see windows being _the_ platform for "casual" phone users. Reply
  • Sufo - Friday, September 21, 2012 - link

    Gonna have to disagree with you here. Not only does the jump from 5 to 6 not feel significant, it doesn't feel that different from the very first iteration (superficially). Reply
  • Stas - Sunday, September 23, 2012 - link

    Loading the front page of AT doesn't give it away? O.o Reply

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