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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  • Hyper72 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Mobile Safari reports as:
    Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 6_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/536.26 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.0 Mobile/10A403 Safari/8536.25

    iCab Mobile reports:
    Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; U; CPU OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3
    Reply
  • anandtech02148 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    gotta disagree with the author on the tablet web browsing.
    The convenience of web browsing on a tablet is one factor, instant access, easy finger gestures, it should be enhanced in the future so that we do away with the uneccessarry luggage like a keyboard and mouse. Even cutting and pasting have improved, i'm not sure what the author is talking about copying multiple links, mass email etc, the point of Ipad internet browsing is purely entertainment and should be improved upon. IOS does an amazing job on memory management, especially these websites that invades your browser with crazy advertising pop ups. Sinces Android foundation is from Java it might as well be the devil's advocate in crashing and freezing your device.
    Reply
  • mikato - Thursday, September 27, 2012 - link

    What if you are away from your tablet and are browsing the web, but then you have to stop or you want to save something for later. Then later you want to browse on your tablet instead, and you'd like to pick up where you left off or go back to what you'd saved. It seems like that's the point of the new Reading List syncing feature. How else would you do it besides emailing the links?

    Some typing is still required when using the web, right? Typing on a touchscreen has improved a lot but is still like a bit like using a keyboard with gloves on. I don't know what my WPM is on a tablet but it must be must be at least cut by 70% or something. I have still occasionally switched to using my desktop when I need to figure something out on the web since it is just much faster. Also, depending on what I'm doing, I may need to look at several web pages, my own notes, or something else why writing an email or a writing something. This is more than just web browsing and although a tablet screen is bigger than a phone and closer to a desktop/laptop, the functionality just isn't there for doing something like that with a tablet. If you're really just "browsing" then a tablet is comfortable for that.
    Reply
  • JeremysBrain - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Only been using nav for 1 day, but the one annoyance that could likely drive me (no pun intended) back to Waze or Navigon is that when the voice guidance comes on, it talks on top of music and podcasts. Other navigation applications will stop playback from other applications, then resume when voice guidance is done.

    it's frustrating when I'm listening to Brian and Anand, then having to rewind every time new voice guidance comes on in then middle of one of Brian's tangents!

    I would like this feature when I'm listening to music, but not when I'm listening to talking heads.
    Reply
  • faizoff - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    Just upgraded my iphone 4 to iOS6. The maps app is nowhere close to what google offers so far. I knew there would be issues during the initial release due sheer volume I suppose.

    Even without turn by turn directions or 3D flyover, the larger direction signs that show up are pretty good for navigation.

    The standard maps are very ill configured and barely show any info. I'd have thought that with Tom Tom being a GPS company would have a rather comprehensive database already. My scaling is wrong and many areas are missing. No streetview means by default means I have to wait for google to release their app.

    I think I was very impressed with the updates going from iOS4 to iOS5. Going from 5 to 6 however hasn't impressed overall that much yet.

    The autobrightness is weird and isn't the same as before for some reason. I had issues with home sharing when it worked flawlessly before, infact was a huge improvement between updates up till now.

    I do love the options now present when getting a call.
    Reply
  • PPalmgren - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    I'm dissapointed that this article completely glosses over the fact that the maps themselves look like absolute garbage. The way the roads are rendered and the colors used is god-awful compared to google maps, UI being Apple's main selling point. Its hard to tell road types apart close up and hard to read the map in general because of the way its rendered, with thin roads and all. I find it to be a piss-poor implementation and am dissapointed at the soft-white tinted glasses that appeared to be the filter this article went through. Reply
  • MykeM - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I'm comparing what I'm seeing on iOS Map and Google Map- limiting to my milieu since I'm familiar with it- but what I'm seeing is quite comparable.

    There are a few things on the iOS6 map that seems incomplete. For example, rail track- yes it's much, much narrower than the street but missing the required lines that cut across the track.

    But the street itself- the iOS6 version seems better at replicating and differentiating the various width of the main thoroughfares and side-streets. When toggling between the layers of Standard and the Satellite maps, I can clearly see that Google map does a poorer job- it seems to replicate the traffic flow rather than the road itself (resulting in curvier turns when it's actually right-angled). Expectedly, it does a better job at marking various businesses around the neighbourhood. One area where the iOS version will improve over time.

    Colour choice and preference are completely subjective but again except for a few choices of colours, both maps seems to me more similar than they're different (Skeuomorphism aside).
    Reply
  • robinthakur - Thursday, September 20, 2012 - link

    I disagree completely I'm afraid. I was quite worried updating to iOS 6 that the maps would be awful as many early previews of the dev version said, but on my device it runs really fast, we have brilliant 3D flyovers and the maps are accurate and scale nicely. I especially like the rotation and elevation two finger controls like on Android Google maps. Since using G Maps on Android I always though the iOS implementation was a poor cousin, so I think it is good that Apple have finally come up with something comparable and slick which will hopefully grow swiftly. Navigation is much less confusing and busy than the Android version from what I have seen so far. The Siri integration is the icing on the cake.

    I do miss street view, buit rarely used the public transport navigation bit as Transport for London has a superior service available. At least now when Google release a mapping app it can be as Google want it to be and it will be up to the user whether they want Google tracking their every move and making money off of their browsing/map use.
    Reply
  • bunga28 - Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - link

    I really enjoy reading the article. It is very informative. Thank you.

    1. There are 2 authors listed for this piece. I just wanted to know who is the "I," "me," "mine," ... in this. That is very confusing.

    2. "at present [Google] literally is the 9000 pound gorilla for maps." Literally? Literally? That is like a friend of mine said to me "I literally haven't seen you for a million years."
    Reply
  • ciparis - Sunday, September 23, 2012 - link

    Well, considering:

    1) they do weigh 9000 pounds (or more)
    2) at least a few of them strongly resemble a gorilla, so who can say that they aren't?

    I don't see the problem. Plus, your friend might just be a time traveller.
    Reply

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