If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with the influx of Apple announcements that took over your Twitter stream yesterday — don’t worry, ECb has you covered. Here’s a quick overview of what was introduced yesterday…
Sure, Apple showed off some cool features in their new desktop software. But for ECb, the star of the show yesterday was iOS 6. This is the platform’s largest update since October of last year, and not only does it include a fresh coat of paint, but it also brings about several new features.
- Siri – Siri now knows more about movies, sport scores and can launch applications. She also understands more languages, works in more countries, and Apple is even working with car-makers to help make her more auto-friendly. Oh, and she’s coming to the iPad too.
- Facebook - iOS 6 includes deep, system-level Facebook integration. Users can now post pictures to the social networking site directly from the Photos app, update their statuses from Notification Center, and Like content from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store. Even better, the Facebook integration API is open to third-party developers. So no more signing in for app permissions.
- Phone app - The Phone app in iOS 6 gets a number of nice little enhancements, including a Do Not Disturb option and the ability to reply to ignored calls with preset text messages. But perhaps the coolest addition is that you can now make FaceTime calls over 3G.
- Maps app - This is easily the biggest update in iOS 6. The Maps app has been completely rebuilt from the ground up and now offers Yelp and Siri integration, a new 3D Flyover view, and live Traffic Layers. Oh, and it also finally includes audible turn-by-turn directions.
- Photo Stream – Now you can share all of your photos in your Photo Stream with people you choose, in iOS 6. Just a single tap sends photos to the Photos/iPhoto app of friends and family. Or, if they don’t have an Apple device, they can view your media on the web.
- App Store - Both the App Store and the iTunes store have been completely remodeled for iOS 6. They look different, act different, and make browsing through content more enjoyable. The best part? No more having to exit the App Store for every new download.
- Mobile Safari - The default browser gets a couple of new features in iOS 6, starting with iCloud Tabs. This will allow you to keep all of your open tabs in Safari on your Mac synced with iOS. You can also now save entire webpages to Reading List for offline reading, and view web pages in full screen (landscape mode only).
- Mail app - The Mail app in iOS 6 is nearly identical to its predecessor albeit a few handy new features. One, users can now choose which contacts they want to be notified of for new Mail messages with VIP inbox. And two, photos and videos can now be attached to emails from within the Mail app.
These are just the few of the new iOS 6 features that made it into Apple’s announcements today. We’re expecting to see a lot more surface in the coming months.
Despite early predictions that there would be a couple on hand, Apple unveiled a single new iOS application this morning. It’s showing up pre-installed in the iOS 6 beta, but it’s still unknown at this point if it will be available to non-iOS 6 devices via the App Store in the fall.
- Passbook - Passbook is a digital wallet of sorts. It stores and organizes all of your event tickets, boarding passes, gift cards and credit cards. And allow you to use them all from within the app. It can even notify you if you’re near a shop you have a gift card to, or of any last-minute itinerary changes.
Even though this announcement kind of flew under the radar today, we’re certainly keeping our eye on it. Apple has opened the app’s API up to businesses and developers, so it’s really be up to them how successful it is.
Aside from software announcements, Apple also refreshed their entire MacBook lineup today. Both the Air and Pro models received considerable performance upgrades, but the show-stopper was definitely the all-new Retina display variant.
The ‘Next-Generation MacBook Pro’ features a stunning 2880-by-1800 display, which equates to a staggering 220ppi (pixels per inch) or more than five million pixels. That’s 3 million more than an HDTV (iPad 3 has a million more than an HD TV).