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9/20/2012
10:03 AM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
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iOS 6: 5 Things To Like

Apple's new mobile operating system is finally available. Here are five great things about iOS 6.

iPhone 5's 10 Best Features
iPhone 5's 10 Best Features
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Apple made iOS 6 available to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch on Wednesday. The new platform brings with it more than 200 new features, according to Apple, and a slight refresh in the way the operating system looks.

I've been beta testing iOS 6 on the iPhone 4S for several months, but I had not installed iOS 6 on my iPad before it was released to the general public. After using it for several hours, here are things I found that I really like.

1. Facebook Integration: Apple added Twitter to iOS 5 in 2011, which left many scratching their heads. Where's Facebook? A year later, it's baked into iOS 6, that's where. Why is this a big deal? It makes sharing things to your Facebook wall much easier. Rather than copying links and pasting them into your timeline or manipulating photos, the new sharing tools require but a few button presses and auto-magically sync things back and forth. It's not the biggest new feature in the world, but it makes sharing nearly painless.

2. Do Not Disturb: More and more people take their smartphones and tablets to bed with them. It's a total bummer when your device receives a bunch of emails in the middle of the night and sets off notification alerts and wakes you. With Do Not Disturb, you can set periods when notifications leave you the heck alone. Not only can this help save on some Zzz's, it can help save your sanity.

[ Not all is rosy in Apple world. See Apple iOS 6 Maps App Flops. ]

3. Shared Photo Stream: Photo Stream automatically uploads photos captured with the iPhone or iPad to Apple's iCloud servers. It can be set to sync with iPhoto on Apple computers, as well. The problem is, Photo Stream has always synced all the photos captured by the mobile device. This could be ... embarrassing ... if you're not careful about what you take pictures of. The new version of Photo Stream gives users more granular control over which photos are shared and with whom.

4. Safari Syncing: With iOS 6, users of multiple Apple device will be happy with the new features of Safari. The most appealing new feature is the ability to sync open tabs from the desktop to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod. This means if you're browsing three or four websites on your computer, you can pick up right where you left off on the iPhone or iPad. Convenient. (For the record, Google's Chrome browser already offers this feature to iOS and Android devices.) The new version of Safari also has a full-screen view when surfing in landscape orientation, and can now save not only links, but entire Web pages for offline reading.

5. PassBook: PassBook isn't available on the iPad, but it is available to the iPhone and iPod Touch. PassBook collects tickets, loyalty cards, and coupons and lets them be redeemed digitally. It is somewhat limited at launch, as the number of partner organizations that are accepting PassBook is small. The initial partners include American Airlines, Belly Card, Delta Airlines, Fandango, Live Nation, Lufthansa, MLB.com, Sephora to Go, Starbucks, Target, TicketMaster, United Airlines, W. Hotels, and Walgreens. I was able to use in on the iPhone at Walgreens recently to redeem a coupon. (The app requires that you have PassBook-enabled apps that coincide with the merchant. In this case, I also had to download and set up the Walgreens mobile app. The process was clunky.) It worked pretty well, though the sales clerk was perplexed for a few minutes. It's not near-field communications (NFC) and instant, on-the-go payments, but it is the next best thing. I look forward to more merchants signing up with PassBook.

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GAProgrammer
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GAProgrammer,
User Rank: Ninja
9/24/2012 | 7:38:57 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
As for DND, why can't you just turn off your devices like normal people? How is "turning your device off" suddenly revolutionary? It's not, nor is most of the updates. I put iOS6 on my iPad and wish I hadn't. I lost the native YouTube app, a lot of the "improvements" aren't even available unless I fork over more cash to Apple (which isn't going to happen).

I love my iPad, but to be honest, it would be just as good if it were an Android tablet. I can't wait to get a Surface Pro this winter.
stahmasebi9211
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stahmasebi9211,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/24/2012 | 4:29:48 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
Yeah it's really not as bad as the press is making it out to be and you know what, Google Maps wasn't perfect to begin with. I had plenty of moments where the directions lead me to a dead end using that app.
stahmasebi9211
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stahmasebi9211,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/24/2012 | 4:28:35 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
Aside from the Maps being inferior to their previous version, I really like the new iOS 6. I'm sure Apple will work hard to improve their Map app also.
ANON1242230730745
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ANON1242230730745,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/21/2012 | 8:53:13 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
Guess I'm wondering what's funny or disastrous about it... have you used it? I think it works just fine. Haven't noticed any issues compared to the Google maps application and it looks great.
AustinIT
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AustinIT,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/21/2012 | 7:41:13 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
LOL

Do not Disturb. Come on. Really? People shouldn't take their pet iPhone to bed if they don't want it to disturb them in the middle of the night. Simple solution to a simple problem...
MrTechWizzard
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MrTechWizzard,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/20/2012 | 10:58:19 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
The iPhone, any iPhone, is way WAY ahead of any Android device. I've had Blackberries and have the latest Samsung too. Nothing compares to the user experience of an iPhone, not by a long LONG shot!
ANON1237925156805
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ANON1237925156805,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/20/2012 | 9:01:42 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
Your objectivity is phenomenal. These are both great environments and it's possible to admit that without being a loser. I use both and am happy to do so.

I'm thrilled by the Do Not Disturb; anyone who isn't should see a head doctor because not dropping out regularly is harming us, literally. My hope is that the fact that this is baked in will start a trend, help us realize that we don't need to be pinged for text messages at 10:30 pm or 3:00 am.

True Google has had instant upload for over a year. Since only what 20% of Google devices-not including mine-have the OS with the upload feature what's that mean. Do I denigrate Android because more Apple users now have this feature than Android users? I hope not. We're playing leapfrog here and all benefit from that fact.

Passbook is limited but that's because it's starting out. NFC isn't the same thing frankly though there's some overlap. Submitted as evidence is the fact that Windows 8 supports NFC and also a tool analagous to Passbook. Let's check back in six months to see if it's a dog or a potential winner.
majenkins
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majenkins,
User Rank: Ninja
9/20/2012 | 7:19:15 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
The iPhone 4S my company got me has a do not disturb function built in, in fact my old Nokia 6350 feature phone had one it is called the off button.
ANON1242230730745
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ANON1242230730745,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/20/2012 | 6:05:57 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
Yeah Android sounds awesome! Wait, which one? When are they going to improve the overall experience? Cuz right now it sucks compared to an iPhone...
phoenixxl
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phoenixxl,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/20/2012 | 4:14:25 PM
re: iOS 6: 5 Things To Like
I installed it , and within 30 seconds the thing crashed..

They better have an update soon..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Trying to move an icon crashed the whole phone. Did it twice to show it's not a fluke
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