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iOS Version 6


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The newest version of iOS, iOS 6, was released in 2012. For starters, iOS 6 finally abandons Google Maps as its geographical information provider (evidently, Apple didn't like relying on its main OS competitors to power one of its most oft-used apps). Apple's new, proprietary Maps application features turn-by-turn navigation (courtesy of Siri), an incredible 3D-imaging feature called flyover, and all-new cartrography. 

iOS 6 also integrates Facebook into native applications (in the same matter iOS 5 integrated Twitter) for the first time. This includes heavy integration with Siri, which itself gets a host of very significant updates. In addition to integrating popular services like Yelp, OpenTable, iMDB,and Fandango into its results, Siri can now create new, more complex reminders, update directions based on live-updating traffic information, and respond to context dependent sports-related questions (e.g. 'who's winning the Yankee's game?').

This is the first version of iOS to feature an app called “Passbook,” a sort-of-analog to Android’s Google Wallet, that integrates digital versions of coupons, loyalty cards, airplane boarding passes, movie tickets, and similar paper passes. Passbook will use location and time sensors to make specific devices accessible without unlocking the home screen (i.e. a movie ticket appearing as you walk up to the box office in the minutes leading up to the screening). This feature also constantly updates, so last-second airport gate changes, for example, appear in real time on your boarding pass.

iOS 6 also provides a few simple updates to the Phone app, inserting a feature for quick text message replies to incoming calls and a "Do Not Disturb" mode that turns off incoming calls, messages, and the light-up notifications for those messages. Within Do Not Disturb mode, frequent repeated calls (like those presumably for emergencies) will come through.

Another new feature in iOS 6 is the introduction of cloud-based photo stream sharing, allowing friends to access and comment on selected photo streams directly from the Photos app, a feature that works through both WiFi and cellular connections. This feature can also create web pages where the photos can be easily posted and accessed. iOS 6 also uses cloud technology to allow users to start reading Safari tabs on one device and finish reading those tabs on a second device. This Safari improvement also allows for creation of an offline "Reading List," storing full web pages for later viewing.

iOS 6 also introduces an improved version of the FaceTime video calling technology, allowing for video calls over cellular networks as well as through WiFi. iOS 6 also furthers basic e-mail functionality by adding a VIP inbox (an inbox featuring only mail from approved VIP contacts) and allowing for easy insertion of photo and video attachments to e-mail messages.

iOS also introduces a technology called "Find My iPhone," allowing for remote tracking of lost iPhones as well as providing any strangers who find your phone to press a single button on the lock screen to dial an emergency contact without accessing the rest of your phone information.



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