Apple is bringing more than 200 new features to the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch with its iOS 6.0 mobile operating system.
The update was available to download over-the-air (OTA) from 10am Pacific Time (1PM ET), with the OS compatible with the new iPad, the iPad 2 and the four most recent iPhones (iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS). iOS 6 does not run on the first generation iPad.
Apple says that it has added 200 new features on the mobile operating system, but here's a breakdown of what may be most interesting to iDevice-owning business folk:
A more powerful Siri
The arrival of iOS 6 brings about a new set of improvements for Siri, Apple’s voice recognition software.
Apple says that Siri will now be able to better understand what you're saying, will be able to open apps without you having to tap an app icon and will also be able to get the results from your favorite sports team or help discover local restaurants.
Another handy feature is the new ‘Eyes Free’ tool which shuts off the device’s screen when you are driving, enabling you to ask Siri to pull up information without having to divert your eyes from the road.
Apple has cast aside Google to make its own Maps client for iOS 6. The app is vector-based to make graphics smooth and detailed, and Siri is integrated to help guide you to your chosen destination.
The Maps app will also present real-time traffic updates, offer alternative travel routes and allow you to see a 3D image of the road ahead. Furthermore, the Maps app enables you to drill-down into a select location to find out local information.
Although we've not yet seen it in action, Passbook is promoted as being a neat tool for holding your digital boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons and loyalty cards.
The app will allow iOS users to check into flights, redeem vouchers and to see where their movie seats are. These ‘Passes’ will also pop up on your iDevice’s Lock screen at the appropriate time, so, for example, you don't miss your flight.
FaceTime now works over cellular
As the title suggests, FaceTime users will now be able to make calls over 3G or 4G, as well as WiFi.
It may not grab the headlines of tech blogs, but iOS 6 brings about a redesigned native email app which will be of particular interest to business users.
For this new app lets you establish a VIP list so you don’t miss emails from important people, while you can easily refresh your mailbox by scrolling down. Apple adds that it is also now easier to embed photos and videos in emails.