The next mobile operating system for the iPhone, iOS 6, will be available in fall 2012. The major details and features were released 2 weeks ago a Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC). While the goal of these yearly OS updates is to move forward with technology, there are a couple of this to watch for. Keep reading to see the good and the not so good.
As small of a feature as this might be, it is what I am looking forward to the most. "Do Not Disturb" is a simple "on/off" toggle that restricts your iPhone from presenting notifications of any kind while still remaining active on the network ("Airplane mode" accomplishes the same task by removing your network connection). Also boasting the ability to set an non-disturb schedule will allow iPhone owners to have uninterrupted sleeps.
The thoughtful features do not stop there. obviously there are times when you want to be disturbed while sleeping, such as an emergency from a family member. The "Do Not Disturb" feature has the ability to recognize authorized incoming calls or patch through repeated calls.
With iOS 5, Twitter was integrated within the native apps allowing for easy tweets of pictures, web links, and the like. iOS 6 integrates the largest social network, Facebook. With similar options as Twitter for quick sharing, Facebook will also be integrated into the appstore to allow users to search apps according to what their friends "Like".
Apple has also developed a new native application, "Passbook". This app is setting the stage for a mobile wallet, the difference being that "Passbook" is set up for giftcards, coupons, boarding passes, etc. Third party apps will have the opportunity to have their digital vouchers stored in this unified app allowing users to spend less time looking through their device and more time enjoying the ease of use.
Since the iPhone was released in 2007, Google Maps has powered the mapping and navigation on the device. Between then and now Apple and Google have had a falling out. Apple has taken on the task of maps for their mobile devices.
This is both good and bad. The good news is Apple will ensure that mapping is well integrated and consistent across the platform. The bad news is, they are starting from the beginning.
There are a couple of long awaited features being presented in the new map application. 3D maps and turn-by-turn navigation will be seen on the iPhone for the first time. But before you get too excited, your device is required to have and A5 chip to handle these new features.
There has been no firm date as to when the updated iOS will be available, but it is anticipated that the new hardware will be released around the same time. Some thoughts about the hardware can be found here and here.
If you are interested in reading about more of the iOS 6 features, the details can be found on Apple's website.