Apple has already unveiled its next-generation mobile operating system iOS 6 at its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco.
The latest iOS version, which will launch alongside the next iPhone before the year-end, will offer more than 200 new features.
The main selling point about the upcoming software is the new in-house mapping service from Apple, which the Cupertino-based tech giant developed without help from other companies in a tactical maneuver to do away with the Google Maps app on existing iOS devices. Touting the same features to the search giant’s mapping service, which recently included an offline mode, Apple’s own app offers 3D graphics, live traffic details and Siri-integrated turn-by-turn navigation.
Apple has collaborated with Facebook to offer Facebook integration on both iOS 6 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion devices, which will add a single sign-on process for all Apple products, users to share Photos snapshots, Safari websites and Maps locations, and support third-party apps.
The social networking site will deeply embed itself into the Apple App Store, which will allow users to view apps that friends liked. Also included is contact synchronization for sharing personal details on Facebook even on the go for mobile iOS devices.
Apple said a freshened up Phone app will be among the highly anticipated features of iPhone users. With the new version having “reply with message” and “remind me when I leave” features, both of which are accessible through a slide up gesture from the call screen. Another new feature, ‘Do Not Disturb’, will mute all push notifications and stop the screen from lighting up when turned on.
In iOS 6, Apple said digital voice assistant Siri will have more brains. It will now feature location-based information for UK customers to help users navigate and ask for recommendations. Siri can also open apps and write tweets on its own.
Other notable features in iOS 6 include the ability to call through FaceTime via 3G networks, share Photo Streams, a revamped Mail app with VIP mailbox and multiple signature support, and a better Safari web browser that now supports iCloud Tabs and Offline Reading Lists.
“iOS 6 continues the rapid pace of innovation that is helping Apple reinvent the phone and create the iPad category, delivering the best mobile experience available on any device,” said Scott Forstall, Apple’s SVP of iOS Software. “We can’t wait for hundreds of millions of iOS users to experience the incredible new features in iOS 6 including the new Maps app, expanded Siri support, deep Facebook integration, Shared Photo Streams and the innovative new Passbook app.”