After all was said and done, Siri et al, yesterday Apple announced some very nice enhancements to its iPhone in the upcoming iOS6, designed to improve the user experience for the almost archaic and traditional means of communication – voice calls.
At long last, a feature that has been available on Nokia handsets for donkey’s years will find its way to iPhones in 2012, only it’s been made even smarter IMHO. iOS 6 adds a “decline” or “alternative answer”, letting you decline an incoming call by either replying by a preset or customized text message “Call you later” or “On my way” or set a reminder to call the person back – setting the reminder for when you leave at a location or at a set time. No more letting the phone ring (on silent) until the caller gives up, the elegant solution is the swipe up the new button on the right of the slide to reach these new options. To say this was truly missing is an understatement. What took them so long?
Also coming is something most of us ex-Nokia users also had on our prehistoric dumbphones: a “Do not Disturb” button with customizable exceptions. Although it is designed for unwanted sleep time disturbances, I wager this is more useful as a meeting setting. Although at the moment I usually simply turn the phone to mute, it is a smarter way of ridding yourself of distracting incoming calls, as you can set time limits – or even allow a repeated call from certain people you designate, meaning the call will come through when this person calls a 2nd or 3rd time. A true enhancement.
A final improvement in calling, although technically it involves video, is the introduction of Facetime over cellular networks, a feature I could have sworn was in the original launch. Again, this comes as a bit of a surprise that it took Apple so long to push this through. Skype has some real competition in Facetime now. May the best platform win!
What do you think of the upcoming voice call enhancements? Can’t wait to get your hands on the upgrade?