Hear that? That’s the sound of millions of iDevice users monitoring their iOS6 downloads, sneaking peek on screens for any incremental progress of the blue bar, holding the promise of new shiny software, available today for iPad 2nd and 3rd generation, iPhone (from 3GS) and iPod touch 4th and 5th generation. In our house this means we are simultaneously updating 3 iPhones and 2 iPads (our beloved iPad 1st generation is being left out of the action this time around). We chose the Over the Air update option since it’s quicker than via iTunes, easily accessible via Settings > General > Software Update. After getting the prompt that there was not enough space on the device for the update over the air, I quickly deleted a few heavy apps and initiated the “long” process (it only took an hour). By the way, make sure you back up before you start the upgrade.
Ever since Apple teased us with the new features of iOS6 at this year’s WWDC conference last June, I’ve been looking forward to getting to know it more intimately. Here are a few of the compelling reasons to upgrade to iOS6:
- Maps – new and improved, for some. In Austria we tend to get less than what the major countries get. As it stands we don’t get 3D buildings or Flyover.
- Siri – finally on iPad! Although she has not lost her beta mantel, she has evolved quite a bit, understanding new things like sports scores, restaurant recommendations, movie reviews or how to tweet, post facebook updates and launch apps. I’m curious to see how she works in practice.
- Facetime over 3G – another “finally” vote here. This will make calling the family overseas even easier. No more waiting to get home to place the call.
- Facebook system wide integration – nice but I’m a bit wary as I’m not really a fan of the same feature in twitter.
- Shared Photo Stream – this feature sounds like something that me and friends will be using more often than not. We are an iPhone and iPad-centric clan so we tend to share a lot of stuff when we are together.
- Improvements to Phone – iOS6 gives users the option of declining a call by message or set up a reminder to call back later. This is great enhancement for me as I tend not to be able to answer private calls during business hours, only to forget to call back later. The new Do Not Disturb functions, enabling the specific silencing of the phone during the day or night, are also a good addition.
- Improvements to Mail – everyone’s raving about the VIP features which allow flagging of important senders’ messages, but personally I am more excited about the seemingly minor enhancement of being able to add photos directly from the Mail app. This was how it was supposed to be from the very beginning.
Whatever your favourite new iOS6 feature may be, I wish you all MUCH patience during your upgrades today and MUCH FUN discovering the software for the first time.
Updated to remove the statement that Siri is available on iPad 2.