I’ve had about a week with iOS 6 at this point, and the feeling is that the iPhone and iPad are faring much, much better as Little Computers. iOS is now a capable enough operating system that it feels more apt to call the iPhone and iPad (mobile) devices, with the mobile moniker placed squarely inside of parentheses. I don’t actually intend to call them that, of course, but you get the point. My iPhone 4S and iPad 2 are still as compact as ever, but they have fewer of the limitations I have associated with mobile devices.
The only real sticking point in iOS is Maps, and I agree with a lot of the sentiments shared on the Internet in the past week: the software is great, but the database will really need some time to catch up to what Google built over the years. Fortunately, I don’t need Maps so badly in my day-to-day that I can’t afford to wait for it to get better (and it really has to get better – mapping is essential on any modern smart device). In the mean time however, iOS 6 has kept up the tradition started by previous annual iterations – slowly, but surely, picking away at my list of Wants.
- Bluetooth is now two taps faster to access in the Settings menu.
- The HDR setting in Photos & Camera can auto-delete all of the non-HDR shots that I take (no more doubles in my Camera Roll!).
- Sharing URLs from Safari requires just two taps, and I can now share links to the App Store without having to Google “[App Name] iTunes”.
- Apple’s own Reminders app is now not only usable, but fun.
- Most of my email inboxes will fill up invisibly, but VIP banners will trigger sound, vibrations, and banner alerts for when Really Awesome People e-mail me.
- Photos can easily be shared with friends, published with public URLs via Shared Photo Streams, or uploaded straight to Facebook – all through Apple’s very own built-in apps.
There are so many areas where the friction between wanting to do something and actually doing it has been reduced in small, but very appreciable ways. iOS 5 had a great literal banner feature with the launch of Notification Center and Banner style alerts, but I think iOS 6 is littered with enough granular changes to still be really satisfying. Side note: [Sebastiaan de With has been teasing a roundup post of iOS 6 changes on Twitter, and I can't wait to see it.]
There’s a distinct sense that iOS 6 allows me to accomplish more, and accomplish more faster, and I’m really enjoying the upgrade.