Compared to the much hyped Windows or Android, iOS updates usually don’t make a stir. In fact, Apple hasn’t invested much effort in iOS at all. But with the fast improving hardware, it is important to make the operating system sharper and faster; otherwise all the improved specs make no sense. So iPhone 5 has been paired up with the brand new iOS 6.
The vertebra of iOS, the Springboard, has not been radically changed, which is why a lot of it looks same to previous iOS users. The lockscreen and homescreen is unchanged, the four icons remain in focus as you scroll through it. Adding folders at the bottom dock allows better use of screen real estate. The shaking animation to reorder apps is intact. The Settings menu is changed a little and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are now on top for easier access. There is a new Do Not Disturb feature on top beside the Notifications. There are cool new customizable vibrations for notifications.
This aspect has been left alone by Apple and for good reason. iMessage service lets you exchange IMs between iGadgets (iOS 5) over Wi-Fi and 3G. You can send text and multimedia messages. Conversations are color coded so that you can instantly differentiate between SMS and MMS. All the conversations are synced with iCloud, so that they can be accessed anywhere through any Apple device.
iOS 6 has Shared Photo Stream which allows you to share photos with all iCloud integrated devices and create a sort of social sub-network. You can select the photos to share and whom you share them with. Those who are privy to the pictures can like and comment on them. The app has Facebook integration, AirPrint is available through sharing options.
Siri has a new set of skills in iOS 6: it can assist you with restaurant speaking, has a bigger language portfolio (Canadian English and French, Spanish, Italian, the varieties of German, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese), a more varied knowledge of movies and sports including history, stats, bios, teams, records etc. Siri can now launch apps and update your Facebook and Twitter too. Apple even announced that it is working with Land Rover, Honda, Chrysler, Audi, Toyota and others towards integrating Siri with car audio systems.
The Smartphone community is in two minds over iOS 6. Some think that Apple has been a little too conservative with the OS and not introduced any real innovation: the lockscreen has not been utilized completely, the Notification Center shows little improvement and the Springboard has remained practically unchanged over the last five years. In fact, the real step forward, the new Maps, is a big disappointment.