By Peter N. Lamandre
No Apple event would be complete without a post from me, the self-proclaimed “Über Apple Fan-boy.” iOS 6 is finally here and the new features are aplenty…
I will rundown a few of the super cool new things iPhone/iPad users can now do.
Let’s start with the new maps app replacing the previous map application, which was a Google product. It’s clear that Google was holding back some of the cool features in the iOS version of their product as the Android version had far superior features. Can you really blame Google though? Would you really provide your competitor with a “great product” or a “just okay” one? So Apple took the bull by the horns and created a new map app from the ground up, and I must say, so far this is a killer app. With all the iOS users out there, I can not see how the GPS companies will stay in business. The turn by turn is smooth, and so far it is accurate — hopefully it won’t send me into a corn field as I test in in some rural areas in the next few days. I took a spin on the highway and the anonymous crowd-sourced data to determine traffic patterns seems to be spot-on.
Mail received a facelift with the ability to now directly insert pictures and movies from the mail screen. Seems like a simple idea, but the insertion of videos and pictures was previously a cumbersome task, now it’s easy peasy lemon squeezy. I frequently read messages then mark them as “unread” in order to remind me to go back and do something with the email… I know I can flag them but I prefer to mark as unread so I was a bit scared when I could not find the “Mark as unread” link where it normally is. You can now find it in the lower left hand corner of your screen under the flag icon.
In the camera and photo features, there is now a built in panorama shooting mode in the iPhone, but not the iPad. I have used many panoramic apps over the years, and this one is fast, easy, and the sticking works very well. The photo app has noticeably faster loading, which I’m sure all the users can appreciate. The addition of a multiple photo stream will allow users to quickly share specific photos either publicly or privately by invitation only. I can think of numerous real estate-related uses for this feature.
As REALTORS®, we are always in meetings with clients, or in committee meetings where phones can be a distraction. Now with a “do not disturb” feature, you can ensure that only the most important messages, calls, and alerts get through. You can also turn off alerts after a certain time. (I can think of several deep sleeps that were interrupted by a friend posting about some silly thing at 3 a.m.) This will hopefully allow us all some degree of peace at those times when we really need to be “unplugged” from the white noise of mobile life.
Safari now has synchronized iCloud tabs between Apple devices (iMac, iPhone, iPad, etc.), so if you have an Internet tab open on one device you can remotely access that info and view it on another. It’s also easier to post a page link toTwitter or Facebook with a few simple clicks.
A favorite feature of mine is the native Facebook integration and the ability to use Siri to post to your status. I find it so much faster to speak my posts, and now you can do it all right from Siri.
Siri has gotten smarter… you can now launch apps from Siri, ask her questions about sports, and search for restaurants in addition to all the helpful things she did before. Best of all, she is now available on the new iPad. Over the last few months Siri has helped me be more productive with my iPhone 4s, and now she will be even more of a help on my iPad. I, like most agents, am in the car a lot and Siri has helped me be hands-free and stay focused on my driving.
iMessage is now more unified. In the old iOS, if a user sent a message to your iPhone from their device and used your number instead of your iCloud account, you would only receive the message on your phone. Now the two are linked, and no matter which account they use, the message will show up on all your iMessage-capable devices. This is great if you start a conversation on your phone, switch to your iPad then finish on your Mac, seamlessly. It happens to me all the time as I am running from place to place.
This list is by no means all-inclusive — there are more than 200 new features to review — but seeing iOS in action makes me very eager to have the iPhone 5 in my hands. Once I do, I will surely post in more detail.