Apple’s keynote may not have included an iPad Mini or information on the next generation iPhone, but it did come with a huge number of details on Apple’s upcoming mobile operating system, iOS 6.
Like iOS 5, iOS 6 will be a major overhaul of the OS, adding more than 200 new features, including an all new Maps application, several new apps, and all new Siri integration. Check out our iOS 6 rundown after the break.
Siri will be able to deliver all new detailed information, including sports scores, restaurants (reservations and reviews), and movies, so you can tell Siri “Show me movies starring Scarlett Johansson,” or “Find a great place for dinner,” and she’ll do so.
Siri will also be able to open apps, which is a much needed feature. Ask Siri to open Temple Run, and the game will open automatically.
Eyes free will allow Siri to offer more advanced integration with automobiles. This feature will be built in to several new cars (including those from BMW, GM, Land Rover, Jaguar, Audi, Toyota, Chrysler, and Honda), using a button on the steering wheel to trigger Siri.
And the biggest announcement – Siri is coming to the new iPad!
Much like iOS 5 offered integration with Twitter, iOS 6 will offer Facebook integration. Entering a username and password will connect Facebook to iOS, and you will no longer need to log in to the app to post photos, websites, and locations.
Facebook has also been integrated with Notification Center, so you can now drag down from the Notification Center to post right to Facebook and Twitter. Apps will also be able to post directly to Facebook using the Siri API.
If a friend shares an email or a phone number, it will be added directly to your iOS devices. Events and birthdays will now show up in your Calendar app.
Phone App – There’s now an all new reminder system within the phone app. If you silence or block a call while in a meeting, you can set a reminder to call the person back later in the day. You can also now respond to calls with a text message, either pre-made, or custom.
Do Not Disturb – We can put our phones on silent, but we can’t stop them from buzzing or lighting up from text messages, phone calls, and notifications. That’s no longer a problem with Do Not Disturb mode, which will allow you to receive calls and messages without sounds and lights.
FaceTime – FaceTime will now be available over 3G or 4G, so you’re no longer limited to using it with a Wi-Fi connection. Your phone number will also be unified with your Apple ID, allowing you to answer calls and iMessages on your iPad or your Mac.
Mail – You can now mark someone as a VIP, which will give you a lock screen notification whenever you get an email from that person, just like a text message. Starred messages will go into a special mailbox, and it’s now easier to insert photos and videos into the compose window on your iPhone and your iPad. And one more much needed feature – pull to refresh, which I think we’ve all been wishing for.
Passbook – Manage all your passes in one simple place. This app can support movie tickets, plane tickets, store’s cards (including gift cards), and more. There’s an easy API for developers, and passes automatically disintegrate after use.
Guided Access – Greater accessibility features, preventing kids from accessing certain apps. The home button is also able to be disabled. There’s also a single app mode, which will allow the iPad to be locked into one app.
Game Center – If you nab a high score or an achievement in Game Center, you can challenge your friends to beat it.
Find My iPhone – There’s an all new lost mode, allowing you to send a phone number directly to a lost phone.
Safari now offers better integration with your Macs, adding iCloud tabs and an offline reading list. Start an article on your Mac and finish it on your iPad.
Smart App Banners will allow apps with websites to create a pop up on your phone, notifying you that a website has an app you can download from the App Store. You can install an app and go right back to what you were doing on the website.
Photo Stream is now shared, allowing you to easily share photos with your friends and family. Choose the photos that you want to share, choose your friends, and that’s it.
Your friends will get a push notification and the photos will appear in an album in the Photos app.
Apple will no longer be using Google Maps, and will instead be providing maps in house. The new Maps application has been completely overhauled, adding features like a traffic service, local search, and turn-by-turn navigation.
You can also access 3D models of cities using the all new Flyover feature.
As you can see, this is an incredible release. Not just for the features Apple is providing, but also the enhanced APIs that are available for developers. There are APIs for Pass Kit, reminders, and in-app content purchasing, guaranteeing even more amazing apps in the near future.
iOS 6 is available today for developers, but will debut for the general public in September of 2012. It will support iPhone 3GS and later, along with the fourth generation iPod Touch and the second and third generation iPads.