Apple’s unveiling of its next major operating system, iOS 6, is right around the corner. Scott Forstall and Co. are expected to announce the new OS to developers at WWDC next week. Very little is actually known about iOS 6, but there have been some rumors that made headlines over the last few months.
iOS 6 looks to be an evolutionary upgrade from iOS 5, rather than a revolutionary jump forward. Here’s what we expect to see.
Google Maps kicked to the curb: Many publications have been beating the drum on this rumor, and at this point it would downright shocking for Apple to not unveil its own Maps app. Instead of Google’s backend, expect the new Maps to be made from the ground up by Apple.
New coat of paint: Expect iOS 6 to sport a more metallic color scheme. Less blue and more sliver. This year’s WWDC app is a good indication of what iOS 6 will probably look like.
Facebook integration: Not only did Tim Cook himself say to “stay tuned” for more involvement between Apple and Facebook, but multiple reports have said that Facebook integration is definitely coming to iOS 6. Expect the integration to work much like Twitter does currently.
A better Siri: Siri is smart, but she could be much smarter. Cook recently acknowledged that Siri has room to grow, and he said that Apple has big plans in the coming months for the digital assistant. Third-party API access for app integration would be a good start.
Safari omnibar: It’s an address and search bar combined into one! OS X Mountain Lion will be bringing this feature to the Mac as well.
“Do Not Disturb” setting for Notification Center: We also think that iOS 6 will feature Notification Center improvements, including a Do Not Disturb toggle. When you flip it, all incoming notifications will be automatically hidden. Expect it to look something like this:
iCloud tabbed browsing: The tabs you have open on your Mac will be synced wirelessly to your iOS devices, and vice versa. iCloud already syncs your Safari bookmarks between devices.
Enhanced Mail app: Some more features from the Mac client should carry over, like VIPs and (hopefully) multiple signatures.
A whole lot more iCloud: OS X Mountain Lion lets you save a file directly to iCloud, and it would be nice to see that sort of integration happen in iOS 6. Beyond iCloud tabbed browsing, we’d like to see more third-party apps offer the ability to save documents and files to iCloud directly. Sharing between apps could also be dramatically improved.
Totally revamped stock apps: There are whispers saying that iOS 6 will be less of a design overhaul and more of an app-focused upgrade. Essentially, you wouldn’t really notice a difference between iOS 5 and 6 until you start opening stock apps. Apple could redo many of its default iOS applications, and maybe introduce a couple more surprises as well.
Siri for iPad: We’ve been skeptical about Apple bringing Siri to the iPad before, but some are saying that the digital assistant is indeed coming to Apple’s tablet in iOS 6. We’re not sure what Siri on the iPad would look like exactly, and she will probably be only available on newer iPad models.
Widgets: While many would love to see Apple introduce some sort of third-party widget platform for Notification Center, we’re not so sure. It could happen, but it’s just as likely that Apple could beef up its own widget offerings. Something besides Weather and Stocks would be nice.
There you have it! That’s what Cult of Mac expects to see in iOS 6. Not much to go on, but rumors are unusually quiet regarding the upcoming OS. That means everything will be all the more interesting when Apple execs take the stage at the Moscone Center on Monday. Stay tuned for a ton of news during WWDC next week.
In the meantime, what are you most looking forward to in iOS 6?.