Every Single Feature That Is New In iOS 6 [Mega-Guide]

Every Single Feature That Is New In iOS 6 [Mega-Guide]

iOS 6 drops today!

We’ve all been itching to get our hands on iOS 6 since it got its first unveiling at WWDC back in June, and today, three months after that announcement, the software finally gets its public debut. Apple’s packed a ton of new features into this update, including some major new features like Map and Passbook, plus some enhancements to existing apps and features, such as new Siri capabilities and a VIP inbox in Mail.

Apple’s been promoting some of these features on its website, but there are tons you may not have heard about. With that said, here’s your comprehensive guide to everything that’s new in iOS 6.

Siri

Every Single Feature That Is New In iOS 6 [Mega-Guide]

Let’s start with Siri, the feature that revolutionized voice-controlled assistants when it launched on the iPhone 4S last year. It’s received a lot of criticism since then, but in iOS 6, Siri is much-improved.

Now on iPad & iPod touch

For a start, it’s not exclusive to the iPhone 4S anymore; you’ll also find Siri on the new iPad, and on the fifth-generation iPod touch.

International local search

Until now, searching Siri for local businesses or nearby points of interest was exclusive to users in the United States, but not anymore. Local search is now available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. It’s also coming to Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan in October.

Sports scores, restaurant reservations, movie showtimes, and more

In iOS 6, Siri is more intelligent than ever before. You can now use it to quickly find sports scores and league standings for your favorite teams; to find nearby restaurants and make reservations; to find movie showtimes and see the latest movie reviews; and to launch the apps installed on your iOS device. You can also ask Siri to make posts on Twitter and Facebook — no fingers required.

Maps

Every Single Feature That Is New In iOS 6 [Mega-Guide]

Google Maps is gone in iOS 6, which means no more Street View. But it makes way for Apple’s awesome new Maps app, arguably one of the biggest and best features of iOS 6.

Flyover

Forget satellite view and 2D imagery, Flyover is where it’s at. As its name suggests, Flyover allows you to fly over some of the world’s biggest cities, with interactive 3D views that let you zoom, pan, tilt, and rotate around skyscrapers, landmarks, and more. Apple’s highly-detailed imagery is like nothing you’ve ever seen before, and it’ll blow you away.

Turn-by-Turn navigation

Yes, I hear you — it’s about time! Android has it, Windows Phone has it, even BlackBerry has it. Now iOS has it, too: turn-by-turn navigation. Stick your TomTom on eBay and trust Apple’s new Maps app to get you where you want to go, with spoken directions, a 3D view, and real-time traffic integration.

And like everything Apple builds, the turn-by-turn feature looks great. It sports beautiful maps; large, shiny road signs and arrows superimposed over the images that show you which way to go and how long it’s going to take to get there; and dynamic camera angles that turn as you do. Turn-by-turn navigation even works from the lock screen, and provides roadwork alerts so that you can avoid the jams.

Passbook

Every Single Feature That Is New In iOS 6 [Mega-Guide]

Like Maps, Passbook is brand new in iOS 6, and it’s the closest you’ll get to an iPhone wallet for the foreseeable future. Boarding passes, movie tickets, retail coupons, store cards and more can be turned into digital cards that all live inside your Passbook app.

Each one is intelligent, too; for example, your Starbucks card will tell you your remaining balance, while retail coupons and boarding passes will automatically pop up on the lock screen when you arrive at certain stores or at the airport — so you don’t even need to open Passbook to use them. And the best bit: they can be updated over-the-air, so if your gate changes after you’ve checked in for your flight, Passbook will let you know.

Mail

Every Single Feature That Is New In iOS 6 [Mega-Guide]

There are very few third-party email clients for iOS, so it’s a good job Apple has made it so great. In iOS 6, Mail gets a number of new features that you’ll love.

Pull-to-refresh

Thanks to good old Tweetie, pull-to-refresh is a gesture we’ve all grown to love in iOS, and you’ll find it built into a huge number of apps. Now Apple’s using it, too. In iOS 6, the refresh button in Mail is gone. To fetch new email, simply pull down your mail list and it’ll refresh.

VIP inbox

Missing emails from your loved ones and people who are important to you is now a thing of the past. In iOS 6, you can tell Mail who your “VIPs” are, and it will automatically filter all emails from those people into a dedicated inbox. Then, when you’re in a rush, you don’t need to skim through all the junk in your inbox to find that email from your mom — just check your VIP inbox.

Shortcut to drafts

Finding draft emails is a pain if you have a lot of email accounts. Sometimes you forget which account you used to compost it, then you have to find the drafts folder for that account to locate it. But in iOS 6, there’s a quick and easy shortcut that takes you to every draft email you have — simply tap and hold the compose button until they appear.

App Store previews

If you receive a link to an iOS app via email, Mail will open up a preview window that shows the app’s price, description, screenshots, ratings, and reviews. You can even purchase the app there and then if you want to, and at no point will you be pulled out of Mail and taken to the App Store — it’s all done from your inbox.

Dedicated signatures for all accounts

This is a feature I’ve been calling out for on iOS: dedicated signatures for each email account. You can now set up different signatures for every account set up on your iOS device, rather than having to use the same one no matter which address you’re using.

Tap to insert photos & videos

If you start an email under iOS 5, there’s no way to insert an image or video into it — you have to start the email from your Camera Roll and the content is inserted automatically. In iOS 6, however, you can tap to insert photos and videos directly within Mail. That means you can start your email, write out your message, then attach whatever you’d like to it. You no longer need to scrap draft emails because you forgot to insert something.

App Store

Every Single Feature That Is New In iOS 6 [Mega-Guide]

New look

In iOS 6, the App Store has been given an entirely new look. Gone is the traditional blue theme so familiar to Apple’s built-in apps, and in comes a new dark look that’s been completely overhauled from the ground up. It sports fancy rotating banners for features apps, the ability to see what’s new in each update without leaving the update tab. When you download an app, you will no longer be pulled out of the App Store and taken to your home screen (yay!), but you will get a handy status bar that shows the progress of your download.

No passwords for updates

You no longer need to enter your iTunes password just to download updates to your existing apps. I’ve never understood why this was a requirement, but thankfully it’s done in iOS 6.

New search

As you’d expect, the App Store’s search section has been given the same new look the rest of the store has, but it also gets an entirely new way to search apps. Rather than being presented with a simple list of apps when you perform a search, the App Store will show you all of your results in miniature previews that include a screenshot of the app. All you have to do is flick through them to find the app you’re looking for. If you used the Chomp service before it was acquired by Apple, this design will already be familiar to you.

iTunes

Every Single Feature That Is New In iOS 6 [Mega-Guide]

New look

Just like the App Store, the iTunes app has been overhauled with a new dark design.

Preview history

Have you ever previewed a song in iTunes, then moved on and forgotten what it was? In iOS 6, the iTunes store keeps a history of everything you’ve previewed, so you can go back and find out what that catchy tune was that you were listening to earlier.

No more podcasts

Podcasts no longer appear within the iTunes app, but Apple does have a dedicated Podcasts app that’s just fantastic. It doesn’t come pre-installed with iOS 6 unfortunately, but you will find it in the App Store and it’s completely free to download.

Safari

Every Single Feature That Is New In iOS 6 [Mega-Guide]

Safari gets a number of new features in iOS 6, which could persuade you to ditch third-party browsers like Google Chrome — especially if you’re an iCloud user.

iCloud tabs

One of my favorite is iCloud tabs, which syncs all the tabs you have open in Safari between your Mac and iOS devices. Open a URL on your Mac, and as long as you’re iPhone is connected to the same iCloud account, you’ll quickly be able to open the same URL there, too. Just tap the iCloud button that sits alongside the address bar to see all the tabs you have open.

Offline Reading List

Reading List is great, but in iOS 5, it wasn’t too handy if you didn’t have a data connection. In iOS 6, however, you can enjoy an offline Reading List, with full web pages — not just links — that you can enjoy wherever you are. So even when you’re 30,000 feet up in the air with no Wi-Fi connection, you can catch up on all those articles you’ve been meaning to read.

Fullscreen view

Safari now offers fullscreen view in landscape mode, which hides the address and navigation bars so that all you see is your web page.

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  • ddevito

    You need a revised article entitled “Every Single Feature that is new and NOT STOLEN from Android mega guide”

  • mikeloughran

    Will email addresses be changing from .me to .icloud? I saw this addressed by Apple a few months ago with one of the developer previews, but I haven’t heard anything on this since.

  • assyrianpride

    finally, somebody says when ios 6 is coming out.

  • mikeloughran

    Will email addresses be changing from .me to .icloud? I saw this addressed by Apple a few months ago with one of the developer previews, but I haven’t heard anything on this since.

    Never mind. I didn’t read the second page, which states that users will have the option to switch to @icloud for email

  • BTrumps

    Wi-Fi Plus Cellular was removed from the GM.

  • nourmoubayed

    in the “Retina shutdown spinner” section, you mean iPhone 4 instead of iPhone 4S

    Nice Article :)

  • raywongy

    What about the newly tweaked music player app?

  • dsburleson

    Retina shutdown pinwheel is fantastic. I’ve been bothered about it for years

  • jomo25

    Why does no one mention the new accessibility features? It potentially has the great side benefit of allowing one to let their toddler play games on their iOS devices without fear of sending random texts and emails!

  • perfectfaceforradio

    Any word on if Apple *finally* made Location Reminders, you know, *useful*?

    Can we select a reminder location *on a map*?
    Set a stretch of road (on a map) – Remind me to buy milk when going East on HWY 90? Remind me to buy cat food when going west on HWY 90?
    The ability to set our own geo-fence sizes?
    A pref to stop polling the GPS if we’re over an hour drive from the nearest location reminder location? (save some battery???)

    It’s been a year, I hope they spent at least a little time improving Reminders.

  • Gnosis Sophia

    Did u forget about the most important feature in my opinion? Or maybe, I got it wrong… “upload pictures or videos from safari”.

  • Alvern

    One feature you missed is setting a song from your library as an alarm.

  • bfizzzle

    SAFARI UPLOAD!

    how could you forget that?? long overdue feature.

  • chadman3000

    Will AirPlay mirroring be full-screen 16×9?

  • Mikael Hansen

    Why doesn’t anyone mention the big boost in batterylife?
    Is it just me? I’ve noticed about 20-40% lobger batterylife in iOS6 GM

  • Timothy Weaver

    Best new feature: Bluetooth toggle moved to front page of the Settings app.

  • zviivz

    Fantastic features but I still have one complain … Why can’t they change the weather icon to a dynamic one to reflect the local weather? It’s not always 73 degrees and sunny!

  • KarimRonaldo11

    what Heather said I can’t believe that anybody able to earn $7238 in four weeks on the internet. did you see this web page (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/9ZrL6

  • nthnm

    in the “Retina shutdown spinner” section, you mean iPhone 4 instead of iPhone 4S

    Nice Article :)

    I didn’t think the iPhone 4 had a retina screen…

  • ddevito

    how many of these were ripped off from Jelly Bean? Wholesale ripped off. :p

  • Marco Mazzola

    Why is there no junk mail filter still? I like VIP but I will still be seeing the myriad of crap emails in my inbox that my computer filters out because Mail has filters. How hard would it be to port that to iOS?

  • Eric Kuzma

    I thought there were over 200 new features

  • Eliijah Moss

    Should I update my iPad 3 to IOS 6 tomorrow, or is it better to do it on a pc? Please let me know anyone… I don’t want anything bad to happen to my iPad.

  • Jonathan Ober

    Finding draft emails is a pain if you have a lot of email accounts. Sometimes you forget which account you used to compost it, then you have to find the drafts folder for that account to locate it. But in iOS 6, there’s a quick and easy shortcut that takes you to every draft email you have — simply tap and hold the compose button until they appear.
    Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/191190/every-single-feature-that-is-new-in-ios-6-mega-guide/#sWrem03SPHPxhIVJ.99 — I hate when I am compost-ing a draft :P

  • technochick

    Should I update my iPad 3 to IOS 6 tomorrow, or is it better to do it on a pc? Please let me know anyone… I don’t want anything bad to happen to my iPad.

    doesnt matter how you do it, the risk of something going wrong is the same. be sure you have a back up of your stuff. and a clean sync. OS updates are a prime time for corrupted software data to bork your devices. i tend to use these major updates as a good time to wipe my stuff and set it up totally clean and new.

  • ddevito
    how many of these were ripped off from Jelly Bean? Wholesale ripped off. :p

    Ummmmmmm, none! That’s what google and samsuck do. I can give you a billion reasons why you’re wrong, again. I’m starting to pity you and your feeble little brain, trying to deal with the emotions of being a supporter of second rate stuff. Sadly For you, you won’t find any self esteem here champ. Get some help, please. You desperately need it.

    Okay, here’s the list:

    1. Maps – every amazing feature they tried to create in Maps is a direct rip-off of Google Maps. Sad thing is that iOS Maps sucks. They don’t have a tenth of the detailed data needed for this type of app. Epic fail here.

    2. Safari and Tab Syncing – gee, sounds a lot like what Chrome has. Rip-off in the worst way.

    3. Facebook integration – not only did the copy this, but they still won’t allow 3rd party data sharing. Pathetic. Sad really.

    4. Quick Reply – yup – another shameless ripoff – Android’s had this from day one.

    5. Facetime over cellular – yup Android’s had this forever. What’s sad is that with Google+ Hangouts you can chat with up to 9 people. Kudos Apple for making this useless now that it’s 2012. Cheers.

    6. Passbook – my personal iOS 6 fav – seriously what the hell can you do with this? This is so bad I might not consider this a ripoff but they TRIED ripping off Google wallet. No NFC either, total failure.

    7. Email “VIP” – yeah it’s called Priority Inbox in GMail and it’s been around for years.

    And my personal fav:

    Fragmentation – diff screen sizes, diff apps for diff devices (Siri, flyover turn-by-turn, etc not being available on all iOS devices. Yeah, sure sounds like the word the iFanboys toss around to Android fans. Amazing.

    have fun with your longer iPhone 4s. iPhone 4SS

  • ddevito

    Fantastic features but I still have one complain … Why can’t they change the weather icon to a dynamic one to reflect the local weather? It’s not always 73 degrees and sunny!

    easy – because Apple won’t create widgets. Widgets are useful and can give tons of data. I suspect they don’t do it because it will either:

    1. force them to change others to match

    and/or

    2. it wouldn’t be the true consistent zen-like experience you fanatics rave about.

  • Themetris

    Ah can’t wait!!!

  • dad2ways

    Why is the iPhone 3GS included in this update and the generation one iPad left out? All of the hardware in the iPhone 4 was introduced in that first generation iPad the only upgrade the iPhone 4 received was the Retina display. I know Apple may be trying to force the remaining original owners to finally purchase a new iPad, but come on, we all heard Tim Cook say they sold 70 million New iPads in the first 90 days of sales. How many more can they sale by trying to force me to make the purchase I already want to make but can’t afford. I never get to use my first gen iPad because my kids are always playing Minecraft on it. I have gone back to college and will be spending my student loan surplus money on a Retina display MacBook pro before I do third gen iPad. I love using an iPad, but the reality is I can’t type term papers anywhere near as fast as I can on a MacBook Pro and I can’t edit video from outside sources either. Sorry Tim spitefully cutting my original iPad out of the party isn’t going to force me to run out and buy a New iPad today. Would put me months behind my MacBook purchase.

  • dad2ways

    I am eagerly awaiting the release of iOS 6 today. But, what perplexes me is why my generation one iPad is left out of the party. Does Apple think that by doing so they will force me to finally purchase the third generation iPad I am already dying to buy because I don’t even know if my original iPad exists anymore. Ever since the release of Minecraft all three of my kids can’t seem to find enough reasons to use my iPad.

    I recently returned to college and had to purchase a Kindle fire, so that I could save money by purchasing digital versions of my textbooks and couldn’t quite afford to purchase a new iPad. My wife’s company purchased her a second generation iPad about six months before the release of the third generation iPads and when it is at home the kids use it too, so they can gang up on the hoards of creepers and other nasty things waiting to ruin your day in this build it yourself graphic universe that is a throwback to the days DOOM!.

    My wife and I both like the iPad screen for reading eBooks on, but its size is not conducive to the long reading sessions required for textbook reading demanded for college courses. Sitting for hours in a comfy chair holding my first generation iPad in its Otterbox Defendor case gets really tiresome to hold after about an hour and impossible when I have to do it for three or four hours at a time on a regular basis. The smaller and much lighter form factor of an eReader fits the bill much better. The only problem is my wife fell in love with the form factor too and began to compete with me for time on it because she loves to sit for hours on end and read. So, I bought a Google Nexus 7 and gave her the Kindle Fire putting the purchase of a third generation iPad or the new Retina Display MacBook Pro a little farther off into the future.

    But why should these decisions make my experiencing iOS 6 on an iPad something I have to wait for. The iPhone 3GS is getting the upgrade and my first generation iPad has more advanced hardware than it does. The iPhone 4 is getting it and my iPad introduced all of the technology, except for the Retina display, that it was rolled out with the following fall. So, why is Apple leaving my iPad out of the party? Is it a marketing ploy? Maybe, but I can’t see why. Tim Cook told us in the rollout event for the iPhone 5 that the third generation iPad has been so successful that we can officially declare the post-PC era has arrived. Apple sold over 70 million third generation iPads between April and June of this year.

    All of those first generation iPads are still working just fine and at quite usable speeds. Most original owners have already moved on to an iPad 2 or the New iPad. So, what could the most successful and most valuable company every on the planet’s ploy be for leaving the one product on the planet that may have launched the revolutionary shift in the way human beings relate to computing devices? You would think the device that got more non-computer users than ever to join the techno-interactive world the rest of have been living in en masse would be dragged along just out of a position of honor. If the 3GS that my 7 year old uses as highly capable iPod can join the IOS 6 party but my technically more advanced generation one iPad cannot there are some Apple execs that need to have the backs of the heads iSlapped and asked “What were you thinking?”

  • SamNasri2

    what Anita explained I am shocked that you can get paid $7845 in a few weeks on the computer. did you see this webpage (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/U2TT9

  • dmin7b5

    For Passbook integration I found the following tutorial helpful…it worked for me!
    http://blog.jeff-owens.com/iphone/passbook/

  • Rey Manuel Calda

    RE Siri and email… Even with iOS6, and the new iPhone 5, Siri still won’t do email. We need true email inbox management that’s eyes-free and hands-free. There’s a smartphone app called Talkler —billed as “email for your ears.” It’s a free smartphone app that’s voice-controlled, and reads your emails aloud to you. There’s more info at Talkler.com

  • Rey Manuel Calda

    RE Siri and email… Even with iOS6, and the new iPhone 5, Siri still won’t do email. We need true email inbox management that’s eyes-free and hands-free. There’s a smartphone app called Talkler —billed as “email for your ears.” It’s a free smartphone app that’s voice-controlled, and reads your emails aloud to you. There’s more info at Talkler.com.

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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