With every new OS it releases, Apple manages to make some previously essential third-part apps obsolete. And iOS6 is no exception. In fact, the new iOS might even hold a record for the number of apps that it has rendered useless. Let’s take a look.
Safari added Reading List a while back, and everybody said that it would kill Instapaper. But nobody used it. Why? Because you need to be online to read your saved articles, whereas Instapaper saves them for offline reading.
Now, Reading List has offline syncing, which means that you can save an article on your Mac and have it ready on your iPhone next time you ride the subway.
You or I probably won’t give up on Instapaper, but I sure won’t bother to tell my Mom about it. We live in different countries, so it’ll be a lot easier to just let her use the simple built-in option.
Handoff is an app and service which lets you hand off web pages from your desktop to any other registered device. A push notification is sent, you tap it and the page opens in the Handoff app, and from there you can choose to open it in Safari.
I use it quite a lot, but now that iOS6 and Mountain Lion use iCloud Tabs, I will be retiring the app and the extension. ICloud Tabs lets you browse the open tabs on your other devices right from Safari. It’s easy and it’s automatic.
BoxCar is a super-useful notification app, kind of like Growl for iOS, and I use it for one thing — to alert me when any one of a small group of friends and family sends me an email. But now that iOS Mail can send me a custom alert for anyone in the new VIP list, I don’t need it. Better still, VIP alerts happen on the device itself, whereas I have to forward my Gmail to BoxCar for it to work — I have no reason to doubt BoxCar’s integrity, but it still makes me nervous.
Of course, BoxCar it isn’t really in any danger of going away as it offers alerts for so many other things, but with FaceBook and Twitter integration in iOS, that list is getting ever shorter.
Any Alarm App
I have bought countless clock and alarm apps for the iPad, and now I’ll probably dump them all, as the new Clocks app does everything that they do, plus one thing they can’t. Third-party apps can only play a song as an alarm if the app is in the foreground. If it’s in the background the best it can do is a beeping alert.
Clocks doesn’t have this limitation, so you can set it and forget it, fall asleep and then — eight hours later — wake up to your favorite tunes.
Now that FaceTime calls can be made over cellular networks, Skype is pretty much redundant for me. And good riddance, because I hate the stupid thing. Skype’s big advantage is its huge installed user base. Every member of my family uses it and so do all of my friends. But BlackBerry’s also used to be super-popular, and so did MySpace.
Hopefully this will be the beginning of the end.
Flight Tracking Apps
Passbook takes a swipe at so many different kinds of app that it’s hard to begin, but it’s the flight-tracking apps like FlightTrack and TripIt that will get hit the hardest.
These apps allow you to forward a confirmation e-mail for your upcoming flights and it will be parsed and sent to the iOS app, and displayed with lots of relevant information.
But who will use that when Passbook can hold your boarding passes, update them with the gate number and even warn you — via location services — when you’re in the wrong terminal. Nobody, that’s who.
The headline Google-baiting feature is the amazing new Maps app, but it goes deeper than that. With the updates to Siri, you pretty much never need to search Google at all. And even if Siri queries Google behind the scenes, you’ll never see an ad unless you actually visit Google.com in a browser.
Add to this the great new mail app which now lets you attach photos properly and designate VIPS and Gmail looks a lot less attractive too.
Not convinced? What about the new phone features which let you manage your phone calls in a much more powerful manner? Google Voice anyone?