Now that Apple has unveiled its latest offering, iPhone 5, we have a look at several exciting new features introduced in iOS 6, and whether they will be useful in India once the iPhone 5 has been launched over here
BANGALORE, INDIA: As expected, Apple launched its latest entry in its flagship iPhone series on September 12, 2012 at a planned media event in San Francisco, California. Most of the rumor mills were spot on about the features of the iPhone 5, including the 4 inch, 1136 x 640 resolution. We have a look at several new features of the iOS 6, and why Indian Apple Fans may need to temper their expectations of the effectiveness of these features in India:
1) Siri Gets A Makeover
The iOS 6 Siri understands a wider variety of questions as shown during the Apple demo, partnering with Yelp! and Rotten Tomatoes to provide information about local places and movie ratings, respectively. It can also pull up news about your sports teams, and has integration with Facebook and Twitter, so it can post a status to your social networks through voice only. However, it is highly probable that many of these new Siri features may not work in India. For starters, there is no Yelp coverage in India, and so Siri will not be able to give recommendations for restaurants in India. Also, from the demo, Siri is able to recognize American sport teams, but it is highly unlikely it will recognize local teams or sports like cricket. Nevertheless, the Siri AI has improved significantly and hence it should be able to offer better interpretation of voice queries.
2) Apple Maps
Apple has now ditched Google Maps in favor of their own in-house built Apple Maps. However, support in India for Maps will be limited as Apple servers only have a limited amount of map information in India. And about that new 3D ''flyover'' view that you might have been so excited about? Yup, you guessed it, it won’t be available in India right now. Another one of the most touted features in Maps is the turn-by-turn navigation, which was until now exclusive to Google Maps in Androids. While this would be functional in the US, Apple Maps may not provide even directions or traffic information in India. It is unclear if all of these features would be available by launch in India, but as of now, the Apple website clearly states that ''Some features may not be available in all countries or all areas''.
3) FaceTime Over 3G
One of the biggest complaints of users worldwide in the iPhone 4S, was that it was limited to making FaceTime calls over wireless. While jailbroken iPhones do have Cydia options to make FaceTime calls with 3G, users unwilling to jailbreak suffered. Luckily, Apple has heeded the feedback and enabled FaceTime over 3G.
4) Welcome to iOS, Facebook
While iOS had introduced Twitter integration in iOS 5, it was sorely lacking every person's social media addiction, Facebook. It was frustrating in iOS 5 to select a photo from camera roll, only to find out you couldn't share it onto Facebook! But in iOS 6, once you log into your Facebook account, you can share photos from camera roll, share websites from Safari as well as ''like'' apps, movies and music from iTunes with just a click. This feature has been waited on for a long time, so it is a welcome addition to iOS.
5) Safari Gets Upgrade
Ever got tired of those top and bottom bars in your Safari browser? Well, with iOS 6 Safari gives you the option to go full-screen in landscape mode. Safari will also having a ''reading list'' feature, that saves websites you pick for offline browsing later. Also, iCloud will has a new feature called ''iCloud tabs'', that will save the state of your opened tabs and open it exactly where you left off on any other iCloud-enabled device.
iOS 6 introduces the new Passbook, where you can store your vouchers, boarding passes, sports tickets and so on. Using Passbook, Apple intends to create a digital commerce platform for iOS devices which can then be scanned to board a flight, watch a movie or redeem prizes and rewards at outlets. Passbook will work contextually depending on your location. For example, if you enter an airport for a flight, it will automatically detect your location using GPS and pull up your e-boarding pass. While this will be hunky-dory for users in the USA, this feature may be pointless in India as Apple needs to partner with airlines/restaurants/cinemas to use this facility in the first place. Unless Apple makes an effort to further internationalize this feature and partner up with retailers in India, it is unlikely it can make a huge impact here.
(This article first appeared in PCQuest)