iOS 6: What Kiwis need to know

ZARA BAXTER
Last updated 05:00 24/09/2012

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Here's what you you can get out of iOS 6's 200+ new features and, more importantly, what you can't get.

WHO CAN UPGRADE TO iOS 6?

If you have an iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, new iPad (iPad 3rd generation) or fourth generation iPod Touch, you can upgrade to iOS 6 on 19 September.

WHAT DO I NEED BEFORE INSTALLING?

Update your version of iTunes before you start to the latest version.

Back up your iDevice - you have to restore your apps as part of the upgrade, so ensure that everything is updated and backed up before you begin.

WHAT'S MISSING FROM iOS 6?

Apple will no longer include Maps or YouTube which have previously been provided by Google. Instead, Apple has its own Maps app, see below. Google has already released its new YouTube App onto the App store.

Also worth noting is that as New Zealanders, there's a bunch of the newest and most exciting features that we just won't get. Such as some of Siri's new capabilities.

WHAT'S NEW?

New in iOS 6 is the ability to use FaceTime over 3G as well as Wi-Fi. You can now send an SMS response or callback reminder if you decline a phonecall, or even set a do-not-disturb.

There's also a panorama mode for the camera in iPhone and iPod touch.

Mail is more streamlined in iOS 6. What does that mean? Well, apart from the fact that you can now swipe down your mailbox to refresh mail, it also has a VIP inbox. You can mark any mail with a star to make that a VIP email, and you can mark contacts as VIPs, so you'll never miss an email from that important someone again.

Safari now has iCloud tabs - if you have an iPhone and an iPad (or more than one of either), the web pages you have open will be synced across them. And you can save pages - not just the link - to read later.

Some apps have more detailed updates, which we've outlined below.

MAPS

The new Maps app is Apple-designed, as opposed to previous, Google-designed Maps versions. If you're heavily dependent on Google Maps, we'd suggest that you don't upgrade just yet.

The new Maps app allows tilt and rotate to view an area, and as with Google Maps, you can pan and zoom. Turn-by-turn navigation speaks directions to you as you drive or walk and shows you, with signs and arrows superimposed over the map, what turns to take, and how long it will be until you need to take those turns, even if your screen is locked. The real-time traffic information helps to estimate your time of arrival and suggests alternate routes if there are delays.

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We won't get a 3D view in navigation, however, or 3D flyover - this is only available in some parts of the world, and New Zealand is not on the list.

New Zealand also misses out on being able to ask Siri to give us Maps guidance - perhaps trying to parse "Siri, can I get the fastest route to Whakatane?" was just too hard.

Despite missing out on some of the more interesting aspects of the new app, we will get Local Search. If you search or add a pin to the map, you can tap the pin and you'll see a card full of information, such as the address, website, phone number and more. For New Zealand, it's not entirely clear how this will work, given that we get neither Siri's Local Search feature, nor business reviews or photos to go with the Maps Local Search, but we'll be testing it out at launch.

SIRI

Apple's speech recognition and intelligent assistance engine, Siri, will have major updates for many parts of the world, but unfortunately New Zealand misses out some of them.

One of the things that Apple touted at the iPhone 5 launch was that Siri now knows sports, but she doesn't know about the All Blacks, Phoenix, Magic, Warriors or Crusaders: we won't get Siri's sports scores or sports insight.

Similarly, Siri doesn't have a clue what Hell Pizza or BurgerFuel are, or whether they're any good - we miss out on restaurant information or reviews. We also miss out on the ability to reserve a table at a restaurant ...which is probably just as well if they just make Kiwi Siri scratch her head.

And while Siri will provide movie reviews and even play trailers, we won't get session times from her. However, for that there is the Flicks app.

However there is one highlight: Twitter and Facebook integration for Siri is enabled here.

DICTATION

iOS 6 now takes dictation - tap the microphone icon and then speak to have your words converted into text. This integrates with Facebook, Twitter, and other third party apps.

Sounds great, right? Before you get too excited, I should probably tell you that we don't get that feature. Dictation doesn't handle the New Zealand accent? Possibly. Australia gets dictation, though, so we're not sure why we're an exception.

FACEBOOK INTEGRATION

Apple has finally partnered with Facebook, integrating the social network with the rest of iOS. In practice, this means that you can now share from Camera or Photos straight to Facebook, or post your Game Center high score straight to your Timeline.

Facebook data about friends' birthdays and events will now sync with the Apple Calendar app.One other nice touch is that you can now 'like' anything on itunes or the iTunes store. Got a favourite piece of music? You can 'like' it, and ditto for podcasts and movies.

PHOTO SHARING

Sometimes you don't want to share photos with your entire Facebook or Twitter stream, but you also don't want to have to email them to every single member of your family or friends individually.iOS 6 now allows you to send to multiple people, which should save time for many of us. Note however that the shared photos go to iCloud or an iDevice photostream - if you send them to friends who don't have iDevices, they'll have to view them on the web.

-PC World

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