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iOS 6: What you need to know

Macworld Staff | June 14, 2012
It’s been a busy start to Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference: Not only was Monday’s keynote jam-packed with information, but the company continued to release products and programs throughout the day—enough to make anyone’s head reel a bit.

What’s new with the Phone app?

When you get a call that you can’t take, you can quickly tap a button to send a prewritten iMessage to your contact or add a reminder to call them later.

Nothing left to map

What does Apple’s new Maps have?

Let’s start with what it doesn’t have—any connection with Google. Apple has gone its separate ways from its one-time partner—and current, Android-making rival—with a revamped Maps offering that it built in-house.

The new Maps app offers all new maps, with custom cartography from Apple. Maps includes built-in, Yelp-integrated local search, with more than 100 million business listings. It integrates traffic details, with the ability to tap in to see descriptions of individual traffic incidents. And the hallmark new feature is probably turn-by-turn directions, which work in tandem with Siri, guiding you towards your destination. You can get re-routed around traffic and also ask for points of interest (like gas stations) along the way.

Also new is Flyover, a 3D model Apple has built by flying over major metropolitan areas with planes and helicopters. The maps are vector-based, so zooming in and out is quick and painless. Tap on a specific building to get an information card with more details from Yelp.

It says certain cities aren’t covered! Does that mean I can’t get directions?

Nope. This caveat only applies to the flyover view, as Apple has yet to map every city. Your regular direction-getting experience should not be affected, however.

Is Apple Maps lacking anything Google Maps has?

There’s no Street View, per se; instead, Apple is using a combination of Flyover and satellite imagery. Additionally, Apple is doing something a little different when it comes to public transit: Instead of storing its own data, Maps will integrate third-party app information, ensuring that you tap into the best database for your queries. Finally, it doesn’t look like the iPad’s terrain view has made it into Apple Maps.

So are Find My Friends and Find My iPhone getting updates, too?

They are. Find My Friends will soon feature location-based alerts, notifying you when your friends arrive or leave a location. Find My iPhone, meanwhile, gets a new Lost mode; while in it, your device will map where it’s been and you can send a message with a contact number for the finder to dial.

Mail and the Web

What Mountain Lion Mail features are coming to iOS 6?

Look for two new organization options, VIPs and Flagged messages. Users have been able to flag messages in the past, but now you can see all those messages in a folder; VIP messages are also organized into a smart folder, and you can receive different notifications about messages from those people as opposed to your other mailboxes.

 

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