Yesterday, Apple announced the latest version of it’s operating system for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch called iOS 6.0 . As is almost always the case, these announcements come with a lot of fanfare and a lot of new things we can do with our phones. Here are a few that we think will have a big impact on people who need custom app development:
This may not seem like a big deal, but this may be the most important update on iOS for mobile app development. Finally, you’ll be able to upload photos and videos through the browser. Why is this such a big deal? Other than GPS (which the browser has allowed for a while), photo or video uploads is something nearly every mobile web app needs to be able to do, and up until now, it couldn’t. Honestly, we’re kind of surprised that Apple added this feature. It takes away one of the largest objections for doing a mobile web app (as we mentioned in our recent post ) making native apps a little less important. But, hey, whatever! This is a great add!
For a long time, maps have been stagnant on iOS with very little development happening. That all changes with the new release. Apple has ditched Google Maps in exchange for their own mapping system. Certainly there’s a lot of pretty stuff they’ve added, but functionally, the best stuff is audible turn-by-turn navigation, clear road names, and real time traffic including alternate routes (partially created by anonymous data from other users). That’s pretty cool for consumers. Hopefully, they’ll add a few new features for developers too such as customizable information bubbles and easy to display routing (which looks like they have).
The biggest addition to the last update was Siri, the voice control for the device. It looks like they’ve upgraded it quite a bit with extended content, languages, countries, and even brought it to the iPad. That’s all good, but not terribly exciting. Probably the best new addition is the ability to open an app by voice. That will be pretty handy. However, best we can tell, they haven’t opened up Siri for developers. It would be great if developers could use it inside an app for navigation and controls. Alas, it seems it will be yet another release before they open it up, if then. 🙁
So, it looks like Apple & Facebook finally buried the hatchet, and the integration looks pretty deep. One login can allow all configured apps to talk to Facebook. That really simplifies the process for developers and for users making a much cleaner experience. Camera, Photos, and Map integrations will be great to see. With the iPhone becoming the hottest handheld game platform and Facebook having one of the biggest collections of social games, the integration of Game Center and Facebook are likely to be huge as soon as developers make the tweaks. You can even use Siri to make a Facebook post. When Twitter was integrated in the last release, the number of tweets skyrocketed. It’s pretty safe to say the same will happen here. They’ve even integrated it into Calendar & Contacts which will be pretty helpful. In addition, we expect that the tools for developers will allow pretty deep integration of custom apps into Facebook. While this was possible in the past, these tools make it deeper, simpler, faster, and less expensive to complete the integration.
While there’s probably little impact on developers, the updates to phone are pretty cool. If you can’t answer a call, you can now respond with a text message or even remind yourself to call them back at a later time or when you leave where you are. Just as cool is the Do Not Disturb. Don’t want to get calls at night? In a meeting or at the movies and not want to be disturbed by calls or messages? Just turn on DND. You can even make exceptions for particular people or people who call back twice.
OK, this one was about time. Why did this take so long? Now, you can attach photos and videos from an e-mail directly. In the past, you could only send one photo or video at a time from the Photo app. Seriously don’t understand what took so long on this one.
There are many, many more features that we’ll be exploring in the upcoming weeks. Several of which are pretty exciting, so look forward to an exciting year of new features!