Immediately after the iOS 6 operating system was announced, I posted some highlights from Apple’s page describing it. Having downloaded it today, I have a few initial observations to share.
Thus far, it hasn’t dramatically changed my life, but I haven’t really given it much of a chance. Still, I do have some advice to share.
There are a couple of features that I have tried out thus far. Let’s review:
- Facebook Integration — I very briefly checked out the process of sharing from Safari, and in general I like it. Now when you’re viewing a webpage, you can tap the “Do Something With This” button (I dunno the official term) and you’re presented with a visual choice of options, which includes Facebook.
- Somewhat tangibly related to iOS 6, you can now receive iMessages to your mobile phone number not only on your iPhone, but also on your iPad and Mac. This means you can continue conversations via iMessage on all your devices, regardless of whether people are messaging your email address or telephone number.
In both cases, what they fail to tell you is how to set this up in the first place. In Facebook, you have to actually log into the Facebook app first and put in your username and password, agree to stuff, etc. and then it will work in other apps going forward.
And in iMessage, you have to go into your iPhone’s settings, turn off iMessage functionality, and turn it back on again, and presto, your Mac will tell you that it’s now receiving messages at that telephone number as well. (This assumes that you’ve always had your Messages set to receive on both your email address and your telephone number on your iPhone — if not, do so now and you’ll be integrated.)
I also tried out the nifty new txt msg response to a phone call functionality… When a call comes in, you can not only answer it or send it to voicemail, you can also select a series of pre-typed txt msg responses such as “I can’t answer the phone right now, I’ll call you later” and such. These are configurable, too. It’s a nifty feature for when you’re in a setting in which you have to remain quiet and discrete, but want to respond to someone’s call so they don’t keep disturbing you.
And finally, there’s my big complaint thus far… the Maps function no longer pulls data from Google Maps, which means it’s lost its built-in public transit functionality. As someone who lives in New York City, this suuuuuucks. What it does now, when you select “Directions” and choose the public transit symbol, is pull up a list of third-party apps that perform a similar function. (More on the third party app options in another post soon.)
The Maps app doesn’t find locations as intuitively as it used to, so you may need to have the specific address available more often than you did previously. (When I tried to search for “One Time Warner Center” for example, it was clueless — I had to find it separately on my computer and then drop a pin in the approximately location myself.)
I still have a bunch of things in iOS 6 to try out — the Do Not Disturb function, Passbook, and vastly improved Siri among them. But I figure I will try these things when I have a viable reason to use them, not just for the sake of trying them. Isn’t that the point behind Apple’s product strategy: to make things simple and easy when you need them?
Thus far, the improvements in iOS 6 have been great as I’ve discovered them. Stay tuned for more.