iOS 6 unveiled tonight at 6pm

19th September 2012

UK iPhone users can get their hands on the latest operating system from Apple at 6pm tonight.

Version 6 of iOS is available to download and includes lots more features for users to get their hands on, below is a list of features you will find with the new operating system.

Facebook integration
The real talking point of iOS 5 was the way it started to integrate social networks. Many wondered why there were no Facebook-friendly functions. Now with iOS 6 there are – and lots of them.

Sign in via settings and you are good to go. Just as with Twitter, you can do things such as post straight to Facebook from within Safari and post direct from the notification centre too making replies much more straight forward. Maps also integrates directly with Facebook, letting you send your location to the social network, although we aren’t sure yet if that includes Check In.

Another important change is that Facebook is now integrated with the App Store. This means you can take a look at what sort of applications your friends are downloading and grab them yourself. We imagine this is going to lead to all sort of viral app downloads very quickly. Facebook now also syncs with your contacts, meaning no more need to download dodgy FB sync apps.

The Phone app
As unexciting as it is, Apple has also re-designed the phone app with iOS 6. One of the longest-running functions in iOS, it was getting fairly tired compared to much of the competition. Now incoming calls can be dodged with an auto reply message via one swipe, an there’s a swipe up to get a reminder about it later.

Smart reminders do things like tell you to carry out a phone-related action when leaving a location. Say you miss someone’s call, you can tell your handset to tell you to ring them when you leave home.

iCloud Tabs
Think of it like Chrome on mobile and desktop. Look at somehting in Safari on a computer and then transfer it to your mobile via iCloud. See it first as a tab, then woosh it over where you need it. So, much the way Chrome to phone works for Android, Apple now has iCloud Tab.

Do Not Disturb
A OS X Mountain Lion style “do not disturb” button will stop things like notifications lighting up the screen or making noises in the middle of the night. It is also possible to screen calls so people can be avoided. If someone keeps on calling however, you can tell the phone app to notify you.

FaceTime
FaceTime has also finally been enabled over 3G as well as, of course, 4G, liberating it from the clutches of Wi-Fi and making it a genuinely useful feature on both iPad and iPhone.

Passbook
A new app in iOS 6, Passbook is basically a mobile equivalent to OS X’s keychain, except with many more useful functions. Think of it like the British Airways check in app – a means to store all your tickets and QR codes in one place.

It is notification based, so if you go near to something such as a Starbucks, you will get a swipeable notification with details on what you have stored on your phone relating to the shop. We don’t have a complete list of who is involved yet but we imagine there’s plenty to play with. Seems Passbook is iWallet in its final form perhaps.

Maps
This is quite easily the most significant change added with iOS 6. Apple has totally redesigned the Maps app from the ground up, making it far more competitive with what Android has to offer in Google Maps.

The first big talking point is something called Flyover. This is basically photo realistic 3D views for the maps application, making for the most detailed possible street view style mapping experience. It all uses vector graphics, so looks lovely and smooth. Take two fingers, pivot and change the angle; much the same as with Google Maps.

On top of this there is now proper turn-by-turn navigation direction. Maps is a lot more detailed, with information cards listed on local businesses. Apple has also put together a traffic service, which we imagine has the likes of TomTom fairly worried. At the moment it’s fairly bare bones with red bars showing areas of congestion, but still integrated traffic info can’t be bad.

Lots more features have been amended including reminders, Safari tabs, not to mention better Siri integration.

Let us know what you think to the latest update.