Apple’s New iOS 6 – The Good And The Bad

Apple’s recently released iOS 6 for iPhone and iPad contains, just like with any new release, good and bad features. Here are some good and bad highlights.

The Good – Siri
Siri was first introduced in the previous mobile operating system developed by Apple, iOS5. Siri has had some great improvements made to her in iOS6, including the ability to open applications for you. We realize that using the touchscreen to open an application wasn’t really that much of a hassle – but if you have your hands full, now Siri can do it for you. For the sports nuts out there, Siri can also now tell you what the score is during your favorite game. Other updates to Siri include finding restaurants and setting up reservations.

The Good – Do Not Disturb
iOS 6 also features a totally new feature developed by Apple – the Do Not Disturb feature. If you turn on the Do Not Disturb feature, your phone will still take all of your incoming calls and text messages, but won’t actually let you know about them until the feature is turned off later. Essentially, the phone will be silent. For urgent messages you have the option to program the Do Not Disturb feature to still ring, beep, or vibrate if multiple calls come in a row from pre-selected numbers.

The Good (Once It Gets Adopted) – Passbook
Passbook support is a new feature that aims to have you leave your tickets and coupons at home and instead rely on your iPhone. Through Passbook, you can buy items such as movie tickets, and Passbook will save a barcode into your phone. Once you have the barcode, you can go to the movie theater, for example, and get your phone scanned there for admission – saving you from having to print (and not lose) tickets. Although the Passbook idea is great, it also heavily relies on merchants to adopt the technology – and there’s no indication when that will happen.

The Bad – The New Maps Application
One of the biggest changes in iOS6 is the Maps application. Apple’s previous mobile operating systems were based on Google. But iOS6 is using maps from TomTom instead in its own Apple Maps application. Ever since iOS6 was released, complaints have been flooding in about the new Maps application. Some of the complaints have been about problems with the Maps application that are actually fairly humorous, and are actually noted on a blog dedicated to the failures of the new application. For example, one well documented example is locating the city of Hong Kong on the new iPhone 5, where the city isn’t actually on Hong Kong Island. Perhaps the most amusing Maps failure is that the lack of search for any where in Japan.

Apple’s response to the complaints about Maps hasn’t really given iPhone users a lot of comfort. In part Apple’s response is that it’s a new application and are working the bugs out, people just need use it more, document the discrepancies, and the application will quickly improve. However many consumers have complained to Apple that they’ve had Maps applications that worked in the past, and don’t want to be going backwards in time. That Google had not provided Apple turn by turn directions probably forced Apple’s hands to find their own solution.