What to expect with Apple’s iOS 6 announcement today at WWDC
With less than six hours left for WWDC to kick off, it is time for our last minute predictions. While we have more or less seen that OS X Mountain Lion has to offer, it iOS 6 that has been shrouded in mystery. There have been many speculations about what new additions Apple could bring to iOS in recent months and then there are some features in our own wishlist. Let’s take a look and what will and what can be incorporated in iOS 6.
One of the most talked about new feature is Apple’s own maps. Apple is expected to ditch Google Maps for its own in-house offering, built on the technology acquired by buying C3 Technologies. We have had a look at the 3D maps Apple could bring to iOS and it looks like Apple would finally boot Google out of its default maps client position. Another pointer could be Google’s press conference from last week, which eventually turned out to be nothing but a recap of Google Maps history and better 3D maps are on their way – nothing that couldn’t have waited till Google I/O that is scheduled to happen later this month.
The next big feature would be deeper Facebook integration. Apple tried it out with Twitter on iOS 5 last year and probably it is time to take it a little forward. With Facebook, the integration will run even deeper than Twitter and will be used to not only share links and photographs but probably even check-ins, liking pages and even authorizing other apps for login credentials. And now with Facebook App Center in place, it would look really ridiculous to not have deeper Facebook integration. Remember, Apple is always looking at ways to make things work frictionless and with Facebook it just seems like the natural thing to do.
There has also been talk about Apple bringing Siri to the next iPad but we are neither confident nor really looking forward to see this feature. Siri is still in beta and there is no real reason for Apple to introduce a work-in-progress feature on new hardware. Why give more users a chance to crib when Siri does not work properly or recommends Nokia Lumia as the best smartphones?
However, releasing APIs for developers to incorporate Siri in their apps makes more sense. It would allow users to do much more with Siri – giving it access to more apps than just those defined by Apple. This is one of the things we also mentioned in our Galaxy S III review while comparing Siri with S-Voice. With iOS 6 beta out today, developers and Apple will get enough time till the launch of the next iPhone to test how Siri works with other apps. Apple could eventually take a call on whether to let it go in the final iOS 6 or not at that time depending on how apps are working. The biggest challenge, however, would be to make Siri choose between apps when there are multiple apps that can do the same thing. Our prediction is that Apple would open it up for selected developers for some apps only.
Then there is the tiny thing of whether Apple would go for a color scheme refresh by going for a silver UI rather than the current one. It could be possible, especially if one looks at the iPad UI but that is unlikely to bother many users. It is also expected that iCloud would go for a massive revamp with more features, especially those related to syncing between iOS and OS X, like open browser tabs. Considering Apple has already introduced iOS-like features on OS X like Launchpad and Notification Center, it is all but a matter of time between the two platforms talk across feature sets between themselves.
Well, this is all that we have at the moment. We are hearing that a queue has already encircled a block around Moscone Center and it will be just a matter of a few hours before we come to know what iOS 6 is all about. Sit tight and stay tuned.
Photo Credit: Gamenguide