Apple’s next installment of its mobile operating system, iOS 6, will include a better version of the voice-assistant Siri that will work on the iPad, Facebook integration, and more, the company announced today at WWDC 2012. The OS will be released this fall on the iPhone 3GS and later, the iPad 2, and the latest iPad. Developers will get preview access starting today.
First up, Apple announced that the iOS 6 version of the Siri voice assistant would have 200 new features and include support for sports content and scores. “You can ask ‘What was the score of the last Giants game?’ or ‘What is Buster Posey’s batting average?'” Apple Senior VP Scott Forstall said on stage. Siri has also learned more about restaurants thanks to Yelp integration, and now has Open Table integration for getting a quick reservation. Siri will also be able to answer more questions about movies with Rotten Tomatoes added in, and it can show you movie trailers in the app.
Siri can also launch applications and will be available in many new languages like Cantonese, Korean, and Mandarin. The tool will also finally hit the iPad! (Although we’re not sure which iPad models it will work on or if it will only work on the newest iPad.)
Check out the shot below for other things Siri can do now:
Next up, iOS 6 will include Facebook integration, a much-welcome addition that will sit alongside the already-good Twitter integration. Facebook in iOS 6 will let users share photos, apps, and other content directly to your Facebook Timeline. Like Twitter, it can be integrated with the iOS Notification Center. Facebook events and birthdays will also be added to your calendar.
See some Facebook in iOS 6 examples below:
iOS 6 will now have a feature called Do Not Disturb. You can turn this on when you don’t want to be bothered by your phone (like when you sleep). With Do Not Disturb on, your phone will receive calls and messages, but it will not light up or vibrate. However, you can tweak this slightly by letting repeated phone calls come through. Do Not Disturb looks like this:
Apple has updated FaceTime in iOS 6 as well by finally allowing FaceTime calls over cellular networks. (Previously it only worked over Wi-Fi.) Apple will now unify your phone number and Apple ID, which will mean your phone number is called on FaceTime, you can answer it on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Check it out:
Next up, iOS 6 include a new helpful app called Passbook. This new tool will keep track of all your boarding passes, store gift cards, sports tickets, and movie tickets:
As expected, iOS 6 will replace Google Maps with its own Maps application. The new Maps app will include real-time traffic updates, incident reports from iOS users, turn-by-turn navigation (finally!), Yelp and Siri integration, and awesome-looking 3D views. Even with some of its cool-looking features, I’m not optimistic that it will be able to fill the void left by Google. Check out the 3D views below:
Overall, iOS 6 does not look to be a huge update, even with the new Maps application, a better version of Siri, and the cool-looking Passbook app. But like many things Apple does, it appears to be a sharp refinement that will make its offerings more appealing and deeply integrated.
Check out more WWDC photos below:
Photos: Heather Kelly/VentureBeat
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