It won’t be a huge surprise to those in the mobile industry that Apple has just announced iOS 6 at WWDC.
As the tag line “It will take your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch in entirely new directions” suggests, by far the biggest feature with iOS 6 is Maps. Apple has ditched Google for it’s own 3D based maps.
I always thought having Google as a partner and a hard competitor (with Android) was a bit of a thorn in Apple’s side. Now they seem to have removed that issue entirely.
Talking of thorny issues. The relationship between Apple and Facebook was always a bit shaky, with the notable absence of any Facebook integration in iOS 5 (but lots on Twitter). In iOS 6 this is another big feature that has been added – “deep” (as they call it) Facebook integration.
It looks really good, not only providing the obvious “Post to Facebook” features for links, photos, etc, but more significantly in my opinion, is the integration of Facebook into the App Store itself. So you can Like apps or games directly from the App Store. This is great and shows Apple are trying to improve the App Store discover and share-ability.
App Store re-design
One thing only very briefly mentioned during the conference, is a re-design of the App Store, iTunes and iBooks Store. I managed to find a few pics on cultofmac.com which shows the re-design.
It will be interesting to see if the re-design helps with general app discovery, especially with the Facebook integration and how it makes it really easy to share apps.
Another great new feature is the ability to install apps without exiting to the home screen. I wonder if it will be possible to sell your own apps inside another, with all the user having todo is click “Buy” or “Download”. That would be fantastic and would really open up cross app selling opportunities, especially if the user is eager to find more of your apps or games because they like the one they are currently playing.