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Hands on with iOS 6: Settings

Dan Frakes | Sept. 21, 2012
Many changes in iOS 6 are squirreled away in the Settings app--if, like most users, you don't delve into Settings, you'll miss some great new features. Here's a look at the changes to this important-but-overlooked app, organized in the order the sections appear on the Settings screen. (Though the screenshots here show an iPhone, I describe changes for all iOS devices.)

There's one other minor change in the Phone screen: The setting known in iOS 5 as International Assist, which automatically added the correct country prefix to international calls, is now known as Dial Assist. It performs the same function but can also add the correct local prefix.

Messages The main change to the Messages screen is that on the iPhone, the iOS 5 setting labeled Caller ID is now called Start New Conversations From, which better reflects what the setting actually does.

FaceTime On the iPhone, assuming FaceTime restrictions aren't enabled, a new option in this screen lets you choose whether FaceTime can use cellular data. As mentioned above, to allow FaceTime to use cellular data, you must have an eligible cellular plan--AT&T, for example, requires that you have one of the company's Mobile Share plan to use FaceTime over a cellular connection.

Safari There's a new Safari option to use cellular data for Reading List syncing, assuming you haven't restricted this option using the Restrictions feature. In addition, under Advanced you'll find the option to enable the new Web Inspector, which lets you connect your iOS device to your computer so that you can preview--on your computer--what a website will look like when actually viewed on the iOS device. On your Mac, this feature is accessed under the Develop menu of Safari; you can enable that menu in OS X Safari's Advanced Preferences.

Maps This item is new in iOS 6, as Apple has replaced Google's Maps app with an Apple-created version that provides turn-by-turn directions, among other new features. The settings here let you choose the navigation-voice volume, the unit of measure (miles or kilometers), and the size and language of map labels.

iTunes & App Stores This item replaces iOS 5's Store entry. As in iOS 5, there are options to automatically download to your device purchases of music, apps, and books made on other devices. In addition, you can now enable iTunes Match here (as well as in the Music screen of Settings). Gone are options for automatic download of Newsstand publications, which have been moved to a new Newsstand screen in Settings.

Music There are two minor changes to the Music screen. First, you can no longer lock the volume limit with a passcode here; you now lock this setting using the Restrictions options in Settings -> General (which makes more sense). Second, the EQ list includes a new option, Late Night, that tones down the bass so you won't disturb your neighbors when playing music through speakers.

Photos & Camera This item replaces iOS 5's Photos item. The only new option here is the capability to enable Shared Photo Streams (which is also available in Settings -> iCloud).


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