Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Refined iOS 6 highlighted by stunning Maps overhaul

Dan Moren | Sept. 20, 2012
Following on the heels of the massive update that was iOS 5, iOS 6 might seem like merely a modest update. But that doesn't make it insignificant by any means: A key app has received a substantial overhaul in this latest update, Apple has added an intriguing new--if yet unproven--built-in app, and the company has even, for the first time, removed a piece of software present since the iPhone's launch.

iPad users get another subtle improvement: Apple has significantly increased the number of tabs you can have open. Previously you could only have nine open; iOS 6 raises that to 24. At a certain point, when there isn't room enough for all the tabs, Safari adds a little ">>" menu which, like its counterpart on the Mac, gives you a pop-up list of all your other open tabs. iPhone users, however, are still limited to just eight open tabs.

Photo opportunity

Just as pretty much every iPhone update has improved the device's camera, iOS updates usually beef up the Photos and Camera apps. There are two major improvements in Photos in iOS 6: iCloud users can now make Photo Streams to share with others, and users of the iPhone 4S and 5 can now take panorama images.

Shared Photo Streams On the face of it, Shared Photo Streams are a cool idea: Say, you're on a trip and want people to see your photos as you take them. Sure, you could upload them to Twitter or Facebook, but wouldn't it be a lot easier if your friends got those pictures delivered right to their devices?

When you create a Photo Stream, your contacts will get an email and a push notification inviting them to join the Photo Stream; you'll get another notification when they join it. Once they've done so, they'll get a push notification each time you add an image (or images) to the stream. They can also add comments or Like a photo (for which you'll get a notification), plus share photos with all of Photos's normal options (Facebook, Twitter, Email, iMessage, etc.) or save it to their Camera Roll. (Note that in iOS 6, the Share button doesn't appear until you tap Edit while viewing an album or photo stream.)

The one thing they can't do, however, is add their own photos to the stream. That's a disappointment, because it means that if I go on a trip with my family or friends and we want to pool our photos, we each have to create our own Photo Streams that we share with everyone else. (Or do the ritualistic memory-card exchange dance at the end of the trip.) I hope that Apple looks into adding this feature in a future update, since it would greatly improve the experience of sharing photos.

When you subscribe to a Photo Stream, it shows up automatically on all of your iOS devices.

You might wonder what your contacts will do should they be among the iOS-less. No problem: As mentioned above you can also create a Web-based Photo Stream for them to view in their browser, although they cannot comment on or Like pictures posted there.


Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  Next Page 

Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.