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What to expect in iOS 6

Published Jun 5th, 2012 9:30AM EDT

Apple iOS 6

Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference is only six days away, and Apple is absolutely going to be announcing a new version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6. Apple’s post-PC computing platform is already powerful — its functionality is cherry-picked from OS X, after all — but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect by any means. Apple has big plans for its mobile OS in 2012, and here is my list features I believe iOS 6 is going to gain when it launches later this year (along with a few stretches):

  • BGR was the first to report that iOS 6 will include a substantial shift as far as the UI theme is concerned — from blue and blue stripes, to silver, much like the iPad. This is a cleaner look, fitting completely with Apple’s mantra of getting the hell out of the way and let the content and apps do the talking.
  • Apple will unveil a new Maps app with Apple mapping images and data — Google is gone — and a 3D mode for amazing 3D maps.
  • Automatic app updates! I believe this is finally coming in iOS 6. This new feature could include a requirement that the device is connected to Wi-Fi or plugged into a power source (or both).
  • An iCloud keychain that syncs with your iOS devices and your Mac computers.
  • iCloud tabs to let you open any tabs you have open on your desktop browser in the iOS browser.
  • Facebook integration at the OS-level, just like Twitter — post photos and videos to Facebook, possibly check in as well.
  • Location-based profiles/actions. This is a little bit of a stretch, but with Apple’s use of geofencing, I don’t think this is an impossibility. I would scream to have my phone customize different settings like ringers, Bluetooth and more based on my location. Apple may also add a notification silencing feature that is location and/or time-based.
  • Siri for iPad.
  • Expanded Siri functions, possibly including API access for third-party developers. This is a big challenge, but it should come sooner or later.
  • AirPlay: 1080p mirroring.
  • Live app icons. If Apple isn’t going to do widgets (though the company still may, at some point), a less resource-intensive way of showing updates on the home screen could come in the form of customizable icons or live app icons.
  • Inter-app communication — this would finally solve the issue of apps not being able to share data with each other. It would still be sandboxed, but would solve a bunch of headaches that make iOS in some ways still feel like a mobile OS, and not just an OS.
  • Unified omnibox in the browser for URL and search.
  • New multitouch gestures, possibly two finger swiping.
  • Improved multitasking interface and UI.
  • Widgets in notification center (another possible compromise between home screen widgets and nothing new on this front).
  • Improved email, maybe even multiple signatures, with a default for each account?

Let us know what you’d like to see in iOS 6 next week, though I have a feeling the notes above cover a lot of what we’re going to see with regard to iOS at WWDC.

P.S. The image above is a mockup of what I believe iOS 6 will look and feel like with the new color scheme.

Jonathan Geller Founder, President & Editor-in-chief

Jonathan Geller founded Boy Genius Report, now known as BGR, in 2006. It became the biggest mobile news destination in the world by the end of 2009, and BGR was acquired by leading digital media company PMC in April 2010.

Jonathan is President of the newly formed BGR Media, LLC., and Editor-in-chief of the BGR website.

What started as a side project at the age of 16, quickly transpired into 24-hour days and nights of sharing exclusive and breaking news about the mobile communications industry. BGR now reaches up to 100 million readers a month through the website, syndication partners, and additional channels.