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First off, please note: I’m using iOS 6 on an iPhone 4. There is no “S” on my phone, nor is there a magical number 5. Hence, I don’t have flyover. I don’t have Siri. I don’t have anything that makes me go “Wow!” Still, I’m supposed to have upwards of 200 new features, features that will enhance my use of the iPhone and make me a better person with a better phone. But, honestly people, since when does replacing a thick line on a built-in weather app to that of a wafer-thin hairline count as a “feature”? In my book, that’s a design choice.
Anyway, here are the Top 10 Features I have thus far found on iOS 6, with only 190 more to find:
1) The Apps app. It’s slicker. And prettier. And the store now allows you to download both new apps and updates right then and there, without it rudely tossing you out of the app, making you having to constantly return, like a humbled man begging for his wife/spouse/husband to take him back after one too many evenings out drinking/bowling/having sex with the guys. I haven’t gotten accustomed to all of the App app’s glorious changes so far, but the little tiny “What’s New” button in the updates tab is extremely hard to use. It’s a bit on the small side, as though it were outfitted exclusively for the tiny, delicate fingers of an infant.
2) The myriad options that arise, in dazzling, dramatic fashion, when you want to share a photo. Yes, most of those were there before, but now they’re icon-based! So, ooooh and ahhhh! No more boring old text! No more international incidents of “Was sagt dies hier? Oops.” Oh, and Facebook is now an option! As is the ability to assign to a contact or publish in a Photo Stream. I have not tried that Photo Stream option yet, as I’m a little unclear as to how it works. It is not as intuitive as it sounds. Do I have to create a new Photo Stream? I don’t want everyone looking at my entire Photo Stream! A little help here, Apple, how does this work?
Immediate update to the previous item: The answer lies in Settings under Photos and Camera. I should probably visit the Settings area more often.
3) The spiffy new phone keypad. At least I think it’s new. It looks new. Though I can’t quite remember. No, I’m quite certain — it is a new look for the keypad, right? Right?
4) The “Night” theme for iBooks, which turns the text to white and the background to black. It’s for those moments where you really want to induce some serious eye-strain. I am fairly certain Night was not there before. But then again, I never really futz with these options. So maybe it’s been there for years. If that’s the case, then this should not be included in the list of new features and you can forget you ever read it.
5) The ability to sort my Notifications by either “time arrived” or “manually.” This is a huge boon to my so called notified life, and worthy of the upgrade all on its own. I’d actually pay for this function. Huzzah to Apple for giving us exactly what it thinks we need before we even know we need it!
6) The phone’s “Do Not Disturb” option. I’ve set mine to run from Midnight to 11:59 p.m., turned on “Allow Calls From No One,” and flicked off the Repeated Calls option, which would allow a second call from the same person within three minutes to make its way through the DND thicket. I’m happy to report it works — my phone hasn’t rung since Wednesday.
7) Maps. All the bloody uproar over this! You’d think someone discovered the world was flat. Jeez, what’s to hate? They’re still maps! Maps! Good lord, people, get a grip! Plus, there’s always Google.
8) Safari. To be honest, I have never looked in the settings for Safari until this exact moment, so I have no idea what was there prior and what’s actually new. Some of it must be, however. Like this Web Inspector option that instructs the user to “connect to Safari on your computer using a cable and access your iPhone from the Develop menu.” Nothing like ease of use to keep me mollified. (Please note: I will not be returning to the Safari settings until the release of iOS 7.)
9) No more YouTube. To be honest, this is less a feature for users and more of a feature for Apple. It’s the little gift they gave themselves for adding 199 other features, such as artfully-placed hairlines.
10) Did I mention the spiffy new keypad. I think I may have. It is new, right? Right?
Read Rhuaridh Marr’s take on the iPhone 5 and Lumia 920 here.
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