Sep 25, 2012

Lesser Known but Valuable iOS 6 Features

Newly Installed Apps with Banners 
It's been a little less than a week since iOS 6 was released and already much has been written about it's major features, such as Passbook, turn by turn navigation in the new Apple Maps, Facebook integration, and shared photo streams. But there are 200+ features, according to Apple. What are some of the less advertised, but still valuable ones?  Here are some that I found useful:

App Store

Now when you download a new app from the App Store or update an existing app, you don't get kicked out to the home screen. In fact, you can see the progress of your download in the App Store.

Once you've downloaded an app, you can even launch the app from within the App Store.

New apps that you download are shown on the home screen with a "New" banner over the upper right corner until you open them for the first time. If you download a lot of apps (for example when they go on sale for free), this is very handy, especially when you come back to an app a couple of days later and see that you haven't tried it out yet.


The new Apple Maps have received a lot of criticism in a short amount of time. However, there are a few features that are there that are pretty nice. Having turn-by-turn navigation is nice being built into the OS but requires an internet connection, so it's not as useful when you're out in the middle of nowhere with little or no cellular connection.

One feature that is kind of interesting and useful is the ability to point to look on the map in the direction you are looking in real life. To do this, tap the location button in the bottom corner of the map to find yourself on the map. Tap it again to turn on this feature. The map will turn as you turn your phone so that "up" on the map is in the direction you are looking.

You can also rotate the map by hand by turning it with two fingers, something you couldn't do with Google Maps.

With either technique of turning the map, a compass will appear in the upper right corner. Just tap it when you want "up" to be north again. The compass disappears once "up" is north.

Quick Twitter or Facebook Posts

If you've turned on Twitter and/or Facebook integration--Twitter integration having come with iOS 5--you can tweet or post to Facebook quickly from the status screen. (The status screen is the screen that appears when you drag your finger down from the top of the screen from anywhere.) This is handy if you need to post something quickly and don't want to fumble around for your Twitter or Facebook app.

There are many more features that are included, some of which I may write about later. What are your favorite of the new iOS 6 features?

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