What Features To Expect In iOS 6?

Typically, every major iOS release up till  now has focused on adding much demanded features lacking from the OS. Third party app support in the second major iteration, copy paste in the third, multitasking in the fourth, and (finally!) revamped notifications in the fifth (along with a slew of cloud based features).

So what will it be for iOS 6?

The most demanded and glaring feature omissions of (previous versions of) iOS seem to have been taken care of, although the implementation of some features like Notification Center is still a bit wonky. That said, there doesn’t seem to be any obvious feature omission, or as John Gruber calls it, “the low-hanging fruit,” as of the current iOS release. Think about it, the absence of copy paste was a big thing, so was multitasking and the other features mentioned earlier, is there any such feature missing from iOS right now?

Apple’s set out to target a big goal with iOS 6 — serving mapping data from its own servers instead of Google’s. But we’d argue that this isn’t as big as, say, multitasking or copy paste, even if its comes with the incredible 3D-mode, at least for the average user who already has a Maps app that works reasonably well. For Apple though, it might even be bigger than the glaring omissions we’ve listed earlier. To get to this position of serving maps from its own servers, Apple had to acquire three companies over a period of three years. This means that teams at Apple have been working on this for at least three years. Delivering to people’s expectations at such a large scale has to be something of the highest priority to the company. Users however would know how essential (or not) Apple’s mapping solution will be only after iOS 6 publicly releases.

Coming back to our discussion about features that users might feel the need for, Gruber lists out a few of them:

  • Clever inter-application communication. […]
  • Third-party Notification Center widgets. Like the Stocks and Weather ones from Apple — information at a glance, without launching an app.
  • Third-party Siri APIs. Let other apps provide features you can interact with through Siri.

There does exist inter app communication to a certain degree on iOS (example: opening a pdf file you’ve received as mail in iBooks or Good Reader), but it is in no way even close to that of Android or Windows Phone. In both these operating systems, apps can associate themselves with certain media types like images or video, and act as gateways to their own network. For example, you could upload a photo to Facebook, or a file to Dropbox from any app, without any explicit support for these networks, the OS does all the magic under the hood.

The framework for Notification Center widgets is already included in iOS 5, it’s just that Apple has to open that up to developers. Jailbreak tweaks have been using this framework since quite sometime now.

Although Gruber tries to label the points above as a wishlist, MG Siegler hears that work is indeed being done at Apple to open up Siri to third party developers:

As a quick aside, while there’s not much other iOS 6 information floating around out there right now, there have been whispers backing up Gruber’s assertion that Siri APIs are another possibility. There have also been whispers about Siri for iPad finally coming. Specifically, I’ve been led to believe it’s more of a UI issue than anything else. After all, Apple is using the technology for the Dictation functionality found on the new iPad. They’ve just been working on what Siri for iPad will look like, I’ve been led to believe.

Siegler also reports that iOS 6 is internally codenamed “Sundance” after the ski resort in Utah following its tradition of naming iOS builds after ski resorts.

Apple’s expanding the iCloud web interface to include data from Notes and Reminders, but apart from that there isn’t any concrete sign of an iOS 6 feature being known to people outside of the company.

From what we can see, Maps is going to be the highlight of the WWDC keynote, unless, of course, Apple has another surprise in store for us.

What are your predictions for iOS 6 features?

See also: Apple has started testing iOS 6.

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  • Wolverinemarky

    Themes for the OS. Sbsetttjngs and other jb tweaks need to be included as well as FB integration are some stuff that should be included in iOS 6.

    • Brandon

      Agreed with the facebook integration and specifically talking about SBSettings it would be nice to turn wifi on as efficiently as you can with SBSettings, having it in the pull down notification center and then just hitting the wifi button instead of having to enter setting, wifi, on/off switch.


        Sounds to me like you guys are asking for Ice Cream Sandwich. Am I missing something? How about widgets, customization and freedom?

        • shuhratm

          nuh bro, i’m using sbsettings since the day iphone came out. without sbsetting it is pain the a** to be doing basic stuff. had an android recently but sold because of obvious reasons. but one thing cool was that it had an aswesome FB integration. that was the best part of the whole android (imho)

          • shuhratm

            *i meant since I bought my 3gs.

  • Que

    Flash is a feature.

    • Flash is dead. Let go, move on


        85% of the most-visited web sites use Flash,
        75% of web video is viewed using the Flash Player
        Sorry I must be missing the Dead point?

      • URallSheep

        DEAD? only because Steve J brainwashed you into thinking that were so; IT IS NOT DEAD at least in the rest of the world.

  • Ken

    One big, glaring omission from iOS would be actual homescreen widgets ala Android. That really is information at a glance. Notification center is not at a glance as long as we have to pull it down to see it. I never use it for that reason.

    • Brandon

      True, but one thing I respect about the widgets being in Notification Center is that since weather (I removed stocks) relies on location services, the only time it triggers the location services is when you pull the NC down to look at weather in the first place. The problem I have with Android’s widgets is it is always pulling that information to stay up-to-date. If that is the case, then you can expect battery life to be worse on Android than it is on the iPhone. For me, I feel that that IS the case, as with my 4S I’m getting plenty of usage throughout the day with more to spare for the next day if I couldn’t charge right away. So, pulling down the notification center to glance at it vs. actually opening an app, or having a constant widget is preferred in those terms :/

      • hey

        but it could actually update only when ur in the home screen so when its locked or you are using the app it doesn’t update wich will not ruin your battery life since u know you stay for about 2 secs on the homescreen


      Android has options built into it. If you want your widgets to update every 3 seconds you can do that. If you want them to update every 19 hours, again you can do that. There is no battery drain.

      • But that’s the problem if we want to see the weather at anytime, we have wait for update at what time you inputed but in NC you just have to pull it down and it gets updated

      • Piyush

        But that’s the problem if we want to see the weather at anytime, we have wait for update at what time you inputed.

      • Jazz

        No battery drain ?? Are you kidding me ?? Get real dumbass !!

  • Mike

    I think one major thing that hasn been mentioned here is with apple’s new mapping feature it should allow Siri users outside of the united states to access lookups and directions as well as finding you a local place to eat or calling you the nearest cab company etc. it’s no surprise to me that you self centered Americans wrote this with only Americans in mind. I do appreciate your blogs and I don’t mean to insult but keep the rest of the world in mind when your explaining how iOS updates effect the population of iPhone/iPad/iPod users

    • genXhippie

      Good point imo. Pathetically, Siri location services is still null outside America, 7 months after release.

  • Frank

    Yes hurry apple catch up with android please


      l: Brandon Likes This

  • Cristov

    New maps better include free turn by turn directions!!

  • Have they upgraded the texting app to allow individual text tones for different people? And contact pics too? I’m still on iOS 4. Anyway, bieber they could make it more like Bite SMS the better. Would also like unlimited folder volume, unlimited dock and a moveable camera button.

    • pakaku

      Yes to text tones, no if you mean contact pics in the list of contacts.

  • Nik

    Live wallpapers like Android would be nice!
    Live Tiles like Windows would be good too
    UK business locate support for Siri
    The new predictive text suggestion feature for the BlackBerry10 software looks good, u just swype upwards to select the word that’s being predicted – apple should create a version of that too

  • Andre

    Would be nice to see something like lock info and themes introduced. Things like byte SMS would also be great. Why should we have to unlock our phones just to send a message or make a call.

  • City023

    How about an earlier release date for the next iPhone. Which won’t VE called iPhone 5! Cause it’s actually the 6th version of the iPhone.
    1 iPhone
    2 iPhone 3G
    3 iPhone 3GS
    4 iPhone 4
    5 iPhone 4s

    • City023


      • hey

        thank you plz tell people its iphone 6 not 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its killing me inside

        • Keith

          Maybe they will just call it ‘the new iPhone’.

  • 357m

    Better Sound Profile..like the black berry
    When you set a timer the screen shouldn’t go in timeout
    SMS should be more like BiteSMS
    Option to hide icons
    “Expert” options in setting so that there is no need to JB
    Phone option like blackberry to make calls while phone is locked.

  • Izz

    Apple wil steal alot of ideas from jailbreak tweaks and use them for IOS6

    Just like they did before

    • Jazz

      Thats because you idiots still asking for jailbreak tweaks for iOS … Apple is not stealing anything asshole !

      • iSheep says yes

        Apple steals everything. Notification center was a drop down menu in Froyo long before ios 5. Did you happen to read an article about 6 months ago where Apple tried to patent face unlock? That was in Android before then……shall i go on?

        • Jazz

          Hey dumbass…!!! Android y as bad copy pf iOS moron !! Andy Rubin ex-Apple employee stole iOS code on 2003 and and practically gave it to Google on 2005 to try to reproduce the iPhone’s touch interface because these assholes couldn’t make it. Everything on Android is based on iOS initial code !!

  • Skippy

    How about integrate cydia

    • pakaku

      Ruins the whole ‘walled-garden’ mantra Apple built their App Store upon

  • Jorge

    I would need something like lockinfo and quick reply in order for me to stop jailbreaking my phone….other wise my iPhone is not complete

  • Cursor keys on the keyboard, don’t know if it’s because of my fat fingers but editing text is still a nightmare even after all these years of IOS 🙁

    • Jazz

      Shut up fat ass !!

  • solferico

    Siri in spanish. Siri in iPad. Toggles in notification center. Mouse support (for iPad). iTunes library management including adding your mp3 files directly from the device (downloaded from email, web, cloud storage, etc), same reader function currently in safari for mail client, enhanced text prediction….

  • Iphone 6

  • Ken

    More supported video format. I dont want to convert my movies anymore.

  • Hayden

    Just make Siri better. Half the time I have to speak to Siri like I’m talking to a retarded 5 year old before she understands what I’m saying. Sometimes Siri doesn’t even function, even though I’m connected to 3G (although that could be because the signal is weak).

    Oh, and maybe some real phone features, like call filters for specific people in your contacts or for only people in your contacts. I dunno, the iPhone has always felt like an iPod touch with an added calling and text function.

  • Youngone305

    Some cool stuff from cydia

  • devol

    hey iphonehacks, the adds on the front page are going rouge again. please fix it. it sucks to have the add pop-up and take over the whole screen with out me wanting it to.

  • Alvin

    The answer is simple : whatever to expect frm any apple iOS update will be frm previous jb cydia tweaks. Apple will copy and use all useful tweaks for their future upgrade.

    • Not blind to the hype

      So true it’s sad

  • Chris

    i dont care i will be on line in the am at the store to buy the “next iphone” no matter what it has i do this every year. for me it is nice to get a new phone every year no matter what makes it new. i sell the old one on ebay and make a killing. it will be new and faster and drive my car. slice and dice, go to work for me, and wipe my ass but most of you and my self will be getting one in july/ october when ever the next iphone comes out. all you haters are welcome to hate makes me feel good that a 2 in by 4 in brick can make you go krazy and have to say mine is better then yours to that i say again i dont care.

  • Not blind to the hype

    Well I can tell u if there is not a serious upgrade with this next iphone I am looking at android and this new blackberry looks interesting and I know the apple robots are gonna tell me to go. I have come to realize that iOS has fallen behind but doesn’t know it just yet. Being a tech geek I keep up on a lot of this I have found if ur not much into the tech stuff you are better off with ios cause android does a lot more and is confusing to the people not used to dealing with it. And Mac computers are stable only because you can’t load any programs on them. Which is what causes all the windows problems. You put two programs on windows and there drivers don’t like each other and it crashes. Well if I choose to load them that’s my problem not microsofts. I may even look at windows phones when they get the new system up and running That’s right I’m hatin on daddy apple I bought the phone let me do what I want with it! Wake up people!!

  • Troytempest

    A common data storage area with direct access via USB and WI-FI, Then one by one update each application to access it until you have a system that is not ridiculous. Then finally apps can share data and grow up into a collection of useful tools not just toys.

  • 357m

    Give me the option to manually add and delete content from MY iphone, rather than control it from the one computer it was registered on.