Monday, 4 June 2012

iOS 6: Facebook Integration, Do Not Disturb, & More

iOS 6: Facebook Integration, Do Not Disturb, & MoreApple’s WWDC 2012 keynote is just a week away now, and as it gets closer, more information is beginning to surface concerning just what iOS 6, which is expected to be unveiled at the conference, will look like. Last week we brought you news that iOS 6 would be getting Facebook integration to match iOS 5′s Twitter integration, and that all of Apple’s stock iOS apps would be getting major upgrades, including the iOS Maps app.

New information this morning provides a little more detail about what Facebook integration in iOS 6 will look like, along with a few other features that will be coming to both iOS 6 and OS X Mountain Lion, which is due out later this summer and will also likely be a major focus of the WWDC keynote. Citing “sources familiar with” the iOS 6′s Facebook integration, 9to5Mac is reporting that the integration will, like Twitter’s be OS-wide, requiring the user to sign into their Facebook account from the Settings app. The most notable use of Facebook will, obviously, be in the Photos app, where you will have the option of posting your photos to Facebook, just as you can post them to Twitter now.

Another key feature that will be added for both Twitter and Facebook is app sharing. You can currently share an app via Twitter or Facebook from the app’s page in iTunes, but sharing via the App Store app is limited to email. According to the source, Apple will be adding a Facebook Like button to each app’s page, allowing users to “like” the apps they buy. These likes, of course, will be published to the user’s timeline.

In addition to Facebook integration, it looks like iOS 6 will also be getting enhancements for some of its basic features. As you may know, OS X Mountain Lion is set to continue the “back to the Mac” trend begun with OS X Lion last year. iOS features like Notification Center, Twitter integration, and iMessages are being incorporated into OS X. In the process they’re getting a few enhancements, including a “Do Not Disturb” feature on the OS X notification center, mail VIPs, and iCloud Tabs.

The Do Not Disturb feature allows you to temporarily mute push notifications. If you’ve ever been startled by a Words With Friends notification just as you were falling asleep, you’ll definitely appreciate this feature. Mail VIPs is pretty much what it sounds like: you select certain contacts to designate as VIPs. This puts a star beside their name in the Mail app, allowing you to more easily find mail from your most important contacts. The iCloud Tabs feature allows you to view all the open tabs across all your iOS devices from the Safari browser on any device. So, for example, if you’ve got a page open on your iPhone Safari that you’d like to open on your Mac, then you just click the iCloud Tabs button and select it from the list.

All in all, it looks like iOS 6 is going to be a feature-packed update, despite the fact that it (reportedly) won’t really look any different from iOS 5. As the WWDC keynote approaches, more information is bound to surface. Check back regularly for more news.

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