4 iOS 6 Features That Matter Most to Businesses
Although your current iOS might now seem like dead weight, there’s a lot to look forward to when the updated version is released this fall.
Apple’s new mobile operating system brings with it 200 new features, several of which are specifically targeted toward the professional crowd. Let’s take a look at the four iOS 6 features that will benefit businesses the most.
iPhone and iPad owners will soon be able to share photos, links, locations, and other activities with Facebook directly from native iOS applications. Similar to Apple’s Twitter integration, you’ll only have to sign in to Facebook once, making community management easier for anyone monitoring Pages while on the go.
You’ll never miss out on a networking opportunity as your friends’ profile information and Facebook Event details will be integrated into your Contacts and Calendar apps. And if anything changes, such as an address or a phone number, those details will automatically update.
The Like button has also been integrated into iTunes and the App Store so people can Like songs, movies, TV shows, and apps without leaving whatever app they’re in. Apple will also display a Like count so you can see how many people have Liked your app.
If the features aren’t enough to get you excited, Apple also revealed that Twitter has seen three-times growth increase in iOS users since integrating with iOS 5. While this might help to boost Facebook’s numbers, it also means more awareness for your brand, as well as a frictionless sharing experience for both you and your community.
Siri has received some major improvements, including a deeper integration with Yelp. The personal assistant will be able to offer diners relevant suggestions, including prices, ratings, and reviews — so make sure your Yelp business pages are up to date. It will also be able to make reservations for your customers through OpenTable.
Apple also announced that it’s working with select car manufacturers to integrate Siri into voice control systems. Through “Eyes Free” mode, you’ll be able to ask Siri questions, draft emails, and schedule meetings without having to take your eyes off the road.
And finally, Siri — which will only be available for the iPhone 4S and third generation iPad — now understands more languages, including French, German, Spanish, Italian, Mandarin, and Cantonese.
3. Call Controls and FaceTime
Despite your best effort to schedule the day, unexpected meetings and impromptu brainstorms with your team pop up. Apple has added new calling features to your iPhone so when you decline an incoming call, you can instantly reply with a text message or set a callback reminder.
If you choose to “Reply with Message,” you can choose from “I’ll call you later,” “I’m on my way,” “What’s up?,” or you can create a custom response. By selecting “Remind Me Later,” you can choose between a time or location-based alert.
For days when you’d rather not be bothered at all, you can turn on Do Not Disturb, which will prevent all incoming calls and notifications. This feature can be enabled manually, or you can schedule a recurring time. You can also create exceptions so calls from your team or spouse always go through.
FaceTime also received an update and will work over cellular networks as well as Wi-Fi. So you’ll never miss out on a video chat as long as you have your iPhone, iPad, or Mac nearby.
The company also announced a new standard app, Passbook, which will store movie tickets, boarding passes, coupons, and retail loyalty cards in one place.
If you travel for business you can scan your iPhone to check in for a flight. Once you arrive at the airport, your boarding pass will appear as a notification on your Lock screen. If your gate changes after you’ve checked in, Passbook will even alert you so you don’t get stuck waiting in the wrong terminal.
Another perk is that your customers will always have their coupons or loyalty cards handy when visiting your business. Additionally, people will be able to check the balance on cards as well as pay for items using their iPhone — for example, the Starbucks card.
While these four features stand out, there are several other reasons to be excited about iOS 6, such as updated Maps, shared photo streams, a better email experience, iCloud tabs in Safari, and more. iOS 6 will be available this fall for iPhone 3GS, 4, and 4S, as well as for the second and third generation iPad.