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Siri Gets Smarter and Maps Get Fancier in iOS 6 (Video)

Published on June 11, 2012
by John Paczkowski

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference has seen the debut of a new version of the company’s iOS mobile operating system for the past few years, and today’s event was no different. During Apple’s WWDC keynote today, Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS Software, uncrated iOS 6, the latest iteration of the operating system.

Among its tentpole features:

  • An updated version of Siri, Apple’s voice-controlled intelligent agent that can talk sports; provide more information about movies and restaurants, thanks to partnerships with Rotten Tomatoes, Yelp and restaurant reservation outfit Open Table; and, most importantly, launch apps. Finally, Apple is working with some car manufacturers to add “eyes-free” Siri to their vehicles. (See the Siri highlight video below.)
  • A new version of FaceTime that enables video chat over a cellular connection.
  • An updated version of Mobile Safari.
  • System-wide Facebook integration.
  • A new version of Photo Stream that enables the creation of shared photostreams.
  • An updated Mail app that allows users to designate contacts as VIPs.
  • Passbook: An app that manages movie tickets, boarding passes and gift cards.
  • Guided access: A feature designed to make iOS apps more accessible to kids with autism.
  • The new Apple-designed mapping application we reported on back in early May. It features improved maps, turn-by-turn navigation, crowdsourced traffic data, a lock-screen map view, Siri integration (“Where can I get gas?”) and Flyover — which provides maps with impressive 3-D views of buildings, etc.
  • Integration with Baidu and additional China support.

IOS 6 will ship this fall and support iPhone 3GS and iPad 2 and later.

Here’s Ina Fried with a quick look at some of Siri’s new features:

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