So it’s that time of year when Apple pulls out the big guns — or at least allows devoted addicts to dig their teeth into the latest it has to offer. This time around, the beta version of iOS 6 is getting much attention, even if not quite as much as the iPhone 5.
New iPhone or not, iOS 6 has been generating both speculation and excitement for a while now. And as its release approaches, it’s worth looking in to see what it actually offers, and whether all the hype is justified.
Among the most-discussed functions, features and additives to the iOS mix are faster Bluetooth toggling, the Do Not Disturb feature, and more privacy controls. Does that mean that there are more ways to fend off spyware or cell phone trackers? We can’t be sure about that the full version is released. At this point, there are an estimated 200 new features that iOS users can look forward to. Here are some of the first ones hitting the review boards.
New Navigation Settings
First and most notably, Bluetooth is a stand-alone option under Wifi. While some may see this as an insignificant change, it’s actually more helpful than you might think. Instead of searching for the Bluetooth option under “General,” you get to it directly, which means you tap less and save battery more.
‘Do Not Disturb’
This is another standalone option. Ever since the BYOD revolution, Apple devices have become both work and play buddies — and have brought us more distractions at work and more chores for work, time off or not. As the boundaries between time on and off disappear, Do Not Disturb helps you mitigate some of the damage. You to specify when you are “off the clock,” and thus block notifications, apps and AI reports that you don’t want to be bothered with until you’re ready.
The Privacy display feature is OK, but not worth going gaga over. It allows you to directly monitor and view apps on your phone and what information they’re tapping into. So if an app is mysteriously accessing, for example, your location, contact list, calendars and reminders, you can shut it out. The previous Location Services settings in iOS have been wrapped into this.
An iPad Clock
iPad users get something special: a clock app. Why this wasn’t included in previous versions, I have no idea. Omitting was a fundamental — and honestly, a dumb — misstep on Apple’s part. But now iPad users have a clock of their own, with the usual alarm, stop watch and world clock.
Many iOS users are grumbling these changes aren’t particularly exciting. Where they expected things like multiple user logins, print to PDF capabilities or a clearer file system, they got rearranged settings and snippets of what anti-iPhone spyware apps offer anyway. But since this all comes from the Beta version, we can still hope for some serious changes — though given the timing of the launch, it seems unlikely.