Improvements for FaceTime, Phone, Mail, Safari, and Accessibilty in tow for iOS 6


Posted by: Brett

With iOS 6, FaceTime has been improved, the Phone gets some great new options, Mail gains a VIP inbox, the Safari browsing experience goes full screen, and Accessibility is being vastly improved.

First is FaceTime. In iOS 4 and iOS 5, FaceTime requires a WiFi connection to use it. If you don’t have a WiFi connection, it will not connect and you’ll be told you or the other person needs a connection. Finally, in iOS 6, you can FaceTime over a cellular connection, so if you’re at a place without a WiFi connection, you can FaceTime.

The Phone app has also been enhanced. In addition to a new, lighter interface, you have more options when you receive a call. When you get a call, you get an interface similar to the lock screen with a slide to answer slider and then next to it is another slider which you slide up with, like with the camera. Slide up and you get an answer and decline button, in addition to a Reply with Message button and a Remind Me Later button. Reply with Message declines the call and then let’s you choose a message to send to that person. Remind Me Later will decline the call and let you set up a reminder to call the person back; you can also add a location to the reminder do you can be reminded when you leave or arrive at a place.

Do Not Disturb is also a new feature which is located as a toggle in the Settings app. Enabling it puts a moon icon in your status bar and silences all alerts and calls. You can also schedule times of the day that you want the option to be enabled and then disabled. In addition, you can choose to have calls and alerts from certain people to still come in as they normally would, even when Do Not Disturb is enabled.

Mail has taken some cues from Mountain Lion in iOS 6. Finally, you can add photos and videos to an email without have to do it from the Photos app – you can add a picture or video while composing an email. This was a huge frustration for most users because you would have to add a picture or video to an email before composing it by choosing them in the Photos app.

The other Mail app feature is VIP. VIP mail lets you set certain contacts as VIP and when they send an email to you, their emails are starred and put into the VIP inbox. You’ll never miss an important message.

Next is Safari. Now in Safari, there is a feature called iCloud Tabs which allows you to view a web page on one device and them move to another iOS device or Mountain Lion computer and pick up where you left off on that webpage. Safari will also have a button on the iPhone and iPod touch so you can go full screen when you turn your device landscape. The Reading List has been changed too. In iOS 5, the list only saved link kind of like a bookmark. In iOS 6, it saves the entire web page for offline viewing. If you’re familiar with the application called Instapaper, the Reading List now functions the same way. Also, if a website lets you upload images to it, you can choose photos from your camera roll.

Finally, there are new accessibility features. A feature called Guided Access lets you disable touch input or the home button to keep users with disabilities on task and focused. Apple is also working with manufacturers to create Made for iPhone hearing aids.