I have compiled a list of features that I have found in iOS 6 that I did not know about. These are things that Apple has never mentioned and I love them.
- Notification Center now includes the end time of calendar events. Before, you could only see the start time and would have to open Calendars to see the end time.
- The Calendar section of Notification Center now includes the day of the week and date.
- In the old Notification Center, events with long locations were just cut off with an ellipsis. Now, Notification Center will display the entire location, even if it takes up multiple lines.
- Finally, after a year of waiting, the Reminders app displays a badge for overdue events.
- The iPad interface of Reminders got a significant improvement with a larger tap-friendlier calendar and a dedicated “Today” section.
- The iPhone also got a big UI change. Apple took away the cumbersome tappable calendar and in its place put a fluid horizontal scrolling day-selector.
- The auto-dim feature got significantly improved in iOS 6. The best improvement is brightness adjustment in the lock screen. Before, in a dark room, I would be blasted with the iPad or iPhone’s default brightness before sliding to unlock and having it dim down to match the room’s brightness. Now, from the moment the screen turns on, the brightness is appropriate.
- In all previous versions of iOS, the light sensor would sense the room’s brightness and then suddenly make the brightness adjustment. In iOS 6, the auto-brightness adjustment is gradual and much more subtle, like the Mac.
- iCloud allows you to create up to three aliases that all share the iCloud mailbox. Unfortunately, in iOS 5, you could not select an alias as the default address to send from. In iOS 6, you can.
- The keyboard shortcuts in the “Keyboard” section of the “General” settings panel is now kept in sync with iCloud. I am so happy Apple did this.
- In the “Brightness & Wallpaper” section of settings, the home screen thumbnail is live. It now shows app badges and download progress bars.
- On the iPad, Bookmarks, History, and Reading List are separated into different tabs inside the bookmarks drop-down.
- When Apple killed the system YouTube app, I was worried that I would be bound to YouTube’s terrible mobile site. Luckily, if you have Google’s official YouTube app, YouTube links from Safari and other apps will automatically open in it.
- In addition to updates, you no longer have to type in your Apple ID password for downloading previously installed apps.
- In iOS 5, whenever you installed a new app, App Store would quit to show you where the new app was installing. This no longer happens in iOS 6.
Noteworthy unpublicized features that I knew about:
- Any media that is acquired through iTunes now has its play position synced through iCloud. Start watching a movie on one device, pick it up later on another without having to sync with iTunes.
- Metallic sliders across the OS now have a subtle reflection effect that is created with the accelerometer. See a video here.
- You can now add a link to Safari Reading List from inside any application with a web-view.
Read my follow-up post about iOS 7 here.