The release of the new iPad shifted the spotlight to the impending launch of Apple's next-gen smartphone, the iPhone 5.
The new iPhone is expected to come with a number of revolutionary features, including Face Recognition, an enhanced Siri programme, improved multitasking and Facebook integration, courtesy of Apple's updated software - iOS6. According to Cult of Mac, the Cupertino tech giant's new iOS software is expected to launch at the World Wide Developers' Conference (WWDC) in early June.
However, there is no official word from Apple, regarding the iOS 6. We do know, though the Moscone Centre in San Francisco has been booked by Apple, for an undisclosed event, starting 11 June. We do also know that iOS 5 was launched at the same event and venue last year.
While we wait for official word about the iOS 6, check out some most-wanted features...
Recently filed patents suggest facial recognition software could be coming. However, this should be different from a feature in Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in that it will make use of complex algorithms to detect reference points and check for level of attentiveness before unlocking the device.
Revamped Home Screen:
The iOS 6 software could feature a revamped design with a fresh look. This would be a welcome change, given that the design has remained the same since the first version of the software.
The iOS platform deserves a makeover to make the interface more user-friendly and compact. Twitter integration is already onboard and Facebook integration will bring much joy to social networking by allowing people to share photos, tag friends and manage albums within the Photos app. In addition, integrating or syncing contacts and photos between multiple social platforms like Twitter and Facebook could bring respite from tediously annoying manual updating methods.
When Apple launched the iPhone 4S, one of the most interesting features was the voice-activated personal assistant known as Siri. Unfortunately, Siri was available only for iPhone 4S users and other users had to jailbreak their iOS devices to run Siri. Considering the popularity of the feature, we expect iOS 6 will feature more in-depth integration of Siri into the operating system, as well as being available on more devices.
The iOS 6 software is expected to bring a turn-by-turn voice assisted navigation system (with maps) that allows location-finding using the Global Positioning System (GPS) and directions for multiple routes.
Notification Centre Widgets:
We expect some functionality-related enhancements to the Notification Centre with the ability to offer a Notification Centre widget for every third-party app, such as stock market details and weather information.
The multitasking feature made its debut with the iOS 4 in 2010. However, it was restricted to a certain number of apps. This time around, it is expected iOS 6 will offer advanced multitasking options and, additionally, the software could add the ability to view content from two adjacent windows, simultaneously, as well as monitor in real-time data bandwidth usage. It could even be the iOS 6 promotes multi-app usage. For instance, assume working on email while reading a webpage or PDF for reference instead of switching between windows.
Watch an iPad run four apps simultaneously in this video:
Enhanced Lock Screen
As of now, the lock screen features restricts users to general control of the iOS device. For instance, when you double-tap the home button on the lock screen, the controls are retrieved. This goes away after a specified interval of user inactivity.
It would be helpful, however, if we could access apps (like the calendar, clock and other utility apps) without having to unlock the screen every time or enter a password to make changes.
Easier Way to Clear Notifications
The Notifications Centre as it is now features a huge improvement over earlier versions. However, it could be better. The traditional double-tapping the "X" icon on the right side of notifications to clear alerts isn't ideal. A much easier way is to allow users to swipe from left to right across the screen to clear single notifications and shake the phone to clear all in one shot.
The iPad allows users to control the multitasking bar with a four finger slide-up gesture or switch apps with a four finger gesture for easier control with less "home" button wear and tear. The iPhone's smaller screen makes gestures difficult but if Apple releases a 4in iPhone 5, we could use a three-finger swipe up gesture to access the multitasking bar and more.
Watch the video depicting the gesture concept: