iOS 6 Features for Businesses

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Apple has announced iOS 6, in developer preview today and shipping this fall. The full keynote address is available. Several features announced, and/or visible from the presentation, are relevant to business. (Note the developer preview is covered by Apple's non-disclosure agreement. This site respects the NDA and we will discuss only publicly-announced information.)

Apple's voice-enabled "personal assistant" Siri is has received some tutoring. Already on the iPhone 4S, it is coming to the new iPad (3rd Gen.). It can now integrate with Open Table to make restaurant reservations, sure to impress your customers. And for business trips, Siri will be integrated into the steering wheel button for 2014-model cars from several auto makers.

Photo Stream, one of the most helpful innovations of iOS 5, now works with shared groups. Group members can then comment on photos. This is going to be a killer feature for field teams working with photos. Photo upload now works within web forms too (particularly welcome for bloggers like me!).

FaceTime, currently WiFi only, will work over cellular too. Expect your data caps to be hit very quickly. This may be a great time to plan centralized telephony management.

For meetings, the iOS Phone app (yes, it is an app) gets some enhancements as well. When a call comes in, you can choose to Answer or Decline, or "Reply with Message." There's also a "Do Not Disturb" feature to send all calls (except for favorites) direct to voicemail during particular times.

Mail gets a "VIP Inbox" and per-account signatures. Also password-protected Microsoft Office docs can now be opened.

In iOS 6 the Maps app includes turn by turn navigation, 3D maps, flyover, and Siri integration.

Accessibility is already fantastic on iOS, but even this gets improvements. Look for a kiosk mode to disable hardware buttons — possibility a useful features even for non-disabled users.

Finally, some little tidbits mentioned in a quick slide (shown above): IPv6 support over WiFi and LTE, global HTTP proxies ought to force corporate security policies.

iOS 6 is expected this fall, and will work with the following devices:

  • iPhone 3GS and later
  • iPad 2nd & 3rd Gen
  • iPod touch 4th Gen.

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