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Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) new mobile operating system, iOS 6, was not one of the surprises the company offered on Wednesday, having been previewed at the WWDC in June. However, with the first device that will come preloaded with the software — the iPhone 5 — having finally been announced, some new details about iOS 6 did come to light.
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The most talked-about feature of the new software, Passbook, stores coupons, airline boarding passes, movie tickets, store loyalty cards, etc. in an easy-to-use interface on the iPhone, iPod, or iPad. Virgin Air had already declared its support for the app, and on Wednesday, Delta (NYSE:DAL) and Starwood (NYSE:HOT) hotels were unveiled as new partners. The app will integrate with the lock screen with features such as the boarding pass automatically appearing on the lock screen when the user reaches the airport.
Siri has been updated to support voice commands for apps, such as posting Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) statuses through voice. The search functionality of the system has been expanded to include retrieving sports scores, list movie times, and book tables at restaurants.
The new operating system also supports shared photo streams, with contacts being able to receive push notifications, comment on, and “like” them. Facebook is much better integrated, with the ability to update it straight from the notification center, just like with Twitter. Apple also announced iCloud tabs, a feature that allows a user to access open Safari tabs on other iCloud connected devices.
Of course, the new OS also introduces Apple’s in-house mapping software in place of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) Maps. The new navigation app offers traffic information created through real-time crowd-sourced data and automatically re-adjusts routes. It also offers turn-by-turn directions and Flyover, which renders select cities in 3D.
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