Old iPhones Given Great Features With Panorama, Passport, & Siri
A free update from Apple this week has delivered so many new features that it’s quite easy to forget all the hype going on over the iPhone 5. The iOS6 update is available to those who own Apple devices going back to the iPhone 3GS, the iPod Touch 4th Generation, and the iPad 2. If you have access to Wi-Fi, you can even grab the download without the need for a computer, just go to your Settings menu, select General, then Software Update to have it download directly to your device.
Although there are more than two hundred tweaks involved in the change, here’s a few of the highlights that I’ve tried out and think are quite impressive.
Shot with an iPhone 4S, click on the thumbnail at top of post for complete photo.
With one simple, smooth motion that involves turning your body from left to right, you can create a detailed panorama. A series of photos are stitched together as you capture them, forming one long landscape. It’s hypnotically easily, even those who are severe stumblebums are likely to whip off panoramas left and right. The results are seamless and very detailed (producing images as large as 28 MB in size). (Note: Not avaialble for iPad)
The next time you go to a movie at a Cineplex theatre, try buying your ticket using Passbook. When you get to the theatre you simply show them the screen of your phone with the digital ticket displayed. Today’s phone screens are of such a high resolution that reproducing tickets and boarding passes is fairly easy. Here in Canada the feature is available for tickets through Cineplex, Ticketmaster, Lufthansa travel, Live Nation Music, and Sephora to Go, but you can expect more brands to sign on soon.
It’s a simple thing, but for iPad users a feature that should have been included from the beginning. You can now turn your iPad into a desk clock, complete with world time, alarm, and a timer for those who simple want to take a quick nap.
The voice assistant introduced with the iPhone 4S is now available for the rest of Apple’s devices. She’s been given an upgrade too and can now offer specific information for sports and movies, and can now be used to open your apps for you if your phone is out of reach. It’s still not a must-have feature, but with each new upgrade she’s representing more of the future and it’s nice to know you won’t have to buy a new phone to decide for yourself. (expanded list of devices include iPad 3rd Generation, iPod Touch 5th Generation, iPhone 4s, and iPhone 5).
Do Not Disturb
Another small, but important thing, you’ll find this switch in the Settings Menu. Turn it on and you can schedule a time when your phone will suppress incoming calls, notifications, or all calls except a selection of a few important contacts. If you’re a light sleeper, this is a must.
There are people you depend upon every day and their e-mail messages are the most important. No you can mark them as VIPs and when you check your e-mail, you can choose to read all of theirs first before you sift through all the rest.
It’s hard to mark this one as really important, Google Maps has done a stellar job and really didn’t need replacing, but Apple’s version certainly looks very appealing and so far the basic information (and common maps errors) seem to be the same. Apple has added a cool 3D mode which is fun, but sorely missed are the option to get transit directions. Turn-by-Turn driving is available, but if you don’t have a car, well you’re out of luck for now.