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Apple strikes out with iOS 6 Or: How Windows Phone 8 will be more impressive.

Yesterday, Apple Inc. finally revealed their latest iteration of iOS for iPhone and the iPad.  There were no real "wow" moments just the continued rehash of market numbers and a collection of little improvements to the world-wide hit operating system.

We're not trying to be too bitter here--look, Apple and iOS have a massive success on their hands so they're not messing with a good thing (think of all the grandparents with iPhones!). But today's unveiling of the new iOS is starting to show that Cupertino may be out of "big" ideas for mobile and are instead concentrating on refinements. That's not exactly a bad thing and we don't necessarily blame them, especially with their strong market share. But it sure does make for some boring discussion.

Our friends at iMore were there for the whole event, turtlenecks and all, documenting all the new additions to the sixth version of the OS.  Due this fall, here is their summary of the major changes:

  • Maps - Probably the biggest news was the addition of Apple's own Maps app which will be powered by TomTom. Maps will come stock with turn-by-turn navigation, traffic info, and a new feature called Flyover.
  • Siri additions and enhancements- Siri received quite a few updates under iOS 6 including iPad support, integration with many car manufacturers, and several new features. 
  • Passbook - Passbook is a brand new way to store and save airline apps, boarding passes, and more all in one place. Many different services and Passbook apps are already available such as express check at hotels, Target cards, movie tickets, coupons, and more.
  • Photo Stream sharing - Photo Stream sharing will allow you to create separate streams (similar to how you'd create albums currently). You can then share those separate streams with whoever you'd like. Have one with family for vacation pics and one with mom and dad for baby pics. They'll also be given the ability to comment and like photos native in iOS.
  • Mail enhancements - Multiple e-mail signatures, VIP Mailbox allows you to add all the important people in your life to a VIP list and their messages will automatically be filtered into a new VIP mailbox that appears under your default inbox.
  • Facebook integration - In iOS 5 we saw Apple integrate Twitter into iOS natively. This year the same will happen with Facebook. Post status, upload pictures, and more without needing a third party app.
  • FaceTime over the cellular network - FaceTime has only ever been available for us on a Wi-Fi network since it's release in iOS 4. iOS 6 is about to change all that and you'll soon be able to FaceTime wherever you are, Wi-Fi or 3G/4G.

Read more after the break for some exclusive Windows Phone 8 news...

There are some who are suggesting that Apple "stole" the Facebook and Twitter integration thing from Windows Phone. Perhaps. Though let's be clear, no one outside of hardcore fans really care about feature origins--consumers just care if the experience is good and it works. So while it's a shame that Apple is picking the best from Windows Phone for their OS, we can't exactly be shocked (and let us be happy they're steering clear of Metro so far).

The Maps thing is certainly interesting if only because it now shows how uncomfortable Apple is with Google. In reality this is very bad news for the company behind Android. With Google Maps relegated to "just an app" on the iPhone, they're losing a big chunk of the mobile market which actually makes Microsoft and Bing a bit stronger.

And what about Windows Phone? Some sites are reporting that future Nokia Windows Phones, Nokia Maps will be the default engine for mapping. That's actually false. In Windows Phone 8, Nokia Maps replaces Bing Maps all together and will feature 3D navigation and hardware acceleration across all Windows Phone devices. Should Apple be worried? It's a pretty serious mapping solution that Microsoft and Nokia are putting up and it will give developers some fun tools to play with too. Windows Phone 8 won't trump Apple or Google here but yes, it will offer something just as impressive.

Although FaceTime will now work over cellular, Windows Phone 8 will feature Skype built into the OS and integrated into your contacts--and not just messaging but VOIP. Skype for Windows Phone 8 will behave like a regular phone call with a little Toast window popping down as you multi-task with different apps--completely seamless. Don't like Skype? That's okay, we hear other VOIP providers can patch into the OS just like Skype can because, once again, Microsoft is service-agnostic even when they own the service.

The fact of the matter is that Skype has 200 million registered users and works across devices and platforms. FaceTime does not.

Passbook is certainly a neat idea but it is hardly something that Microsoft or a third party app couldn't implement just as easily. While Windows Phone 8 users won't have something comparable, Windows Phone Wallet should be a nice addition for many users out there. As Apple seemingly skips over NFC for another generation, Microsoft is embracing it for Windows Phone 8.

Siri is still a serious app and Microsoft doesn't have a solution in Windows Phone 8 for it as far as we know. Yes, TellMe is still powering Bing but there is still no native question/answer service as well-rounded as Siri (or with the personality). Of course there is still the question: Is Siri more gimmick than useful feature? We'll leave that to you to ponder. We'll just say this: Windows Phone developers will like the new Voice tools and we hear Ask Ziggy is due for some serious upgrades.

In conclusion, Apple has announced a nice collection of minor updates and improvements to their hit OS. We can criticize them all we want but last we checked, they're doing pretty well with these releases while Microsoft languishes with 2% market share.

Having said that from what we've seen of Windows Phone 8 (aka Apollo) it will be a massive overhaul--more so because it trades Windows CE for a version of WinRT but also because it brings a massive onslaught of new features, including some creative tools for devs e.g. the camera app (cough, Lenses, cough) and native development for gaming.

While Apple had their day, next week Microsoft will begin to unveil how they do more in one update than Apple does in three. Mark our words.

Read more on the latest from Apple an iOS 6 here at iMore.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

  • cant wait!
  • LOL!
  • LOL! Was also my first reaction.
  • ...for the next version of WP or Android
  • Here come the drones ready to fork out their hard earn money for aesthetics. Apple can still continue to insult the intelligence of its sheeple and get away with it.The one thing that really bugs me is how IPhone users walk around as though they have the latest and greatest technology in the palm of their hands. LMFAO!!!!  Now the IPhone will have Facebook integration… who’s leading the way…. I need to calm down and be rational. OK… now if people line up over night to buy this crap I will turn vegan. I’m starting to think that a stupid drug being put in our food and that is scary.
  • Someone is definitely spiking your food, that's for sure.
  • are there any websites left that cover MSFT's Zune?
    I assume this website is headed for the same fate. Maybe slightly faster even. WP7's market share is actually lower than when Zune was end-of-life'd...
  • Typical of someone that talks out of their @$$. It’s no longer Zune.. It’s XBOX MUSIC, get informed before you make yourself look like an @$$. As far as Market Share, it doesn’t matter how many shares WP has right now. Like Microsoft said, there not in this to fail. They will continue to support WP until it is successful. Just like when XBOX first came out and everyone said it had no chance against the all mighty Sony Playstation. XBOX is now the leader in home entertainment. Kinect was the number one selling consumer electronic device ever sold. Windows * is right around the corner and the ecosystem is AWSOME! Part of that ecosystem is WP and WPCentral plays a big part in that.
  • RIght, because market share only seems to matter when MSFT leads in it.
    This cogent response from someone who confuses "there" with "their"...
    Okay, looking for websites dedicated to XBOX MUSIC, none found so far....
  • You think the whole world has english as native language? You must be a smart fella.
  • This is the response you get from someone who just got BITCH SLAPED!!!!
  • Always wondered what true desperation sounds like...
    Good luck with your 1-2% market share.
  • I still hope the Nokia L900 will get the update or at least give us the most you can out of the update. (other phones included)
  • Great article
  • Agree 100%.
  • ...of fiction.
  • Troll
  • Reality bites for you doesn't it...?
  • Go away you are only making a fool of yourself. Not sure if you are trolling or are just stupid.
  • Hey, how's that partnership going with Nokia, btw?
  • This is a bold prediction to be sure. Coming from an iPhone, I have to admit it's a lot more polished than my Lumia 900 (don't get me wrong, I wouldn't go back to an iPhone), but it's not always about the big eye-catching features, but the little things. 
    To name a few: no "reader" on the web browser, no universal search, no notifications, no option to search inbox by "from, to, etc..." can't subscribe to podcasts from phone if already getting from itunes, and that's just to name a few. Hope all of these are addressed, that is if current phones are able to upgrade to WP8
  • Mobile computing? Taking 3 days to reprogram Siri so it doesn't say the Lumia 900 is the best smart phone... Really, mobile computing.
  • The above was in response for ridiculous post from a fan boy
  • lol, saves me the trouble of doing the same
  • Apple suing everybody here and there because of patents and stuff. Themselves steals the notificationbar from Android. Facebook integration from us. They are running out of ideas and it shows. In my eyes the world is a better place without Steve Jobs (no disrespect intended). I sgrongly dislike Apple. Just a bunch of hypocrits.
  • Windows Phone did not invent Facebook integration. It's not stealing, more just feature-matching (which gives WP a chance to get ahead).
  • Yes windows phone was the very first one to INTEGRATE Facebook on a mobile phone. No other phone have done that. You understand now my apprentice.
  • It's not a unique, non-obvious feature, so saying that Apple "stole" from us is stretching it too far.
  • False. WebOS was the first to integrate Facebook on the system level, with Synergy.
    Some Android OEMs copied it shortly after as part of their software skins, then WP, now Apple.
  • What we're going to see later this year is a bunch of iPhone users saying "Did you know that the NEW iPhone has FaceBook integration? Isn't that the best thing ever?"
    When other companies come up with a great idea, Apple fanboys see it as crap. When Apple does the very same thing... it's the latest, greatest thing since sliced bread.
  • Then we just comment on how WP has had it for almost 2 years and laugh them in their face for being late to the party.
  • We'll also get to comment on how Facebook integration is largely useless and we all go to the Facebook app in order to see what's in our feed and respond properly.
  • I hardly use the app... The integration is more than enough for me:)
  • No. Speak for yourself. I don't even have any facebook app installed as the built in function is enough for me. I manage just fine.
  • AMEN to THAT!!!
  • Cant Wait to act like a hipster and say "I had Facebook integration before it was cool" 
  • Actually it originated on jailbroken iOS devices.
  • I wouldn't say the notification bar is stolen either. Its open source and open source is free.
  • Yes but they stole the ideas. That's the point.
  • Its not even stealing I believe all companies should share ideas and become better. Which everyone except apple does. They take existing ideas, then blow it out of proportion as if no-one had it before, when in reality, they are playing catch up now. The apple fans think we are geeky, and then they show off Their "new" features to us
  • The '70's are calling you. They want you back.
  • I love the '70s :)
  • I hate apple. I hate apple. I hate mac I hate iPhone I hate iPad I hate iPad II I hate the new iPad I hate iPod I hate Apple $*it. Take them down Microsoft.
  • Thenet is that you?
  • Very "sophisticated" comment from a very "sophisticated" Microsfoft fanboy!
  • Really good article. I really hope to one day write as good as this.
  • "*well"?
  • Haha the irony in this comment. I don't know if it was intended or coincidental.
  • This was a great article.
  • I second the dislike of apple. Taking bits and pieces of other platforms to make your system better doesn't actually make it better to me. I can't stand iPhone, especially since every single speaker dock, this thing, or that thing are all made for iDevices. There are other platforms besides what jobs left us. I have a Zune, a windows phone, and a windows laptop. They may have innovated how we take music with us or what a phone can do, but rehash after rehash makes for a big pile of trash.
  • Xbox should do the music nicely in the living room if you are a subscriber discoverer type. Rockbox, iPod and a careful choice of dock is suitable for those with massive collections already. Either way, we don't have to deal with iTunes ..(shiver)...
  • I hear what you're saying, but do you really think WP7 was built in complete isolation of other existing mobile phone platforms? You can see influences from all over the place (WebOS and Android especially), but they had their unique twist on it. Android borrows from IOS and WP7, IOS borrows from Android and WP7, WP7 borrows from Android and IOS... it all levels out the playing field in the end ;)
  • =competition:)
  • For as long as I have been a consumer of electrionics, most companies do take ideas from one another to improve their product. So not really sure what you're getting at here
  • The reason for that is like it or not Apple has a pretty huge chunk of the market, as opposed to Microsoft. From a business perspective it makes sense to produce products that are compatible with something a large number of people own.
  • Roll on June 20th! :-D
  • +1
  • Eugh loads of my friends when this comes out will be like look what I can do with Facebook... I'll be like I've been able to do that for like over 2 years.. Anyway does anyone think the way IOS looks is not very nice? Like the old fashioned blue colour ..
  • Saw the apple conference and yes no Wow ! It's funny how apple copycat some of windows phone features like integrated twitter & Facebook and facetime is just junk. WP 8 can't wait when Skype will be integrated to wp 8 so so much better thank facetime. Now I know why co founder Steven Wozniak purchased a nokia lumia 900 windows phone and great when he said love windows phone beautiful UI. Apple for sure can't think of new ideas and have to copycat Microsoft. Yes apple fails and can't wait for windows phone 8
  • Dude, Steve is gone there is no more creativity in the company, none at all. Tim Cook is like Justin Beiber -People write his music, and he just performs it and gets paid millions. 
  • Justin bieber lol everytime I see Justin bieber on tv I just LOL saying why would these dumb young kids see into this person who can't even sing and total dork lol...
  • There wasnt creativity when Steve was alive, look at the last couple years. He started the rehash movement after the launch of the first iPhone.
  • Apple is poking at the angry giant with this release of IOS6. WP8 will dominate. (notice how the  6 is under the 8) hehe
  • Hahs
  • Not only that, the government mandated one connector for electronic devices, so what makes Apple's the exception. Windows everything for life. I'll never by an apple product or buy into their cult.
  • IPad2 is value for money...
  • Except when you realize support will be cut in a year...
  • It depends, my Galaxy Tab 10.1 has really been value for money and really nicer, lighter, better for video watching and great gamming experience!
  • Nice article.. Really like the last paragraph.. :P
    MS will rock..!!
  • You have to compete plain and simple. Sometimes you have to copy some ideas. Look at cars for example, Audi came out massively with the LED headlights. Now you can find them from Benzes all the way down to Ford's! It's life!
  • I find it Ironic that WPcentral does a story on Apple employees in the MS store, and then what do you know, BOOM, Apple has Copied Microsoft. lol
  • Fun!
  • yup, they got caught in the act.. i have to say though, it's impressive that they were in there just a few days ago and already managed to fully integrate with facebook.. wow.
  • "While Apple had their day, next week Microsoft will begin to unveil how they do more in one update than Apple does in three. Mark our words."
    Hey Daniel, do you know something, we don't? Tell us! :)))
  • All I know wp 8 will have an S4 chip making it blazing fast and best part built in pico projector on the wp 8 bye bye junk iPhone.
  • Ppl actually want pico projectors? O.o
  • Agreed, good article! Nice WPCentral perspective on the day's APPL news. :) To recap. Maps, Facebook integration: Have it (and have had it a little while now). Passbook, Photo Streaming, Mail: *yawn*. Facetime: I have also had Skype a while now too, tyvm. Siri... TellMe actually does a lot for me, the big one being reading and replying to texts while on headphones or bluetooth. Not sure I want to announce to everyone on the train that "I'm looking for the nearest sushi restaurant!"
  • "the big one being reading and replying to texts while on headphones or bluetooth"
    Go to "settings" on your phone
    click on "speech"
    check "Use speech when the phone is locked"
    "Play audio confirmations " is on
    "Read aloud incoming text messages" is set to "always on"
    You will get your text message alert spoken to you and you can choose to reply or ignore. Same ability and we have always had it.
  • OMG thanks for that. I even suggested this feature using the suggestion box app. Feel kinda stupid now as it was already there. No more stopping to check texts when out on a long cycle ride.
  • @brabrandt I was giving TellMe some props there for having it (at least since Mango). I don't have it set to "always on" tho, just for bluetooth and headphones, a.k.a. car and bike. ;)
  • You might have tried not to sound too bitter but you didn't do a very good job. I don't agree that a brand new mapping system, built in SatNav and the Passbook features are minor updates or refinements. Those features didn't exist before, they are major updates. System level integration of social networks isn't an idea that was 'stolen' from windows phone or as one commenter put it, 'us', who the hell is 'us'?don't be ridiculous. Its an idea I had before windows phone even existed and I'm just a casual user. Its a natural progression of mobile OS to do this in my opinion. Aside from that, I love it when I see companies incorporating features that are available on other platforms as it means more competition and choice for me as to what platform I use. This article strikes me as having a critical overtone rather than an objective one and there is no need for it.
  • As the editor in chief of this site, I reserve the right to editorialize when delivering news. You can have your opinion in comments, I can have mine in a post in addition to being critical of Apple (and I actually give Apple quite a lot of praise for their OS).
  • Agreed, Daniel. That's what I was doing. :)
  • I just don't understand you... This was not a biased article and I think you're very close to trolling. TomTom instead of google is no leap... Fb-integration is little too... Especially when they already had twitter-integration
  • Yeah the Facebook integration is very little, at best its better than nothing. I would like to see Apple bring together social networks in to a unified feed as Microsoft have. I think OS level SatNav is a big deal and could lead to further development and features. I like that it is integrated with Siri for example, very useful when driving. Trolling isn't determined by a third party's perspective it's an intention on part of the originator. I'm not interested in seeking reactions for reactions sake.
  • Daniel just don't know what he's say. Need a more up to date writer lol
  • My comment below not related to your above comment: 
    I will be really surprised, if your information above about Nokia maps is true.  
    I was just seeing Chris Weber's interview to Howard forums yesterday, and it was pretty clear from his repeated comments that Nokia Maps,Drive and etc will be one of the important and very few aspects of Nokia's differentiation from competitors inside the WP ecosystem also. 
    He described only 4 aspects: Nokia Design, Nokia Location services(maps, drive, etc), Nokia Imaging and Nokia exclusive apps/services made by Nokia. 
    Now, it is still possible, they may integrate Nokia maps fully, but I would be surprised if they Nokia drive, transport, city lens, etc. 
  • Don't be nitpicking. You know very well what I refer to by saying "us".
  • I do. It's us against them right.
  • Nah I'm in no war =)
    Though many people (like me) who hangs here doesn't have English as native language. So we might express ourselves "funny" at times.
  • Nah I'm in no war! Though many people who hangs here (including me) does not have english as native language. So we might express ourselves "funny" at times.
  • :) understood.
  • How about this? With xbox companion, smart glass , tablet and mobile devices?
  • It says, " the video was not found."
  • It is because they posted the mobile link I think.  It is MS's Future of TellMe video, from last year.  Go to YouTube and search "Microsoft Tellme Say It Get It" and it will be the top result.
  • "While Apple had their day, next week Microsoft will begin to unveil how they do more in one update than Apple does in three. Mark our words.
    Wow daniel you made me really excited with this paragraph LOL.
  • Me too, its almost 4 am and I was about to finally sleep. Believe me there is no chance I would be able to sleep now. ;)
  • I hope you're right
  • Great write-up and I loved the ending; I can't wait!!
  • Nice read. I like the way you ended it by saying, mark our words. Reminded me of the merovingian in the matrix.
  • IOS continues with the same dated UI of 5+ years. Kudos for the Turn by Turn I think every platform needs this. I thought I was watching aGoogle keynote because there were a lot of Android features being copied. Bring it Microsoft...cant wait for next week!
  • It might be dated but it works for them. Do you know how long windows 95/windows 7 UI has been around for. Or windows mobile before the Reboot.
  • Windows 7 looks nothing like Windows 95 when you compare them the differences between iOS' different iterations.
  • i would agree, the changes are pretty extensive.  To say they are the same is like saying we are basically using the same input device, a mouse, that we have been for the last 30 years...even though they now have lasers and 5+ buttons...
  • Apple isn't the enemy, Google is.
    Don't become another anti-apple website.
    I love my Lumia 800 and my Retina iPad.. I also love my to-be Windows 7 PC & my MacBook.
    Why? Because they do what I need them to do.
  • Google isn't the enemy neither is Apple. We should focus on what Microsoft delivers for windows phone and make sure get all the features that other phone OS have. We don't want to wait for WP8.5 to get it right.
  • "Don't become another anti-apple website."
    We're not anti-Apple and just because we critique their OS on occasion doesn't mean we're "haters" either. Not sure how you can equate the two. I respect Apple and their OS but they have no vision--where is this all going for them? A mobile OS, a desktop OS...where do the two collide?  Microsoft to me is the only company that is thinking long term about how people actually use their phones, tablets and PCs. The "three screens and a cloud" is a vision on technology. Just another smartphone OS is not.
  • If I could like your comment Dan I would thats exactly how I feel bout it.
  • Daniel, I can't help wondering if you actually watched the keynote before writing your comments. It's obvious that Apple's "vision" is a seamless user experience between iPhone (mobile), iPad (tablet), AppleTV (media) and Mac OS (laptops and desktops.) With iOS 6 and Mountain Lion, Apple is getting very close to establishing a universal environment that lets users work across disparate platforms. The convergence of all these separate form factors and use cases is precisely what Microsoft wants to do with Windows8, is it not? Microsoft is NOT the "only company that is thinking long term about how people actually use their phones, tablets and PCs." Clearly, Apple is as well. The irony is that Apple is closer to making this convergence a reality for its users than Microsoft is, and the perception by the casual masses may very well wind up being that Microsoft "stole" the idea from Apple when Windows8 finally makes it to an official release.
  • really no i do not think apple i closer, getting there yes closer than microsoft no. microsoft has already established metor ui on xbox and wp with a nice companion app. All that is left is the pc conversion which will launch in the fall. also note that microsoft is not just looking to there own ecosystem there going to make the companion app aka smartglass for android and ios. unlike apple were there integration with each othere stops with each othere. look at face time ony iphone user look at messaging app iphone users only.
  • The big difference with Apple and MS is Apple wants you to buy in on all their stuff and nothing works outside of that.  With MS, they want you on as many of their products as possible sure, but that doesn't always involve a product that is using MS software.  (i.e Smart Glass, Skype, SkyDrive, etc.)  They want to build services, that while of course have excellent experiences on their own systems (Windows), also work on other platforms as well.  That's why I favor MS over Apple.
  • You wish apple was closer,they don't even have a game system!
  • You hit the nail on the head Daniel "3 screens 1 cloud" Apple has an amazing OS for designers but is lacking vision for the general population. MS seems to be on a path for growth :)
  • I think no vision is a bit harsh. Microsoft is thinking longterm, but I think Apple are too. Desktops and mobile devices serve different functions and might need individual OS's optimised for those functions for best experience and usefullness, no? But it's clear that iCloud is Apple's vision of the future and their approach to crossing-over how we use technology in different environments.
    With Mountain Lion there is a greater collision at an OS level between mobile and desktop. Where do they collide? Documents in the cloud without a visible file system, messages accessable accross all devices, access to all open browser tabs, notes, media, callendars, reminders etc, all synced and available, Game Centre matching players on mobile to players on desktop. When you combine iCloud with Apple TV and Airplay we can see their vision for the living room. These aren't open standards but there is clear vision there.
  • But this is all stuff ms had 2+ years ago
  • All this stuff?
    If that's true is it wrong for Apple to create their own vision, or should they not do it because someone else has? Are people more concerened with the fact that Apple are doing their own thing or that people using Apple products will express how great they think they are. If it's the latter, why concern yourself? If you're happy with what you've got than does it matter?
  • All this stuff?
    If that's true is it wrong for Apple to create their own vision, or should they not do it because someone else has? Are people more concerened with the fact that Apple are doing their own thing or that people using Apple products will express how great they think they are. If it's the latter, why concern yourself? If you're happy with what you've got than d