Yesterday, Apple released its first revision of iOS 6, entitled iOS 6.0.1, which as you would expect from such a lowly number is all about bug fixes and performance updates. That’s fine, and will come as good news for those affected by bugs it claims to fix, but what about iOS 6.1, where new features could make an appearance?
At the same time as 6.0.1 was released, Apple also seeded the first beta version of iOS 6.1 to its developers. As it’s an early version of the software, exciting new features are thin on the ground, however Apple Maps has seen a small feature update.
Before anyone gets too excited, alterations to Apple Maps’ mapping ability don’t need a software update, with improvements being made to the much-maligned Google Maps replacement being pushed through all the time, without you even knowing.
But what about when you find something missing, broken or just plain wrong? Apple wants to make it much easier to tell them about these issues, and has therefore added a massive button marked “report a problem.” It has been given the upper most position under the flap in Apple Maps, and is considerably larger than any other button on the screen.
Additionally, iOS 6.1 beta gives developers the chance to integrate map searches into their own apps, which will work even when normal language is used in the search phrase, for example entering “books” would return information on book stores in the area. Handy if your unfamiliar with your surroundings, unless Apple Maps is even more clueless than you, that is.
Apart from this, iOS 6 beta 1 changes the style of the music controls on the homescreen — buttons are more widely spaced, and the volume slider is now consistent with the design seen elsewhere in iOS — plus a tweak to Passbook, where developers are advised to provide both date and relevant location information on boarding passes.appl
For now, that’s it on the new features list of iOS 6.1. Anyone wondering where all the good stuff is, don’t forget, it’s only the first beta version, and Apple won’t give everything away immediately. As for its possible release, judging by the gap between iOS 5.1’s first beta in November 2011 and its final release in March 2012 there’s still plenty of time to go before it graces our phones.
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