iOS 6 tidbits: Spotlight folder labels, iTunes and wallpaper previews

By , Jun 19, 2012

Not a day goes by without discovering subtle touches in Apple’s iOS 6 software. We covered most of the big and little things already. Perhaps unsurprisingly, cool nice-to-haves still get discovered on a daily basis, proving iOS 6 is the most well-rounded release to date.

iDB told you yesterday how the virtual keyboard is now clever enough to capitalize after quotes and emojis (iOS 6 also sports a bunch of new emojis). We even proposed how Apple could make sharing between third-party apps simpler and more akin to Android’s comprehensive Action Menu.

Today, I wanna talk about some noteworthy store tweaks and cosmetic changes in Spotlight and Wallpaper settings…

iTunes previews

I’ve always hated how iOS 5 handles iTunes links and most certainly I’m not alone. Don’t you hate how iOS immediately yanks you out of your app and into one of the store apps (App Store, iTunes Store or iBookstore) upon tapping an iTunes app link in email or chat messages?

On desktop, the experience is a tad more bearable as clicking on iTunes links loads corresponding iTunes Preview web pages in your browser without automatically launching a resource hog that is iTunes.

As Jeff showed you in his video walkthrough, Apple redesigned storefront apps in iOS 6. One of the major enhancements includes  preview sheets that Apple appears to be intent on taking system-wide. Specifically, tapping an App Store link in Mail brings up a nice app preview with screenshots, description, reviews, related items and other information.


Tapping App Store links in the iOS 6 Mail app now invokes a handy app preview sheet, without yanking you out of Mail and into the App Store client.

From there, you can access the Share menu at the top or hit the Store button in the upper right to launch the App Store app. These preview sheets support any content type linkable in iTunes, not just mobile applications.

I emailed myself links to iTunes songs, movies, television shows and e-books and in each instance tapping the URL in Mail would produce a preview page. I suspect third-party programs need to specifically enable this feature by way of APIs as iTunes previews wouldn’t work in Sparrow or any other third-party app I tried.

I wasn’t also able to preview items in-line by tapping URLs I iMessage’d to myself. Here’s to hoping that Apple will bring iTunes previews to every stock app by the time iOS 6 launches.

Live Wallpaper previews and Spotlight folder labels

Another cool ‘man-I-didn’t-notice-this-before’ type of tweak can be found under the Brightness & Wallpaper page in the Settings app. As you can see from the below screenshot, here we have live previews of your lock and home screen wallpapers.

You gotta love how Apple superimposes not just your actual home screen icons, but their badges, too. That’s why they call it attention to detail. I wish the lock screen preview had live time, too.


Live wallpaper previews in Settings (left) and Spotlight folder labels (right)

Another useful cosmetic change is in Spotlight, which now lists folder names next to apps listed. If you’re big on apps and tend to organize them in folders like I do, this nice-to-have helps quickly distinguish between two same-named apps residing in different folders.

How do you like these enhancements so far?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/nihasnebas Nihas Nebas

    ios 6 thumbnails different here

  • http://www.facebook.com/kelvin.lieu Kelvin Lieu

    IMO the best addition out of all these features is the mail client. I’ve had to avoid clicking on links because of iOS5 and this is great! Also, the other 2 features are minimal yet nice. Glad Apple is improving things the right way!

  • Omar Aly

    And no one has noticed the new settings icon?

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001612788999 Luke Thompson

      I definately have, was the first thing I noticed =D

    • http://twitter.com/PixelStyles Bryan H.

      Looks the same to me.

    • http://twitter.com/MCaudebec Maxim∑

      I have its more bold darker looks nice

    • http://twitter.com/rickz97 Ricky

      I know something is diffrent from it but i cant figure it out

  • http://twitter.com/kylebshr Kyle Bashour

    wallpaper thing was already there…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1507068701 Jorit Studer

      But the brightness not ;-)

      • http://Gadgetsteria.com Jordan Carpenter

        No, they are talking about the placement of the apps at your homescreen, not lockscreen. That is new to iOS 6.

  • Jacqueline Zhu

    on itunes…can you still preview the song and it starts playing a snippet of the song by tapping it? like on the old one? i cant :/