A credible source has now stepped forward, casting more light on growing expectations concerning the next major update to Apple’s iOS operating system which drives the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
In a nutshell, there’s going to be little, if any, Earth-shattering additions to core OS features. Instead, I was told, headline enhancements are focused on stock apps across the board…
My source has deep connections at Apple and has historically proven accurate and in the know when it comes Apple’s in-house projects.
Additionally, most of the stuff this person knows hasn’t been rumored before.
That said, the source would often stop short of detailing sensitive specifics in order to protect individuals that manage those projects at Apple.
Before we get to the big stuff, let me first break some let-downs.
Firstly, don’t expect widgets in iOS 6.
Not that jailbreakers will be shedding a tear, but I thought you should be aware of this.
Secondly, the home screen “is exactly the same”.
Thirdly, the source characterized a rumored switch from today’s iOS color scheme toward a more subdued, albeit sexier, silver appearance as not being “a biggie”.
And for the final disappointment, I pressed this person to come clean on the enhanced Maps app with awesome 3D view, based on declassified missile targeting. Specifically, I wanted to know whether Apple had finally addressed turn-by-turn navigation concerns.
Given Android’s strong focus on navigation, I asked if iOS 6 would let me speak aloud a desired location while the device is locked and instantly get actionable directions, bypassing altogether the tedious ‘unlock, run an app, tap-tap-tap’ procedure.
“Maps is completely leaked out”, my source quipped. “Nothing more to add”.
All-new 3D view that leaked from an enhanced Maps app in iOS 6 is so last month, folks.
Now, onto the big news.
Apparently, “there’s much cooler stuff coming”, the source teased. Just don’t expect “anything fancy” because “not much will change” in terms of OS services.
Instead, some “really big stuff” is to be expected in just about every stock iOS app, each holding major surprises and much improved capabilities.
“Basically, you wont know it is iOS 6 until you launch apps”, the sourced pointed out.
Apple apparently re-wrote iOS apps from the ground up, tapping a few new capabilities in iOS 6 to deliver groundbreaking enhancements.
The aforementioned changes in apps have been described to me as “impressive” and certainly beyond this person’s expectations of Apple, which is saying a lot concerning the source’s credibility and connections.
“You’ll be surprised”, I was told as the source re-assured a skeptic inside me that “you’ll find the update worth it”.
This person has also corroborated reports that both Camera and Photos apps are in for some notable, long-expected upgrades.
Summing up, the source noted:
Lots of stuff, across the board. You could say iOS 6 at least matches iOS 5 in terms of new capabilities. Both are similar in breadth of feature additions.
Notification Center and iMessage were pretty big features in iOS 5, so this could be deciphered as a way of saying that iOS 6 could gain at least two major new capabilities of such magnitude.
iPad 3 owners will find the iOS 6 update well worth it.
Unfortunately, this person wouldn’t budge and remained tight-lipped when repeatedly cornered to detail possible improvements to how iOS handles multitasking.
This, in turn, has led me to believe that iOS multitasking could actually get a much-needed boost, presumably much in the same way Notification Center in iOS 5 had improved upon pretty Spartan notification management capabilities of iOS 4.
Whether or not Apple will finally enable true multitasking on iOS devices is anyone’s guess at this point, though that’s not to say the company isn’t trying out multiple approaches to multitasking internally.
If history is an indication, true multitasking will very likely be a hardware-dependent feature, probably requiring 1GB of RAM and an A5X chip.
Theoretically speaking, this would limit true multitasking to the new iPad the next iPhone which reportedly runs a new chipsaid to combine an S5L8950X CPU core from ARM Holdings with 1GB of RAM and an SGX543 GPU core from Imagination Technologies.
Feel free to chime in with your observations down in the comments.