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Two Weeks with iOS 6

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After two weeks with iOS 6 I thought I'd give you my thoughts and feelings on the new operating system, writes technology blogger Dr Thomas Hartley of the University of Wolverhampton.

Despite all the negative press around the quality of the Maps app 60% of iPhone users have installed iOS6 (

). This is despite Apple chief executive Tim Cook's apology and advice that users should download alternative Map apps while Apple tries to and improves its offering.

In my previous blog I said that iOS 6 does not include any revolutionary improvements. After two weeks I would still agree with this statement; however, there are many small enhancements that improve the overall user experience.

The Facebook (and Twitter) integration allows you to post messages, photos, URLs and your location from within your apps. This is useful if you want to post something quickly or you post messages regularly. However, if you want to read your wall and post something you still need to open the Facebook app or go to the web site. I still feel the greatest benefit of the Facebook integration is the inclusion of Facebook events in your Calendar.

The new "do not disturb" feature is proving very useful during meetings and at night thanks to the ability to schedule when incoming calls and alerts are suppressed. The ability to reply to a call with a message is also looking useful; however, I haven't had any need to use it just yet.

The new integration between iOS 6 and Mac OS X is a feature that I am finding very useful. The iMessages that are sent to my mobile phone number are now also sent to the iMessage app on my iPad and Mac laptop. This is a very handy feature as allows me to respond to messages more quickly and without the need to pick up my phone.

Another device linking feature that I am finding very useful is iCloud tabs. iCloud tabs keeps track of all your open tabs on all your devices (iPhone, iPad, Mac, MacBook, etc.). I can now start browsing a web page on my iPhone or iPad and pick up where I left off on my laptop without the need to manually bookmark the site. This is very useful if you have to move between multiple devices.

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There are a number subtle user interface (UI) improvements in iOS 6 that enhance the feel and usability of the operating system. For example, the Bluetooth settings are more easily accessible and there is a new system wide share menu that makes use of colourful icons, rather than the old list of buttons. This menu is your gateway to sharing data via Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, messages, etc.

You can now pull to refresh in Mail and the Podcast app. This is a subtle change; however, it feels more natural that the old refresh button. There is also now a blue status bar in many of the default apps. The status bar colour is now based on the scheme of the app. I quite like this feature as I feel it gives the apps a slightly more pleasing look. However, a number of users are declaring their dislike of it on the web.

What are your favourite improvements in iOS6?

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