The 6 Best Features in iOS 6

While substantially underwhelmed by Apple’s latest hardware release, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the 200-plus new features in iOS 6. It’s a lot to sift through, though, and if you don’t know what the package includes, you could be passing over some of the most useful new features of the update. I highlighted the six biggest times savers in iOS 6 to…well, save you even more time.

Reply via text or set call back reminders

It’s not always a good time to take a call, but by pressing ignore you run the risk of forgetting to respond altogether. This new feature lets you respond with a preset text message (“I’ll call you later,” “I’m on my way,” etc.), or write your own custom message. If you’d rather call back later, set a reminder based on time (“in 1 hour”) or location (“When I leave” or “When I get home”).

iOS 6 reply with message

Passbook is location and time set

One of the most talked about features of iOS 6, Passbook serves as a virtual wallet for your tickets, coupons and gift cards. But the best part is that all the items in your Passbook are time and location based, so that your movie tickets conveniently pop up a few minutes before showtime and your plane tickets pop up when you step inside the airport.

Passbook

Siri knows restaurants

Now you can ask Siri for food recommendations based on cuisine, price, location, outdoor seating and more. She’ll even pull up photos, Yelp reviews and price to help you make your decision. Once you settle on a spot, Siri can make a reservation for you using OpenTable.

Siri Restaurants

Easier to share photos

Apple gave the photo sharing menu an aesthetic upgrade, replacing text buttons with icons. New additions to the menu include Facebook, Copy and Photo Stream sharing functions – all new ways to share everyone’s current favorite medium.

iOS 6 Image Sharing

Local search results include Yelp reviews

When you search for something within maps, you will first find that Google Maps have been replaced by Apple’s own vector-based maps. But you’ll also see a Yelp star rating attached to each pushpin – a much quicker way to do some quick review-based recon on local establishments.

Apple Maps

Passwords no longer required for updates

One of my least favorite things about iOS 5 was having to enter my Apple ID password each and every time I updated an app. No, it doesn’t really take long, but it’s an annoying extra step, not to mention the fact that you are booted out of the App Store and back to the homescreen once each download begins. With iOS 6, you’ll see all of your impending updates on one aggregated screen with no password requirement.

iOS 6 App Store

iOS 6 is certainly not without its shortcomings, though. I have to side with several of the early critics, especially when it comes to the glaring lack of public transport navigation. Check out our roundup of the best Chicago transit apps to find a substitute.