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iOS 6's Smaller Changes: Custom Email Alerts, 'Find My Friends' Geofencing and More

As is typical when previewing a new operating system, on Monday Apple's Scott Forstall showed off 10 main features of iOS 6 including improvements to Siri, Facebook Integration, a new Maps app, and a Do Not Disturb mode.

However, there is a lot more to the next iPhone operating system than that. A slide shown at the end of Monday's keynote displayed a number of new features that didn't warrant full keynote coverage but are still worth mention to iOS users:

- Users can now set custom email alerts for any of their VIP contacts.

- Turning Bluetooth on and off is much quicker than it was in iOS 5. Bluetooth controls are now located in first page of System Preferences, next to the Wi-Fi and Airplane Mode controls.

- The iPad gains a native Clock app with similar function to the iPhone version.

- Users no longer need to enter their password to update apps -- only when purchasing an app for the first time. Additionally, users aren't kicked to the home screen when buying or updating an app in the App Store.

- Newly downloaded apps gain a temporary 'New' banner on the icon to make them easier to pick them out.

- Geofencing alerts have been added to Find My Friends. One possible use, suggested by Macworld: "If you’re one of the many workers who carpools, you can set up a geofence on the driver to let you know when they leave their house."

- In iOS 5, the color of the menu bar would change depending on what was happening in the background -- green for a phone call or blue for Personal Hotspot. In iOS 6 those colors still exist, but the menu bar changes color to better complement the app. has more on how Apple color-matches the menu bar.

- One of the most unnecessary additions to iOS 6 is also one of the most telling. Apple has made the metallic volume slider in the iPod app and elsewhere change its reflection as the iPhone is tilted -- as if it were actually reflecting light. While some may say it's a waste of engineering resources, this shows Apple's incredible attention to detail.

Top Rated Comments

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29 months ago
Staying in the App store after making a purchase, yaaaay!!!!
Rating: 58 Votes
29 months ago
It's little things like the metallic slider that fuel the iPhone's unmatched success.
Rating: 41 Votes
29 months ago
I would love the ability to double tap the home button and swipe past the music, swipe past the volume and get to a brightness slider. It would also be better to have a toggle for wifi and bluetooth in that swipe tray as well.

oh well.....
Rating: 40 Votes
29 months ago
such a tiny feature, but that metallic slider sure is pretty damn clever :p
Rating: 33 Votes
29 months ago
I'm not sure I would say there is a fanaticism to detail. This is more of a case of Apple doing something clever for the sake of being clever. Attention to detail would be if they noticed something was a pixel off and fixed it. Changing something that wasn't broken to something that has a "cool" effect is something but it's not attention to detail. Attention to detail would be fixing Bluetooth File Exchange, which still in 10.7.4, has not been fixed. It's an advertised feature of Lion, yet the entire UI was broken by the Lion update and has never been touched by Apple's hands as far as I can tell during the Snow Leopard to Lion transition. Attention to detail would be making fullscreen Pages mode actually fill the screen and give you a toolbar, rather than presenting a document letterboxed on all sides with no toolbar.

If anything, I think Apple's attention to detail has decreased over the last 5 years when it comes to software.
Rating: 19 Votes
29 months ago
Changing the anisotropic angles with the tilt is fairly awesome. Sure, it serves no great purpose, but I can't believe people complain about it.
Rating: 19 Votes
29 months ago

... Additionally, users aren't kicked to the home screen when buying or updating an app in the App Store.

That alone makes me happy. It's always been a bit of an annoyance to me.
Rating: 18 Votes
29 months ago
i'm not in the market for an iPad at the moment, but if i ever get one i would love to have the presence of a guest account.

the iPad sure would be left on the coffee table for everyone else to be used, but i wouldn't want anyone to have access to my personal stuff like pictures and messages and such.
Rating: 18 Votes
29 months ago

Something's wrong when a company doesn't have time to check for serious security issues but spend effort on adding animated reflection to a god damn button.

I'm sure the volume slider reflection engineer is a real wiz at security. Any way, your analogy is off. Apple are the the restaurant where the food looks like a painting but tastes great, and its busy as hell.
Rating: 17 Votes
29 months ago
Very nice, all those little fixes seem to have fixed all the iOS annoyances. Good job Apple! :)

So, Apple's patent for "time of day based shadows" for lack of a better term, is actually real?! Holy **** that's awesome!
Rating: 17 Votes

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