iOS 6 to Add Safari iCloud Tabs, VIP Mail Recipients, 'Do Not Disturb' Mode?

Back in March, we noted that Apple had activated Safari tab syncing through iCloud in OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview 2, with the feature designed to allow users to sync open browser tabs across Macs and presumably iOS devices. Now in a new report from 9to5Mac outlining several OS X Mountain Lion features that will also be making their way to iOS 6, the site unsurprisingly notes that Safari iCloud tab syncing will indeed be coming to iOS as well as OS X.

When the iCloud Tabs button is clicked on an iOS 6 device (or Mac), all the tabs opened on each device are simply shown in a synchronized list. From here, users can quickly pickup individual tabs that they were working on across their Apple devices. The iCloud Tabs button on the iPhone and iPod touch is hidden behind the Bookmarks toolbar.


Safari iCloud tab syncing in OS X Mountain Lion

Another new Mountain Lion feature also being implemented in iOS 6 is Mail VIPs. With this feature, users can designate "VIPs" whose emails will appear with stars next to them in Mail to make them stand out at a glance. The feature will also be iCloud-compatible on compatible accounts, with designated VIP statuses being synced across devices.

One final OS X Mountain Lion feature said to be coming to iOS 6 is "Do Not Disturb" mode for Notification Center. As implemented in Mountain Lion, users can turn on Do Not Disturb mode to hide incoming Notification Center banners and alerts. An essentially identical setting has reportedly been added to the top section of the Settings app in iOS 6, allowing users to easily hide incoming notifications and prevent interruptions.

9to5Mac also details some of the Facebook integration coming in iOS 6, noting that the implementation will be very similar to that seen for Twitter. One of the primary areas of integration will be in the Photos app, where users will be able to easily post photos directly to their Facebook timelines. Facebook will also utilize a similar system to the Tweet Sheets seen in iOS 5, offering a window for users to type in text to accompany items being posted to Facebook.

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107 months ago
Is it going to be a switch in notification center? I hope this part of iOS matures some more. We need some more automated settings. For instance when I'm actively using my Mac iMessages and Mail on my iPhone should be muted. Or when I'm at home on my WIFI there should be an option to disable my passcode lock automatically. Less toggles and more automation. Some new widgets or a widgets API for notification center would also be appreciated.

As for the Facebook integration, I hope Apple unifies these under a common "Social" settings group. I don't care much about Facebook integration but Twitter improvements would be welcome. It should be more seamless. I should be able to swipe down in notification center and make a new tweet and select a photo from my library if I want. Switching to the photo app and scrolling through a list of all the different actions available seems ridiculous. How long is that list box going to get? The whole list box idea seems tired. I hope Apple starts revamping the UI. iOS is much more capable than it was in version 1 and yet these scrolling button boxes (for when they get too tall) have been around forever and keep having more junk added to them. There needs to be a better way.

I also hope for more gesture support. Gestures aren't always intuitive, but they're great for power users and over time people will learn them. We're clearly headed more in that direction than all these scrolling boxes. iOS could also use a fresh coat of paint. The baby blue pinstripes seem so dated. That being said I'm not at all a fan of the Corinthian leather or any of the other hideous treatments. Though the new movie trailers app looks nice. I'm a fan of darker UIs that are a bit more refined and easier on the eyes (I'm a huge fan of the new Photoshop CS6, even with some of the UI shortcomings the darker shade is great). I just don't think these leather-bound book metaphors work well on a black/white glass and metal device. It's kind of hideous and supposedly Jony Ive agrees—wasn't that news recently?

All that being said, this is my ultimate iOS 6 wish list:

1. Siri API
2. Widget API (notification center and perhaps lock screen?)
3. Revamped UI
4. New gestures
5. Automatic settings changes (location based, etc)
6. Intents (better inter-app communication and such, or perhaps the ability to replace the Mail app with Sparrow or similar examples)
7. New maps application that blows Google away
8. Refined social networking integration (better implementation)
9. Airdrop files between Mac and iPhone, iPhone to iPhone/iPad, etc
10. Better iCloud integration on deeper levels
11. Improved dictation, perhaps local dictation for short or simple requests like the local dictation used for calls, music, etc when Siri is off? Drives me crazy that my wife's iPhone 4 can voice dial much faster than Siri since it doesn't use the network. So we need some intelligent switching.
12. Official BT 4.0 gamepad API (so devs are on same page)
13. Improved camera/photo apps (finally see panoramic mode?)
14. Enhanced customization (deeper settings that we can tweak like custom sounds for every kind of notification, remove built in app icons from home screen, etc)
15. Might Apple remove the YouTube app in favor of Google releasing one on the App store to try to separate themselves further? I thought I read that Mountain Lion has Vimeo support built-in but not YouTube. This could be another great use for intents—Safari would need to know the proper app to launch for YouTube links if it wasn't built-in. Though I think this might be currently achievable to a certain degree?

So what do I think are the chances of them happening? 1. 70% 2. 30% 3. 30% 4. 50% (for at least one or two) 5. 30% 6. 50% 7. 99% 8. 70% 9. iPhone 6 this fall 10. 99% 11. 50% 12. 20% 13. 60% 14. likely in several areas, depends where 15. more likely if they cut out Google Maps, which is likely—but they may wait.

Likely to be a solid update—but I'm still waiting for Apple to pull out something huge and leapfrog competitors again like they did with the original iPhone software. While I feel like Apple is a very capable company, I still worry that they've lost the capability to pull off something that far out and crazy again—which is kind of sad since they have so much more money now. I'm not saying that they aren't doing a great job, but I get the feeling that the jaw dropping iPhone 1 caliber stuff is either not likely to happen again or is quite a ways down the pipeline. I hope I'm spectacularly wrong, but I feel like so many companies in mobile right now are on a plateau waiting for copy some amazing new Apple product or software that may never come—or at least not anytime soon. I feel like Google stole much of iOS the first couple years and lately Apple has just been adding whatever new feature Android has. The main exception however is Siri—and if Siri gets an API then that could be HUGE and keep Apple ahead for at least a couple more years. iCloud also has some potential to keep competitors at bay. The whole ecosystem is a better experience with Apple. Once Google can match that then Apple may be in trouble.

Sorry for the half-crazy, scattered, long post. I've been awake for a very long time...but felt the need to jot down some thoughts—even if they are discombobulated and insane.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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107 months ago

Wow, talk about lame features after waiting a year for a new iOS. Yawn.


Uh, whats so lame about this?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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107 months ago
Nice feature additions to iOS. Next thing I want from iOS is a more mature UI design across the board. I don't care about the home screen but some developments to the same will be good too.

I care about various UIControls and other typical UI segments for e.g. NavigationControllers and TabBarControllers. I hope to see something more innovative and different compared to the present state of UI elements in iOS.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
107 months ago

I think this is all pretty cool and can't wait to see it in action. I would imagine there's a lot more out there too.

One thing I wonder if Apple has considered? The Gmail service provides some rather excellent anti-spam features, catching I would say up to 99% (or more) of incoming spam. I wonder if Apple's mail servers could find an algorithm to do the same. (This was prompted by the new features mentioned: *starring* VIP email addresses, and the "do not disturb" feature)

There is no 'algorithm' for such a feature. Mail SPAM uses incredible AI especially Machine Learning to learn a number of user emails and user activity to decide if the email is SPAM or NOT. Currently, iCloud does a good job but GMail is just too good.

I would request Apple to not consider features at the moment but fix the following things when it comes to cloud services especially email –

1. Fix iCloud. Sometimes it doesn't sync. Sometimes, I don't know exactly what will sync. Photostream automatically stops syncing. In iBooks, when I move to a different phone, I have to download all the books again. I don't know which were already installed on my previous iPhone. Just download all of them automatically. As for PDFs, I've absolutely no idea what to do. It's very confusing.
EDIT: Sometimes even the bookmarks wont sync. Its a ****in disaster. Dhuh..

2. Push email - sometimes works/sometimes it doesn't. Send read receipts for emails so that if I read it on OS X Mail, I've it read on iOS Mail.

3. Fix the email web client. It's ****ing slow and unreliable.

4. Go to Gmail.com and see their advanced features and add some of the important ones.

Out of these 4 things, the first 3 are crucial to me and I see Apple doing at the most - very little to bring these things in order.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
107 months ago
Shouldn't this be automatic? Why do we need another button to push?

and iCloud can't even sync your files between iOS and OSX without manually dragging them out of and into the website?

It's like Apple has 75% of the vision, and has done all the work to get to that point, and then just stopped short.

Wish they'd complete what they've started before adding more new half-executed features.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
107 months ago

Very disappointing if this really is all that's new in iOS 6.


LOL. I can imagine the keynote a week from now:

"Welcome everyone, Today we will unveil to you iOS6. We have worked night and day for the past year and here are the three features that our hundreds of thousands of work hours have produced. Drum roll please..."
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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