With each update to Apple’s iOS platform, users of older devices are left wondering what the upgrade will mean for their particular piece of kit. The iOS 6 update will make a difference to users of the new iPad or iPad 2, provided they have 3G/4G connectivity to make use of the Siri service. Also Apple’s green light for users to make FaceTime calls on cellular connections as well as through WiFi will benefit iPad owners, making the LTE connection more rewarding (though of course other video calling services such as Skype already work on 3G and 4G links). Siri and turn-by-turn navigation through the new Maps app now transforms the iPad into a fully-fledged voice-controlled satnav system.
Again, some users are alsready using third-party apps to get GPS satnav capability from their iPad, but the functionality works ‘out of the box’ or out-of-the-ether or whatever would be the correct term for a full-featured experience included with an OTA update. What hasn’t yet arrived is an API for the Siri service, so that devs can hook it up to third-party apps, giving them voice-controlled functionality. Any such API would put the iPad in a different league as far as leveraging voice control is concerned; the larger screen real estate would give users a lot more intreractivity with which to interact, merely by barking commands into the inbuilt mic.
It’s not too long ago that share-dealing floors were a screaming hellhole of frantic wheeler-dealing, and Apple will have to really pull something out of the bag before it can beat the spoken word for speed of input. Another area where the iPad has seen its functionality expanded is in the realm of uploading, with the new iOS 6 enabling users to upload media directly from the Safari browser, whether to Craigslist, eBay, or to a CMS for blogging. That should mean direct uploads will be possible in the new update, as opposed to being forced to use third-party interlopers. It’s a pretty minor gripe, but until now uploading from the world’s most beloved slate has been a bit of a nuisance.