There are a number of exciting improvements coming to Apple’s new iOS 6, including updates to the Siri voice recognition software, improved maps functionality, and passbook. These are significant changes that will make Apple even more competitive than ever against Android.
We’ve talked about where we think Siri will eventually take us, but Apple’s iOS 6 takes us a step closer. By using a multi model input and output, the voice recognition software in the iPhone is going to ramp up its functionality significantly. Traditionally, you use a keypad and a screen as the input. Output is then viewed on the screen, so we are interfacing with the phone physically. Siri’s updates will allow all of that input and output to occur with voice as well, so there will be multiple input/output modalities. The onus is on Apple to move Siri forward because Android is also working to develop voice recognition and stands a good chance of doing very well with it.
Much to the consternation of many users who cannot imagine doing anything without Google maps, Apple’s new iOS 6 will replace Google maps with their own proprietary map service. Apple maps have not been the best – but the upside is that no one will need to buy a separate GPS device, as the phone will provide the necessary GPS functionality. Apple’s maps will also introduce turn by turn navigation that works in conjunction with voice recognition, enhancing the GPS service in ways that will further integrate the use of iPhone in everything users do. There will be pressure on Apple to improve their maps quickly; right now they’re rather out of date. It’s likely that many people will choose to download a different app rather than use Apple maps, at least until they’re up to speed. This functionality, in conjunction with voice recognition, is a necessary step in keeping up with Android, which already offers the feature with Google Navigation
One of the biggest changes coming to iOS 6 is the addition of passbook technology. Passbook technology will allow the iPhone to be used with Nearfield Communications (NFC) so that the phone can be used to make credit card payments at any point of sale POS. Apple has not yet announced the feature, but it is coming with the new iPhone (iPhone5) in anticipation of NFC’s rollout next July.
The improvements coming to Apple’s iOS 6 bring us one step closer to the inevitable future in which the phone is an indispensable tool – even more than it is now. In the not too distant future, your phone will be the key to your car and your home, the remote start for your vehicle on cold days, the tool you use to monitor your home’s security, and the only tool you need to do your work and get from place to place. And what is really exciting is that the future is just around the corner.
We are happy to use Waterfall and other predictive methods when building software, if that is what our customers desire, but we have found that the majority of our projects are generally best-served by the adaptability that the Agile approach offers.