The iOS 6 keynote reinforced the features of the new operating system that will be releasing on September 19th, 2012. Features like Maps are new to iOS 6, and while they are available in the United States, other countries may have a more limited experience.
iOS 6 updates Siri and features better results, but there are still older devices used worldwide. A user in the United States will experience a full iOS 6 update, but what will a user in another country get?
Looking from a perspective outside the United States, it’s apparent that there’s a little less to be excited about. While core features work, the lack of extended functions in some countries is disappointing.
If Apple is promoting iOS to be the best mobile operating system available, it needs to work on making sure that more features are available worldwide.
That number falls to 96 countries for directions.
Turn-by-turn direction supported countries fall again to 56.
3D buildings is only supported in the United States. Traffic and Local search in Maps also contain a limited number of supported countries.
The new Maps app appears to work for general location information, but functions like turn-by-turn navigation are much more limited. Maps doesn’t have transit information, something that is very helpful when trying to find directions on foot.
Google’s Maps app contains a lot of information, like driving, public transit, and walking information. The removal of Google’s original iOS maps app already has the company working on a standalone version that should include the same information as the Android app. The recent YouTube app has similar functionality to the Android version, and it is a lot better than the aged app that Apple developed.
Siri’s upgrades in iOS 6 are supposed to feature greater integration with Twitter and Facebook, and supply better organic search results.
If you live in larger European and Asian countries, then you will have no problems using Siri with Twitter and Facebook. Otherwise, the options are nil other than finding a comparable voice app that supports both.
Many demos have shown Siri being asked about movies. Since these queries were done in the United States, there were no problems in receiving results. But the list shortens when you ask for movie information, movie reviews and showtimes.
Siri is supposed to be a voice assistant that helps you find information and perform tasks, but when you consider the specific highlighted features that are shown during keynotes, the usability of these features is small outside the United States.
iOS 6 looks more and more like an incremental update to iOS 5.1. Even with new apps like Maps and Passbook, the core of iOS is the same. Updated devices contain more computing power, but are they hiding possible bloat in the operating system that Apple itself is trying to hide? It took years before iTunes experienced an overhaul, so maybe Apple just can’t hide it anymore.
Users in the United States get the full iOS 6 experience, while international users see a limited release of the “best” OS Apple has released.