iOS 6 WWDC Keynote Updates

The Apple WWDC 2012 keynote highlights in a nutshell:

The keynote is naturally heavy on user facing features and light on the deep details that are of interest only to developers. There is no way that Scott Forstall is going to announce during the keynote that they have improved core-data sync with iCloud. Unfortunately the WWDC sessions and the iOS 6 beta are covered by NDA so it will be a few months before we can discuss any of the details.

Apple do like to show a single page preview of the SDK changes during the keynote which does put some information into the public domain (see about 109 minutes into the keynote). A couple of the features caught my eye:

Some other features that, pre-beta, sound intriguing:

Of course there were also all of the big user features such as Facebook integration, new Maps, Passbook, a Reminders API which might overcome some of the limitations of local notifications, new API’s for the camera and WebKit improvements. Finally mention was also made of improved privacy controls so that a user can refuse an App access to the calendar, photo library or address book.

Without having peaked under the NDA covers it is hard to assess the full impact of iOS 6 but first impressions make it look like a decent upgrade for both users and developers. We don’t yet know what new hardware might arrive to run iOS 6 but we did learn that iOS 6 will not be available on the original iPad. I was a little surprised to see that it will be available on the iPhone 3GS and fourth generation iPod touch. I have to wonder how well it will work on those older devices with limited memory and processor power but it seems odd that they would support the 3GS but not the first iPad?

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