My favorite iOS 6 features


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I’ve been using iOS 6 on my iPad 2 for a couple weeks now, and after an initial snafu with my WiFi, everything has seemed to settle down. While I have seen reports that a lot of people are not updating to iOS 6 for a variety of reasons, I haven’t had any major issues with the update.

The biggest emergency I have had happened the other day when my boss called me into his office. When the first words out of his mouth were “I updated my iPad and…” I immediately thought to myself  “oh crap, what did he break”? It turned out not to be as bad as it could have been. My boss uses YouTube on an almost daily basis. iOS 6 removed the YouTube app. So when he updated his iPad, he suddenly couldn’t find YouTube. I of course knew it was disappearing since we announced the change at the beginning of August. My quick fix was to simply open up Safari and create him a bookmark on his homescreen, and all order was restored in his world.

While I don’t get to enjoy(make fun of) Siri, or take pictures in beautiful panoramic mode (imagine that with an iPad, lol), or trust Passbook with all my sensitive credit information, or even use my iPad for turn-by-turn navigation on my next trip, there are some little things that I am enjoying about the update to iOS 6. These are the things I think Apple should have touted on its update page.

App Store

Yes, Apple completely redid the graphical interface of the App Store, and yes, it looks a lot better than before. That change is not the one that most excites me, however. The thing that changed is something that always annoyed me. I am a user who always wants to have all my apps updated. I want the newest and hopefully most bug free version of whatever app I am using. When I grabbed my bosses iPad last week to check on his YouTube app, I saw he had 57 updates available. 57! That, to me, is crazy. Why would you not want the updated version?

Anyway, because I was constantly updating my apps, and also constantly trying new ones to make some free money, it meant I was constantly inputting my iTunes account password. Everytime I wanted to download or update an app, I had to put in my password. I understand security is important, but if I just downloaded an app, and it turned out to not do what I wanted, and I go back to the app store to try another, don’t make me input my password again. I can understand if I had locked my iPad, but I didn’t even shut the screen off.

With the new store I have had to input my password a whole lot less. I don’t know the exact rules they have setup, but I don’t think I have had to input it at all to do updates, which makes sense since I already gave it permission to download the app in the first place.

WiFi Proxy Settings

Now this one is something that I would be willing to bet very few people would even care about, but I noticed it right away. At my work, we run a proxy server for our office network. This means any device that is connected to our office WiFi needs to have proxy information entered in. While this is a very easy and straight forward task to accomplish, it came with one small hiccup for me. I use two apps on a weekly basis at work: one controls the sound board in the church, and the other runs the projection software. The sound board app connects to the console via IP address and doesn’t care whether there is proxy server information or not. The projection one, however, is more of a pain. It won’t find the client on the computer if my iPad has the proxy information entered. This means I would need to remove it every time I wanted to use that app, and then add it back in to do anything on the internet.

It didn’t make any sense to me why I couldn’t just toggle between the proxy and no proxy settings without it losing the data I entered. Any computer I have ever had to enter the information into had a toggle of some sort to turn the proxy on of off without actually removing the proxy info. iOS 6 lets me keep my proxy info. Now I know this is a very small thing, but to me it was an annoyance every week, and now I don’t have to deal with it anymore.

Email Signatures

I am a man who wears many hats, and has many email signatures. I have three employers, each with their own email address, plus numerous things I do on the side. This means I can’t ever use just one email signature. And I hate the default “sent from my…” signatures. In iOS 6, Apple has added the ability to have a different signature for each account in the mail app. This means I can finally stop typing my signature every time and hope I don’t get my titles or company names mixed up. (It hasn’t happened yet, at least that I know of.) To enable this great feature go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars, and scroll down to Signature. Tap on Signature and then on Per Account. Then add your signatures for each mail account.

So these are some of my favorite iOS 6 changes. What are some of your favorites?

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Bryan Faulkner

Bryan Faulkner is a former associate editor at Pocketables. He loves to find new ways to use his tablets while working as the Tech Director at his local church. Mixing sound from the iPad is his newest obsession. He currently has a pair of HP TouchPads, an iPad 2, a decommissioned HTC EVO 4G, and a Samsung Galaxy Note II to tinker with.

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