iOS 6 brings a ton of new features to the iPhone, and most of them look pretty useful. Siri can do more, iCloud gets turbo-charged and Maps is getting turn by turn navigation. But iOS 6 is also full of all sorts of visual tweaks that do absolutely nothing. Here are our favourites.
We’ve been running the iOS 6 beta since Monday, and we’ve noticed some little visual flairs and flourishes that weren’t there previously. Some are cool, some are daft and some are outright dangerous.
Pull snot to refresh
Apple’s announcement that the pull to refresh gesture would be introduced for Mail on iOS 6 was met with cheers, but the implementation is even better than it sounds. Pull down from the top of your inbox and you’ll see a little blob stretch, tighten and snap back when you let go. As people have been quick to point out, it looks and behaves remarkably like a bogey.
For God’s sake, don’t follow the directions on Apple’s new Maps logo
Apple has unceremoniously dumped Google Maps for its maps service in iOS 6, but we hope its in-house cartographers pay more attention to detail than whoever made the new icon. The icon shows Apple’s famous Infinite Loop address in California, but the blue navigation line rather unfortunately suggests you turn left off a bridge to your death. There’s a famous story about Steve Jobs intervening on icons gone wrong – he may be gone, but given the press this has already attracted, we’d be very surprised if this remains in the final release.
You can zoom out of the world
A less unfortunate flourish in iOS 6 Maps. Whereas zooming out on Google Maps would simply give you a flat version of the earth, iOS 6 will let you zoom out to the level of the solar system: the globe appears in space, and you can see your exact position on the ball of rock spinning through the infinite. Useful? Not in the slightest. Fun? Absolutely.
Look at the sliders
It’s a blink and you’ll miss it new feature in iOS 6. Look at the volume slider or scrub bar in a music application. Then slowly tilt the phone. You’ll notice the reflective sheen on it moves as you angle the phone: it’s now using your iPhone’s accelerometers to pull off this little animation. Pointless use of man hours? Not when Apple’s management sleep on beds made of money on top of floors made of money in houses made of bars of gold.
There’s a new dialler
Don’t worry! Apple hasn’t done anything ridiculous like change the order of numbers or the size of the keys (Something, for whatever bizarre reason, Google has done with the number 0 on the Android lock screen in Ice Cream Sandwich). But it has spruced up the numberpad on iOS 6.