The latest news from Apple that parents should get excited about
Anytime Apple holds a big event, we at Cool Mom Tech wait with bated breath for the news of their next great tech innovations. Yesterday at the WWDC (World Wide Developer's Conference), in usual Apple fashion, their announcements didn't disappoint. Yay for iOS 6!
Here, a quick recap of what we're most excited about. Hint: Apple products are about to get a whole lot thinner, faster and fancier, from the MacBook Air to remarkable changes on the iPhone and iPad.
MacBook Air and MacBook Pro changes
I've been eyeing the MacBook Air
and Pro line of laptops for a while and was happy to see that they're
making some very cool changes to both -- faster processors are a boon to
multitasking moms. So between answering emails, paying bills and
downloading those photos, you're going to save a whole lot of time. More
time for Angry Birds!
The MacBook Pro
is getting a brand new design as well, with a super crisp screen (using the same Retina technology of the new iPad
and a much thinner and lighter body, looking more like the Air.
Weighing in at just 4 pounds, the new Pro will add little extra heft to
the diapers, snacks, wipes and toys that are already hanging off our
shoulders all day.
iOS 6 is coming!
On the software side, there are a lot of updates being made to iOS 6
that's going to make our obsession with our Apple devices even
stronger, if that's even possible. Obviously we already think that the iPhone is perfect for parents
. But here are a few of the new features we're really looking forward to:
Facetime Goes 3G
Right now, Facetime is relegated to Wi-Fi networks - a huge pain in
the rear when you don't have a Wi-Fi password or just don't have good
connectivity. When iOS 6 rolls around however, Facetime will be
available over the regular 3G network. Hooray for video chatting
directly from the playground, so your mom can watch live as her
granddaughter tackles the twisty slide by herself for the first time.
Answering iPhone Calls on Your Terms
How many times have you wished that you had more
options than simply answering a call or declining it? Now you will. Say
your toddler is in the midst of a meltdown and you can't answer your
call; iOS 6 will now ask if you'd like a reminder to call back later, or
just to reply with a text. It will even offer preset text options like,
"I'll call you later," or "What's Up?" at the tap of a button.
Unfortunately, there's no "My toddler is having a tantrum, please stand
by" reply. But I think the others should suffice.
Do Not Disturb
those times when you just need to take a break from the world (refer to
tantrum example above), the Do Not Disturb feature will let you block
out any unwanted phone calls, texts, alerts and notifications while the
phone remains on. What a perfect idea for family dinner time.
For safety reasons though, you can designate whose calls can get
through, or even have it disengage when someone calls twice within three
minutes which could indicate something urgent. Really thoughtful.
Oh, how I've come to rely on GPS navigation when I'm
trying to find that random jumpy house birthday party place 20 miles
away. The brand new Apple Maps app is going to include turn-by-turn
directions and a cool 3-D photo rendering feature called "Flyover" of
the location you're trying to map. Maps will also be accessed directly
from the lock screen, so you won't have to fumble around with the phone
when you're looking for said jumpy house location.
Worried that your kid will find her way from Fruit Ninja over to your
Facebook account? No worries--you'll be able to lock him out of
particular apps. That should put a lot of us at ease when we hand the
iPad over in the back seat of the car.
Guided Access for Kids With Special Needs
We already know that the iPad in particular has been a boon for kids
with Autism or other special needs. Guided Access will let you limit
your device to a single app by disabling the Home button, or restrict
touch on certain screen parts to help keep kids focused. Other features
will specifically be available for those who are hearing impaired or
have low vision.
There are about 200 total updates
to the new iOS including cool features like Find My Friends, should you
want to locate other iOS 6 users for a spontaneous play date. Siri is
coming to the new iPad, which is great. There will also be a Passbook
app for storing things like tickets, passes, coupons and store loyalty
membership numbers in one place (kind of like Google Wallet) which you
can see above at left. More and better Facebook integration. Amazing improvements in photo sharing (seen at very top).
the list goes on.
Check out Apple's iOS 6 update page
if you want to "ooh" and "aah" at all the other wondrous updates coming your way.
The only bad news from the WWDC: the new iOS
won't be available until the fall. Judging from what we've heard so far,
we're pretty sure it'll be worth the wait. -Jeana
Apple's iOS 6
will be available for iPhone 3GS, 4 and 4S; iPad 2 and new iPad; and
iPod Touch 4th generation. More information on the new line of MacBooks can be found on the site.
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