At Apple's annual developers conference this year, Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iOS software, introduced a slew of new features for its latest mobile OS.
Among them are updates to the virtual personal assistant/voice command software, Siri, integration with a handful of automotive manufacturers, message replies for incoming calls, and the ability to FaceTime over a cellular network.
While it's nice to see thatwill boast 200 new features compared to the previous iteration, some have been long overdue. Integrated Facebook photo sharing and turn-by-turn navigation have been available on other mobile operating systems for some time now. Here, we take a look at the new features of iOS 6 and see whether or not these services have already existed on other platforms. Though some of these features existed on Android before Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) I used it in this chart because it is the most recent version of Google's OS.
Editor's note: This piece was originally published on June 11, 2012 and has been updated with corrections to the chart.
|New iOS 6 features||Android 4.0||Windows Phone 7.5|
|Launch native apps by voice||S-Voice, third-party||Microsoft Tellme|
|Launch third-party apps by voice||S-Voice||Microsoft Tellme|
|Automotive integration||Yes, Car Home||No|
|Message replies for incoming calls||Yes||No|
|Set call reminders||No||No|
|Video calling over cellular network||Yes, Google Talk||Third-party apps|
|Offline reading of webpages||Yes||Third-party apps|
|Natively share photo streams||Galaxy S III only||No|
|Natively store and access tickets||No||No|
|3D mapping||Coming to Google Maps||No|
|Info about nearby businesses||Yes||Yes|
Drilling down the details
Sometimes, breaking down what each OS offers depends on what devices you're considering. The , which is slated to come out in the following weeks, promises a voice assistant known as .
Similar to Apple's Siri, S-Voice is more than just a voice commands feature. It can launch apps (both native and third-party ones), schedule events, and fetch weather info.
Microsoft's voice action software, Tellme, isn't as complex as S-Voice or Siri, but it can launch applications as well.
Likewise, Apple's Photo Stream feature, which does exactly what it sounds, is similar to the Galaxy S III's Share Shot. Both services let you share photo streams instantaneously with your friends.
Keep in mind that only a few devices are equipped with Android 4.0, so devices with Gingerbread or earlier may not have all of the features described above. However, it's easy to see how Google's mobile OS has forced Apple's hand into incorporating some highly demanded features. Windows Phone, on the other hand, has a long ways to go compared to both OS'.