10 Promising Features of iOS 6 for Educators

As an app developer (see TechChef4u app), I have the rare pleasure of previewing iOS 6 before it hits iDevices in schools, businesses, and homes everywhere. While iOS 6 is chocked full of new and hidden gems, I thought the following 10 were the most promising features for educators and the iClassroom!
     

  • 1. Turn-by-turn navigation and 3D Apple Maps: As I am directionally impaired and always on the road in my mobile office, this has been the best feature to date. While this feature is not exclusive to educators, anyone who is looking for a FREE GPS navigation system with turn-by-turn audio, this is your new best friend. I can now toss out my Garmin and simply let Siri guide the way. (Note: Apple has done away with Google Maps altogether and reinvented their app to include 3D buildings and vector images that load faster).

Turn-by-Turn Navigation in iOS 6

 

  • 2. FaceTime over 3G and 4G: This is a welcome addition for anyone who has ever had to search for Wifi to enable a FaceTime call. The feature also opens up multiple possibilities for those teachers who bring their own devices to school but are restricted from using the school’s Wifi to utilize FaceTime in the classroom for expert calls and mystery interviews. (I won’t include a picture of this as I discovered it worked while driving).
     

  • 3. Cleaner Look to the App Store: The app store is more aesthetic and functional. Apps load directly on the screen and then offer the option to open directly from the app store. The Details, Reviews, and Related sections have also been reworked to appear in the same window.

Installing Apps

 

  • 4. No iTunes Sign-in for Updating Apps: This feature is HUGE for educators who are in a district with restricted access to the iTunes password and account for the devices. Now teachers and students can update apps without compromising the account.

No Sign-in for Updating Apps

 

  • 5. Loading of Apps on Screen: New apps now load with a “New” ribbon so the user can identify which ones have been loaded and not launched (or reviewed). Also, new apps appear first on your screen not at then end of an imaginary screen. Both of these features make it much easier to identify new apps and utilize them rather than spend time using the spotlight search to locate them.

New App Ribbons

 

  • 6. Sharing Links and Facebook: The new interface for sharing links is more visually pleasing and much easier to use and it includes Facebook integration which is useful for all iClassrooms that host a class Facebook page.

Sharing Links

 

  • 7. Modifications to Restrictions:  There are multiple modifications to the restrictions potion of the device. The most promising were the Volume Limit and limitations to iBooks. The Volume Limit allows the user (or teacher) to set the volume limit on the device and restrict changes. As the mother of a five-year-old who enjoys listening to movies at an increasingly louder volume (and refuses to wear a headset), I find this to be a welcome addition. Another addition (not shown) is to restrict iBooks that contain “explicit sexual content”.

Restricting Volume

 

  • 8. Guided Access in an App: For all of those educators that wished their student could be restricted to use just one app and not multi-task through various apps, this feature is for you. It can be found in the General area of the Settings under an expanded Accessibility menu. The feature allows the user to restrict a student to using a selected app (and only that app) using a passcode and the triple-click home button.

Restricting Access in Apps

 

  • 9. VIP email: If you are swimming in emails as I am, the VIP email function makes sorting emails that much easier. Simply designate from your address book those people who are VIP to you. All of their emails will appear in your inbox and under the VIP label in your Inbox for quick reference. As you can see… Carl Hooker (a.k.a my new boss) is “kind of a big deal”.

VIP Email

 

  • 10. Reply with Messages: For those of you who screen (or can’t take ) calls during the day, this option is quite effective to respond to a caller in a timely manner without taking the call. (Note: I would never use this option on a VIP email recipient).

Reply with Message

 

Check out other articles covering the features of iOS6:

 

 

 

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1 Comment

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    Kudos for an informative post. I’ve been looking around for this type of data for a while now.

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