WWDC 2012 Keynote iOS6 roundup: Siri for iPad, Smart app banners and more

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By AJ Glasser Comments

Apple’s developer conference bombarded the web with various updates and new features included in the iOS 6 update due out this fall. Here’s a roundup of the bits we didn’t already cover in previous stories:

Siri knows more – Apple’s “intelligent personal assistant” can now answer a broader range of questions verbally and direct users to information sources more smoothly. Example, asking Siri if LeBron James or Kobe Bryant is taller yield the answer, “LeBron James appears to be slightly taller.”

Siri launches apps – Siri can now launch apps on voice command. Example, Play Temple Run will open that app. Apple demonstrated additional integrations with the OpenTable reservation-making app. It was not made clear if developers would have access to a Siri API.

Eyes Free – Apple says it’s working with car manufacturers like Toyota, General Motors, Mercedes, BMW, Honda and Audi to allow drivers to access Siri while operating vehicles. The companies named will reportedly integrate Siri in the next 12 months.

Siri for iPad – The virtual personal assistant will now be available on iPads via iOS6.

Smart app banners – This new integration displays a drop-down banner on mobile sites, advertising said sites’ mobile app to readers in a less-intrusive way than the existing pop-ups.

Apple ID and phone number unify – By merging a user’s phone number and Apple ID, users can now receive phone calls to their iPhone on their iPad or Macs.

Photo Steam – iOS 6’s photo stream allows users to pick the photos they want to share and with whom they wish to share them. Those people then receive a push notification that the images are there and can comment on specific images. This friend-sharing capacity is strikingly similar to what Facebook permits with its own photo-sharing for both open web and mobile app.

Passbook – This features collects all quick response codes or visual codes a user comes within range of and displays them in one place, also visible from the lock screen. For example, if a user gets close to a stadium, Passbook would generate a pop-up displaying any tickets or promotional codes the user had to that stadium. Apple demonstrated that Passbook for boarding passes would actually notify users of gate changes or delays. Once used or deleted, Passbook entries visually shred as if paper were actually being torn up.

Updated maps – Maps on iPhone will no function more like store-bought GPS devices that provide audio and visual turn-by-turn directions as well as traffic reports and estimated times of arrival. The traffic reports are anonymously crowd-sourced and Maps will reroute users if there is an accident or a jam blocking their current route. More than 100 million businesses are listed in the Maps feature with information cards for each. Maps are also viewable in 3D and can be rotated by finger if the vector-based map view isn’t to their liking.

A developer beta of iOS 6 is going live today.