My predictions for iOS 6:
- New Maps interface, fully integrated with Siri. Will include features like multi-waypoint routing (shortest route), crowd sourced traffic, 3D enabled, turn by turn directions, etc. Core Location API upgraded to include full support for all Maps functionality, so that this can be easily integrated in 3rd Party Apps.
- Siri moves out of Beta, supported on all iOS platforms - including iPad and Apple TV. API support to integrate Siri with third party applications. Apple announces tie-ups to integrate 2-3 major services - travel bookings, stock trading, etc., to be fully integrated into Siri. Apple announces Siri extensions architecture - similar to functionality in Mac OS Dashboard. More languages supported, and more features in more geographies. Siri to offer context aware and intelligent translation into any supported language (as opposed to dumb word by word/phrase by phrase translation done currently by tools like Google Translate). Siri migrates to the new Core Location API, using the new Maps data.
- NFC Support, including micro payments billed to your Apple ID. Buy bus/metro tickets, stuff from vending machines, etc., just by swiping your phone. Biometric safety mechanisms, with ability to remotely set/remove spending limits. Apple offers consolidated billing, to optimize credit card fees. With this move, Apple entrenches itself as the world's largest Micro payments processor, and sets the stage for an eventual move into the Finance space.
- Apple TV migrated to mainstream iOS platform - with full support for Apps, including Third Party Apps.
- AirPlay upgraded to support all OS functionality - not just media and specific apps coded to support AirPlay.
- Apple announces significant integration with Facebook, at the OS level. Share, literally from any App. Facebook becomes Apple's new App Discovery mechanism, integrated with the recent Facebook Apps announcement. Apple retires Ping, and embraces Facebook as its social solution. Special "tick" gestures to "Like" any app, page, etc, and post instantly on Facebook. Full integration of Contacts with Facebook - so if one of your Contacts changes their contact information in Facebook, it will reflect instantly in your iOS Contacts as well.
- Major changes around iAd - should likely be integrated at the OS level itself - so that apps need not package iAd libraries with each app. Signicant changes to improve privacy of users, UUID becomes obsolete and unusable in iOS6. Apple gets serious about iAd, announces measures to enhance popularity of iAd amongst developers. Possibly even announce "Listing fees" for free apps that use ad networks other than iAd. If developer makes money from the App through ads, why should Apple bear the cost of hosting the App, the bandwidth, etc, when it is not making any cut on the Ad revenue?
- Extension of current Spotlight functionality to include Web Search as well, through multiple Search Engines - with all ads filtered out. Can only be used with Search Engines that agree to cut out ads - possibly pushing Google to make a very tough choice! Microsoft Bing happily will comply with this restriction. Will be the best way for Apple to put a knife into Google's Advertising revenue.
- Apple takes a few more potshots at Google's Advertising revenue. Safari 6 to have option to "Default" to Reader, whenever Reader gets enabled on a page. So user might never see the extraneous content on the page.
In all, iOS6 will have several features that will end up hurting Google significantly over time. Google will regret the day it decided to pursue Android, and spoil its great relationship with Apple. Almost 80% of Google's mobile revenues are generated via iOS - and Apple's measures in iOS6 will impact Google massively on those revenues. The last 4 features - Facebook (Google's enemy is Apple's friend), iAd (Mobile App advertising revenues), Spotlight, (Web Search Revenues), Reader (Web Display Ad Revenues) will hit Google where it hurts the most.
Edited by macarena - 6/11/12 at 9:55am