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The Geek Girl Report: Digital Wallets, “Do Not Disturb,” and Dumb Maps: A Quick Look at iOS 6

iphone 5
Mario Tama, Getty Images

As we all know, last week was a record-setting week for Apple with the release of the iPhone 5 and it’s new operating system iOS 6. For those of you who couldn’t get your hands on the iPhone 5, but still have the iPhone 3GS or higher, iOS 6 will give you a good idea of what to expect. Here’s just a couple of features that are worth noting.

Passbook

The age of the digital wallet is upon us, if Passbook is any indication. This handy app will store any number number of passes all in one places, from movie tickets, to boarding passes, even store cards and coupons can be stored here. The app is not “live” yet, but if it works as well as it says, it has a lot of promise. I’ve already installed a few of the apps Passbook offers, like United Airlines and Fandango Movies. When Passbook goes live, I’ll be ready.

Apple Maps

Apple Maps has caught a lot a flack for being, to put it bluntly, a crappy app. Unfortunately, all the flack is well deserved. It really is as bad as everyone says it is. Although the maps themselves look beautiful, they are not very smart. For example, a quick search for “Texas Tech” on my iPhone brought up several auto repair places…in Austin. I know Apple needed a replacement for Google Maps, but couldn’t we have gotten a competent replacement?

While we’re on the topic on Google and Apple, you may notice that the built-in YouTube app that was on the iPhone is gone now. But, you can always go to the App Store and download the official free, and far superior, YouTube app for yourself.

Do Not Disturb

If you’re constantly inundated with calls, but still need to keep your phone on you, the new “Do Not Disturb” mode might be for you. In this mode, incoming calls and alerts will be automatically silenced. You can also set your phone to go into “Do Not Disturb” at a certain time, (like at night or during a flight) and create a list of people who can get in touch with you at any time.

In addition to this, you’ll notice you have some more options when you receive a call. If you’re busy and can’t take a call at the moment, you can now choose to respond to a call with a text message or set a reminder for yourself to call the person back.

Siri

If you have the iPhone 4S, you’ve already become acquainted with Siri, Apple’s popular, but far from perfect, digital assistant. And now, she’s learned a thing or two. In iOS 6, you can now ask Siri for a wide variety of information, including movie times, sports scores, driving directions and even launching Facebook and Twitter. Siri’s voice dictation had also seen massive improvements from the previous version. Simply put, if you had doubts about Siri before, iOS 6′s version will make you a believer.

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