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Apple iOS6

iOS6 brings out the claws in Apple

Apple iOS6

Graeme Lipschitz: Columnist
Graeme Lipschitz is the co-founder of digital innovation agency Wonderland Works where he heads up Social Media, Search and Product Development. He was previously the business development... More

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In case you haven’t heard, Apple’s recent and much-anticipated iOS6 launch at WWDC sounded the alarm for third-party app developers. It’s not the small app developers either: Google, Skype and, my tech bunny, RIM, also take a beating in the update.

Google Maps got ditched for Apple’s own mapping system which is now using Tom Tom‘s data as its map provider. Where Apple’s maps product could fall short is in accurate traffic prediction via crowd sourcing, something Waze (despite its notifications) has been great at. Even though the company is providing some of the data for the new service, iOS6 Maps will definitely be an acid test for Waze.

Passbook is Apple’s answer to Google’s Wallet product but it is also going to give Square a run for its money as it will hold your flight boarding pass, your e-tickets and retail loyalty cards. What Passbook doesn’t do is hold bank card information — that’s the critical step toward being part of the mobile payments war that’s going to get underway with the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S3 being NFC enabled.

FaceTime, Apple’s highly overrated video-conferencing facility was hampered by the fact that users could only connect on Wi-Fi networks, which defeated the point because users could just walk up to each other and have a face-to-face conversation. Skype was the de facto app that could provide the functionality needed to video-conference over mobile networks, but no longer with iOS6. That also hammers a little nail into the Google Hangouts box, but what helps these third-party apps is the fact that they’re still cross-platform and not exclusive to Apple.

Apple also introduced an offline reader which detracts from the Spools and Instapapers of the app universe; and also introduced a private photo sharing app which could detract from cloud utilities like Dropbox, in which users create private folders to share photos privately.

All in all, the claws are out for any app developer looking to patch up ‘functional holes’ in iOS.