By Jonathan Charles | Aug 14, 2012 12:28 PM EDT
New features in iOS 6 beta include an option to enable Wi-Fi and cellular connections simultaneously, called "Wi-Fi Plus Cellular". The feature aims to address the possibility of a Wi-Fi connection dropping before a cellular connection appears, to provide a seamless transition across types of connection.
Apple Insider advises users to click General and then Cellular Systems to find the toggle option.
FaceTime video conference calls will continue working during transitions between connection types. Currently, FaceTime is WiFi only, for which the service was criticized when it debuted in 2010. FaceTime is 3G-capable in iOS 6, but the toggle option currently only appears on the iPhone 4S. Rumors claim that carriers could charge users for using FaceTime on 3G.
Additionally, iOS 6 beta offers users the option to be notified when a user makes an edit on a shared calendar (called "Shared Calendar Alerts") and a "Bluetooth Sharing" option for apps sharing in the background.
iOS 6 is an important juncture for Apple. The company has used the grid-based layout since the operating system debuted in 2007. Google continues to refine Android, most recently with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, which offers greater functionality with widgets on the homescreen. Microsoft offers Windows Phone with a tile-based user interface.
Many wonder Apple can bring noticeable changes to its iOS. Apple has mindshare with casual consumers who are perfectly happy with the current user interface, but it does not want to find itself in a situation similar to Blackberry maker RIM, behind the competition and continually playing catch-up. Microsoft launched Windows Phone following a similar slump with Windows Mobile, and it is now struggling to dislodge Google and Apple.
iOS 6 will be released this Fall. Mobilenapps.com recently covered features that Apple could improve in the new iOS.
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