Apple iOS 6 behind the hype: FaceTime arrival & Passbook app offer exciting new mobile possibilities, storage solutions

News surrounding the unveiling of Apple's mobile operating system refresh, iOS 6, was dominated by the arrival of Siri on the iPad, the integration of Facebook into the platform, and the ceremonious dumping of Google Maps in favour of an in-house digital cartography solution.

But the update also boasts a number of less chintzy but equally intriguing new features, including a long-awaited mobile version of Apple's FaceTime. Users of the iOS platform on handsets have been clamouring for the integration of the video-call app ever since the iPhone 4 first slid into pockets back in June 2010.

Although the quality will not be as good as it is on desktop and tablet devices, it will now nonetheless be possible to take video calls on 3G over your iPhone. Apple is also amalgamating device IDs so that FaceTime requests sent to mobile numbers can also be answered from iPad and Mac hardware.

A new storage feature called Passbook was also showcased and is potentially hugely useful. The app enables users to codify large swathes of their digital possessions, putting everything from boarding passes to cinema tickets and gift vouchers into one, easily accessible location.

Scott Forstall, senior vice president of iPhone Software, demoed the app by showing how it could be used to help gain access to a sporting event.

Passbook is integrated into Apple's existing OS notification system, so significant transport delays will be automatically flagged, while the app will also alert the user if their device is near a shop or service where it has a gift or loyalty card able to be redeemed.

ITProPortal continues to offer comprehensive coverage of Apple's WWDC 2012, which kicked off yesterday with a keynote speech from CEO Tim Cook and a range of high fanfare revelations and more subtle product launches.