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iOS 6.1 features needed beyond Siri

Apple has now pushed out an official update to iOS 6.0.1 for supported devices, but already consumers are looking forward to the next major update with iOS 6.1. We’ve just heard that Apple plans to add even more functionality to their Siri personal assistant, but should the company be focusing on improving other areas first?

Siri seems to one of the first areas that Apple looks at when providing new iOS 6 updates for iPhone and now iPad users. We saw during Apple’s iPhone 5 event that consumers will soon be able to use the Passbook app to seamlessly book and store boarding pass information when travelling through busy airports.

Now, Apple is again following on from this functionality, by bringing full support for purchasing movie tickets within Siri on the forthcoming iOS 6.1 update. When the update is out, you will then have the ability to ask Siri to buy movie tickets for a particular movie, with Siri understanding commands for relevant movie times as well.

Information uncovered in the iOS 6.1 beta has revealed that the new movie service will make use of the Fandango application to purchase tickets. If you don’t have the app installed, Siri will prompt you to do so before moving on to the payment process. Unsurprisingly though, not everyone is going to be happy with the new features, especially those outside of the US as this is another feature that will be exclusive to US residents for the time being.

Not every theater is supported by Fandango service either, with Siri displaying a movie tickets icon next to theaters that are supported for instant payments on an iOS device. Considering that this is yet another US only feature, we would hope that Apple are planning some other major improvements to iOS 6.1, features that will work universally across all iOS 6.1 devices in all countries.

Opentable is a great feature for US residents, but Apple really should be trying hard to make the same features available in other countries. OpenRice is a great application for Hong Kong residents, which basically provides the same services as OpenTable – so what is the hold up Apple?

On a more pleasing note, we’re also hearing that improvements to Apple maps are coming in iOS 6.1 as well, which are badly needed as anyone who has used the current app will agree. Even Tim Cook has recently admitted that the Maps app needs some work, with many consumers probably wishing that the Google Maps app still remained as an alternative option.

What are your thoughts on the US-only movie ticket features within iOS 6.1? Do you agree that Apple needs to start providing features that work across all countries? After having spent a good deal of time with iOS 6.0.1, what would you like to see in iOS 6.1?

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