Today, millions of people using a variety of Apple’s iOS devices will get a free upgrade to their latest mobile operating system, iOS 6. Find out what the most interesting iOS 6 features are while you’re downloading!

Announced back in June during Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC), iOS 6 has finally been released to the public. The new mobile operating system is being released alongside Apple’s long-hyped iPhone 5, which will be arriving on doorsteps and on the tables of Apple stores this Friday.

However, iPhone 5 users aren’t the only Apple users who get to experience the latest iOS 6 features. If you have any one of the following devices, you too will be able to download iOS 6:

  • iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S, 5)
  • iPod touch (4th and 5th generation)
  • iPad 2 and the new iPad

So what are some of the iOS 6 features you can expect? We’ve broken down the top 8 features that you’re going to want to use when you’ve got the new operating system on your device (in no particular order).

1. All new Maps app

Say goodbye to your former Google Maps app. Apple has built an all new Maps app from the ground up. The new Maps will include:

  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • 3D mode (with flyover which let’s you zoom in to cities and see a 3D rendering)
  • A sleeker, more Apple-friendly design

2. Facebook integration

Much like Twitter integration in iOS 5, Facebook has now been integrated throughout all of iOS 6. You can now import all of your Facebook contacts directly to your Contacts app, post statuses directly from your notification center, and share links directly from Safari.

3. Siri enhancements

If you have an iPhone 4S or 5 you have Siri built in to your device. With iOS 6, Siri gets some enhancements including:

  • The ability to reveal sports scores
  • Make restaurant reservations
  • Show you a list of movies playing in your area
  • Launch apps for you
  • Post to Facebook and Twitter without ever having tapped the screen!

4. FaceTime over cellular

In iOS 6, for those with FaceTime enabled devices, you are able to FaceTime over cellular. In previous versions of iOS you were only able to FaceTime over WiFi. But be careful with this, because some carriers are charging extra for the use of this feature of cellular.

5. Phone enhancements

Have you ever received a call and you can’t take it and wish you could just hurry up and text them that you’re in class or in a meeting? iOS 6 makes that a lot easier for you. Now, a new call screen allows you to swipe up to reveal multiple options. You can decline, remind yourself later, or reply with a message. The reply with a message feature allows you to directly reply with a preconceived text, or gives you the option to immediately create one yourself.

6. Passbook

You know how you have gift cards for Target, iTunes, Starbucks and a variety of other retail outlets? Or, you know how you hate carrying your boarding pass around in an airport because you’re always afraid you’ll lose it and miss your flight? Apple has now created an app that combines all of these physical issues in to one simple, easy-to-use app. Just load the information from your gift card or boarding pass right into the app and have it there all in one spot. You can then pull out your phone and have a clerk scan the bar code on the screen rather than your physical card.

Apple better explains Passbook here:

With Passbook, you can scan your iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie, and redeem a coupon. You can also see when your coupons expire, where your concert seats are, and the balance left on that all-important coffee bar card.

7. Mail enhancements

The new Mail app comes with some pretty cool new features that will enhance your user experience on an iOS device:

  • VIP – you can now assign certain contacts as VIP which will notify you on your lock screen as well as filter in to a special VIP folder in your inbox
  • You can also now add photos and videos in to your emails as you are composing them (as opposed to copy and pasting from the Photos app as before)

8. Camera with panorama

Now, you can take panoramic pictures straight from the Camera app itself. Just tap the Panorama option and your iPhone or iPod touch will guide you to swipe across your field of vision at a particular pace, and voila! This feature is only available on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and iPod touch (5th generation).

 

 

There are apparently 200 new features to iOS 6, but these eight seem to really enhance the overall user experience. Do you have iOS 6 yet? If so let us know what you like and don’t like about it in the comments section below.

For more details about all of the features included in iOS 6 check out Apple.com.

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

Read full article

Disney’s released a minute-long clip from Beauty and the Beast, and it’s a great one: Emma Watson performing “Belle.”

Belle skips around town as the townspeople observe the “funny girl” in this uplifting sequence from the movie. You can’t help but get excited for Beauty and the Beast after watching this, and Emma sounds great!

In related news, the cast and crew kicked off their press tour today in Paris. Disney released the following adorable photo of Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, director Bill Condon and composer Alan Menken as they start publicizing the movie, which opens in theaters March 17:

Can’t wait to see it!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Read full article

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 brings the L.M.D. storyline to a truly wild end. Here’s what to expect from “Self Control”!

You don’t know what’s coming

Yeah, there’s a synopsis for “Self Control” — “Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.” But that’s the equivalent of saying that Iron Man is about a goateed man who can fly.

Sure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 answers a lot of questions about who is and who isn’t a robot. More profoundly though, the episode goes in for a final knead and punch of the ideas that have been floating around all season.

Free will and humanity. Sacrifice and love. The nature of reality — and even of life itself. Beneath the plot, surprises, and pain, that’s what’s really going on in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spring finale.

That, and the characters who get caught in the middle.

Jed Whedon is Not. Playing. Around.

Executive producer and showrunner Jed Whedon is the man behind the pen and the camera in “Self Control,” and he’s there for a reason. Whedon’s first try at the director’s chair on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is operatic, incisive, and perpetually gut-clenching.

Yes, there are lovely and disturbing vistas, an artistry that comes from a deliberate and careful eye. But more important is the unshakable Whedon impulse that animates Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, that builds through the episode like a cresting tide.

You know that unmistakable sense that someone is laughing behind the scenes? Yeah. That’s why Jed Whedon is here.

What’s next?

Well, that’s a very good question. “Self Control” leaves us with a few razor-like possibilities, all of which lead down spiky corridors of questions. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15 is here to leave us thirsty for the season’s final seven episodes, and that’s exactly what it does.

Oh, and to answer your next question…

Cliffhanger?

Uh, yes. Cliffhanger.

Oh boy, cliffhanger.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×15, “Self Control,” airs Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 4×15?

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

Read full article

Have President’s Day off? Here are some movies, TV shows, and soundtracks with which to celebrate President’s Day.

‘Hamilton’


Even if you were somehow lucky enough to have already seen the musical, you might as well celebrate today with another listen to the soundtrack. In case you have been living under a rock, Hamilton is a hip-hop, rap, musical about Alexander Hamilton. Yes, Hamilton never became president, but the musical does include multiple would-be presidents. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and even birthday boy himself George Washington are heavily featured in Hamilton. Based on the biography by Ron Chernow, you can get a history lesson while you listen to great music.

‘Liberty’s Kids’


Liberty’s Kids aired in the early 2000s on PBS. Liberty’s Kids follows three teenagers from varying backgrounds throughout the American Revolution, mentored by Benjamin Franklin. It is geared for children but is still pretty enjoyable for adults. In each episode, the teenagers encounter a significant person or event from the revolution, giving a concise and entertaining history lesson. The show features many important figures throughout the revolution, showing even more presidents than in Hamilton. As one can imagine, Washington is among these.

‘Lincoln’


Lincoln is a 2012, Oscar nominated movie, directed by Steven Spielberg based on Doris Kearns Goodwin’s biography of Abraham Lincoln, Team of Rivals. Instead of a biopic of Lincoln’s entire life, Lincoln is specifically about his passing of the 13th amendment. Essentially directed between each of his science fiction blockbusters, Spielberg also made many significant historical movies, Lincoln among them. Lincoln not only shows his power as a president, but also humanizes him through an Oscar winning performance by Daniel Day-Lewis.

‘1776’


Hamilton is not the first musical about American history. Thankfully, though, because this way there are other options, one of which is 1776. Even more conveniently, the musical 1776 was adapted into a movie in the early 1970s. Heavily implied by its name, 1776 is about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 1776 definitely has a more classical musical theater vibe than Hamilton. The strange combination of American history and musical theater allows for a humorous yet educational experience. However, as reflective of the history of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Washington is not a character in the musical; yet, it obviously includes many other significant historical figures.

‘The West Wing’ or ‘The American President’


Unlike the other items on this list, these two are about fictional presidents. But it would be nice if they were real. Of the many politically charged movies and television shows by Aaron Sorkin, these two are specifically about presidents. If you have the day off and want to attempt to binge watch seven seasons, then you may want to check out The West Wing. The West Wing follows President Bartlet and his staff and advisors during their time in the White House. If you want a movie to help you transition between Valentine’s Day and President’s Day then The American President is worth watching. It is a romantic comedy about President Shepherd, who falls in love with a lobbyist.

How else will you celebrate President’s Day?