An updated beta version of iOS 6 has made its way into the hands of developers in the past few days. The iPhone 5 is speculated to be announced September 12 and released September 21. A lot is happening in the world of Apple, and a lot of people are talking about it. Will the new iPhone come with a smaller docking cable? Will the screen be longer? Thinner?

With all this speculation, there is sure to be a lot of anxiety as well. Especially if you’re an iPhone app developer and you’re this close to releasing your new app... only to discover that the folks at Apple got to it first. (Case in point: Apple’s Passbook versus Lemon’s e-wallet.) Trust us, you don’t want to be that guy. So how do you avoid being the last to know about what Apple’s got stored up its sleeve?

Here, we take a look at how you can make the most of the upcoming iOS 6 and iPhone 5. That is, how you can best integrate the updated iPhone software features to enhance your apps, rather than detract from them? With features like Bluetooth Sharing and Facebook Integration, iOS 6 is going to change the way you make apps, and you better be prepared.

Five iOS 6 Changes to Look Out For

  1. Google is out: Apple will be calling off the YouTube app from iOS 6 while also developing its own maps. With Apple essentially parting ways with Google, there's a lot of room is out there for third-party developers to potentially slide in. According to All Things D, Google has an open API, so who knows? You could make the next YouTube app.
  1. Bluetooth: With the addition of Bluetooth Sharing in iOS 6, Apple’s enabling a lot of potential uses for developers looking to integrate the feature into their apps. Bluetooth Sharing essentially allows users to swap photos, videos, and other miscellaneous content with other iPhone users nearby. It’s a cool idea, and it could change the way apps function across devices. Our hunch is this could usher in another bevy of photo-sharing apps akin to Instagram.
  1. NFC Chip: According to 9to5 Mac, rumor has it that Apple is considering adding a Near Field Communications (NFC) chip to the iPhone 5. What’s that, you say? NFC is essentially what the new Samsung Galaxy S III has that lets you share content by tapping two phones together. Like Bluetooth Sharing, NFC chips have a lot of potential uses, especially in terms of the mobile payment frontier. What we’re interested in seeing, though, is someone creating a gaming app that allows players to exchange items or tokens. (Pokéballs, anyone?)
  1. Larger Screen: Rumors abound concerning the screen size of the upcoming iPhone 5. The Wall Street Journal reported the company ordering larger screens for the device. Some say it’ll be 4-inches tall. If the rumors hold true, a 4-inch screen would be pretty cool to work with, as it would add space for another row of app icons, among other things. A bigger screen, combined with the rumors of a faster processor and 1 gigabyte of RAM, would also make for a great gaming experience, which is why we think game apps will be the way to go concerning the next iPhone. With specs like that, developers would have room for more intense graphics as well as more memory-intensive games.
  1. And Finally, Facebook. With Facebook integration having been the hot topic at this year’s WWDC, as well as what the Internet’s been abuzz about, it seems like developers will have a lot to work with when it comes to integrating the iPhone’s upcoming Facebook support features into their apps. Which is always a good thing considering social sharing functions never hurt anybody. Some potential features to look out for include single sign-on capabilities and the Facebook Share button, things that can really enhance the viability of your app if you’re hoping for it to go viral.

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