The new Apple Maps will be the default GPS and navigation tool in iOS 6. Too bad nobody seems to like it. (Photo : Apple)
Well, it's finally here. Apple's iOS 6 officially rolled out to devices across the United States at 1 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 19.
If you're a proud owner either the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPad 2, the 3rd-gen iPad, or 4th-gen iPod Touch then you are eligible to grab the update starting now. The new iPhone 5 will come preinstalled with iOS 6 when it ships on September 21.
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You'll first want to backup your device, which you can do through iCloud or by using the latest version of iTunes. Next go to Settings > General > Software Update. This should prompt the download and installation of iOS 6.
Simple as that.
The first differences most users will see is the lack of Google Maps. Apple has replaced the standard Google Maps app that came with iOS with its own Apple Maps app. Also gone is the native YouTube app. Don't worry though, YouTube has released their own app for iOS that's bound to get updated more often than Apple did to theirs.
Facebook will now be integrated, allowing iOS 6 users to quickly share content across the world's most popular social network. Siri will also be improved, understanding more languages and working in more countries than before. Passbook is a new feature that will store boarding passes, loyalty cards, retail coupons that could help make your Apple mobile device more of a digital coupon book.
Some lesser known features that aren't as highly cited are also bound to put a smile on your face. For instance, you won't have to enter your password every single time you download an app now. Once is enough. Downloading a new app in iOS 6 will still allow you to browse through the App store instead of automatically whisking you away to a progress screen. Some specially formatted websites can now even be viewed in landscape mode.
Want to wake up to your favorite tune? iOS 6 lets you choose a song as your alarm as well.
iOS 6 should be a welcome upgrade to Apple mobile users. It may take some getting used to Apple Maps, but that's a small price to pay for what Apple claims is over 200 new features.