Apple’s new iOS 6 operating system is now available for several models of the iPhone and iPad, and it’s chock full of new features.
When Apple announced the iPhone 5 running iOS 6 a week ago, it also said that the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2, and new iPad will all also run the iOS 6 operating system. If you have any one of those devices, you can update by going into Settings > General > Software Update. Before updating, we’d recommend backing up your device entirely — just in case.
The iOS 6 update is rolling out slowly to all users, so if it’s not immediately available, check again after a few minutes. I can confirm the update has landed on my 4S.
Before you get started in iOS 6, let’s take a look at a few of the new features:
The most noticeable thing we expect for most users will be the replacement of Google Maps with Apple’s new native Maps application. Apple’s Maps app will offer 3D imagery, turn-by-turn navigation from TomTom, and integrate with Siri’s voice assistant. The app is also deeply integrated with Yelp and uses Yelp data instead of Google data to identify many places on the map.
The biggest problem is the app’s lack of public transportation directions, something that comes in handy in many cities around the world.
Passbook is a new built-in app that “holds” all kinds of things you’d carry in your wallet — gift cards, coupons, loyalty cards, and tickets. Ideally, many companies will hook up with Apple to make sure their card and tickets work the app.
To date, Apple allowed its iOS 5 users to share content through Twitter, e-mail, and SMS messages. Now Facebook will be added to that list and make it much easier to post content on the massive social network. You can also integrate your contacts and calendar with Facebook, as well as “like” songs and apps on iTunes.
iOS 6 includes a better version of Siri that works on the iPad, integrates with your car and new apps, and speaks in more languages. It also can look up sports scores and movie showtimes. Siri can also post what you say to Twitter and Facebook.
You can also now use FaceTime calling over cellular networks, except for AT&T. Comparatively, Verizon Wireless will let people with all data plans use the FaceTime feature for free.
Let us know in the comments about your iOS 6 experience once you’ve updated.
Photo credit: Apple/YouTube
Like this story? Want to learn more? On April 14-15, our fourth annual VentureBeat Mobile Summit will tackle the six biggest growth opportunities in mobile today. The invitation-only Summit will gather the top 180 executives at the scenic Cavallo Point Resort in Sausalito, Calif., to discuss issues like this. Request an invitation.