iOS 6 in Review

Of course, Apple fans are psyched when a new iPhone is released. But the buzz is for more than just greater processing power. The new mobile operating system from Apple, iOS 6, is also causing a stir. What can users look forward to in this year’s incarnation?

Google Maps is gone from the new iPhone. That’s because Apple Maps is here. Get ready to view flyovers of major cities and world landmarks as though you were buzzing by in a helicopter. It has beautifully rendered 3D viewing, and is sure to be a big time spender.

The flyover, however, isn’t really the practical use of this built in app. Integrating this app with Siri allows you to ask your phone for directions verbally. “How do I get to the nearest zoo?” Now Siri will vocalize directions as you drive. The directions should be pretty good, as maps programs go, but obviously any new map program will require some updating.

Twitter got on board with iOS 5, but now Apple has taken it up a level and joined forces with Facebook for iOS 6. Easy sharing features include using Siri to post for you.

Those aren’t the only two upgrades your favorite female voice has gotten. Now she can read you sports scores, help you check movie times, and even make your restaurant reservations with the help of OpenTable. Siri can also now open your apps for you without having to jailbreak the phone.

Despite the growing power of NFC, Apple is sticking with Passbook for now. This is an easy payment system for companies that have been willing to partner up with Apple. Now you can grab concert tickets from Ticket Master, a cup of coffee at Starbucks, and some headache meds for the next morning at Walgreens, all while using the one feature to keep track of your balances.

The interface has been upgraded at the app store. Both iTunes and iBooks have received similar upgrades, making it easier to shop for the downloadable media you want.

Facetime is no longer wifi only, which is a change that many users will be happy about. Verizon and Sprint customers can begin enjoying the new feature immediately. AT&T is taking the opportunity to get everyone on their new shared plans and making that a requirement for non-wifi Facetime.

One last nifty feature we’ve been waiting a long time for is the option to immediately reply to an ignored call with a preset busy message. You can also ignore the call with the option of having a reminder notice for later.

All in all, iOS 6 has some nice new features that are sure to keep users happy.