As announced at last week’s media event, Apple has released iOS 6, the latest version of its operating system for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. iOS 6 boasts over 200 new features compared to iOS 5 and is a free download for the iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, iPad 2 and later, and 4th-generation iPod touch and later.
In iOS 6, Apple has completely revamped the Maps app to do away with Google map and POI data in favor of data from TomTom and its own map information and technology. Apple also adds a new app, Passbook, that will hold boarding passes, store loyalty cards, movie tickets, and more. FaceTime will no longer be restricted to Wi-Fi only (unless you’re with AT&T, who requires that you be on one of their shared data plans to make FaceTime calls on their network), and Siri is enhanced to provide sports scores, move times, restaurant reviews, and even open apps for you.
If you want to dig into everything that’s new iOS 6, you can find the release notes here. Not all of the new features are available in all countries and Apple has created a handy dandy list of what works where here.
If you’re away from your computer and are running iOS 5, you can update to iOS 6 over the air though be aware the update is over 600 MB so you’ll want to be connected to a Wi-Fi network if you’re on a cellular data plan with steep charges for overages.
I’m installing iOS 6 on my iPhone 4S as I write this article and I’m most looking forward to Passbook and the new Do Not Disturb features that will stop my iPhone from buzzing and lighting up at night when I’m sleeping.