Here's What You Need To Know About iOS 6, Apple's New Operating System For iPhones And iPads

ios 6 passbook app

Photo: Apple

Apple finalised iOS 6, its next operating system for iPhones and iPads, at the big iPhone 5 event today.The new OS brings over 200 new improvements to Apple’s ecosystem, including a redesigned Maps app and Facebook integration.

The operating system will be available for download Sept. 19.

Current iPhone 3GS, 4, 4S, iPad 2, the new iPad, and iPod touch (fourth generation) owners will be eligible for the free upgrade.  

Google Maps is gone

The Maps app has received the most radical update. Apple ditched Google Maps earlier this year, and has implemented its own version.

Apple's Maps feature turn-by-turn navigation and includes a gorgeous 3D view of cities and landscapes.

We're upset that Apple hasn't included walking and public transit directions, but hopefully that will come in a future update.

Siri learned some new tricks

Siri has been updated to do much more. The virtual assistant can now keep you updated with sports scores and standings. Siri can also book a table for you at your favourite restaurant using Open Table and help you purchase movie tickets at a nearby theatre.

Facebook integration

Facebook is now built into the iPhone and iPad. You can post a status update and more from the share menu without opening up the Facebook app.

Shared Photo Streams

Shared Photo Streams allow you to share only the photos you want, with whoever you choose.

Just select the photos from the Photos app, hit the 'Share' button, and choose who you want to share your photos with. Think of it as Apple's private version of Instagram.

Passbook is your digital wallet

Passbook keeps track of your boarding passes, movie tickets, coupons, loyalty cards, and more.

The best thing about Passbook is that it keeps everything in one place.

Passbook makes it easy for you to just look at your iPhone or iPod touch to check in for a flight, get into a movie, and use a coupon.

Passbook also lets you see when your coupons expire, where your concert seats are, and the balance left on your Starbucks card.

FaceTime now works over cellular connections

Finally! Now you can make FaceTime calls over your carrier's 3G or 4G network. But some restriction apply. For example, AT&T won't let you use FaceTime over cellular unless you sign up for one of its shared data plans.

New tricks in the Phone app

The Phone app has been completely redesigned.

Now when you decline an incoming call, instantly reply with a text message, or set a callback reminder.

Safari has more features too

Safari's new feature, iCloud Tabs, now keeps your tabs in sync across your Mac, iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Safari also saves web pages, in addition to just links, with the offline Reading List feature.

Want to learn more about iOS 6? Check this out.

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