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So I’ve been playing around with iOS6, which is the up and coming new mobile operating system for the iPhone and the iPad…

So what’s new – to a layman, not much really. The most publicised improvement is the new Apple Maps, replacing Google Maps – they’ve integrated Tom Tom, so the new mapping system shows traffic flow and congestion, but I don’t drive, and thus, don’t need this feature. However, I do use the mapping feature for directions – the difference here is that Apple wants to make this clearer and straight away you get Siri telling you where to go. I think you can turn her voice off though. I’m not massively impressed with the look of the maps, it seems to lack the detail than on the Google predecessor, and the 3D view still needs some work, though I’ve seen some promising images of what the 3D view can look like.

I think people will welcome something different from what we’ve been used to with Google Maps, but in my opinion it lacks the clarity and simplicity the makes Google Maps so loved.

As it’s in beta, it’s still really buggy – I was on the tram the other day, listening to a podcast and when I locked my phone before putting it in my pocket, the podcast cut out. That’s happened a few times now – but it’s to be expected. Speaking of music -they’ve given the look a bit of an overhaul, opting for a light grey pallet, which I really like. It’s much easier on the eye.

Siri finally works. I asked for a taxi and got half a dozen local cab company numbers – In the UK, we’ve not had a Siri who can search through local businesses, but that’s no more. Siri is available in all her battery-killing glory. So, and after 5 days, I turned her off.

Apple have removed Podcasts from the iTunes store. I think they’re going to have something new and try to differentiate them from regular audio downloads, but I’m not sure what this is. I do have a couple of albums on and they interface has changed slightly. I do like change when it comes to stuff like this, and I’m also quite impressed with the new key pad, which is clearer from the previous.

Another massive “improvement” is Facebook integration. Twitter integration on the iOS5 was a stoke of genius, as a massive fan of twitter, using it to tweet photos was quick easy and without having to open an app to do so what great. Now we can do the same with Facebook, and you can even choose to send a tweet, or update your facebook status straight from the notification center, it’s quick, it works and if you’ve got the Facebook app on your iPhone already, you’ll surely like this feature, as the iPhone app does have a tendancy to crash or just hang from time to time. The irony is that the other day I was watching The Social Network (for the millionth time) and the line “We. Don’t. Crash. Ever” was clearly not part of Zuckerbergs long term mobile strategy, but this isn’t about that. Facebook integration is quite deep as you can choose to import all your facebook contacts into your address book – which I did and now totally regret – I’m sure this is undoable, but I’m not found a way, so any help would be appreciated.

Speaking of photo’s there’s also a funky new menu when you’re deciding what to do with your pic, which I do like and find useful.

Finally, another little touch that I only noticed today was that the top bar changes colour to merge with whatever you’re looking at. Looks lovely.

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