While all the excitement may be focused on the launch of a new iPhone (News - Alert) today, let's not forget that the millions of users planning to stick with older iOS devices still have something to look forward to: iOS 6. Indeed, the latest version of Apple's (News - Alert) mobile OS should start making its way to older devices sometime soon after today's iPhone unveiling.
Apple said earlier this year at its Worldwide Developers' Conference that iOS 6 will offer 200 new features, although some won't be available to all devices — just as Siri was and still is an iPhone 4S exclusive. Furthermore, only iDevices released since 2009 can expect to receive this free upgrade.
So, what's new in iOS 6? Here are a few key highlights:
Apple has done away with its reliance on Google (News - Alert) Maps for navigation, instead relying on its own in-house option. Lack of pre-installed Google apps is actually the most significant difference iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch users will notice, with mainstays such as YouTube relegated instead to the App Store.
Apple's new Maps application boasts a voice navigation feature, a feature which was exclusive to Android (News - Alert) devices with Google Maps, as well as real-time traffic data and the ability to offer alternate routes.
Facebook integration is another prominent feature of iOS 6, allowing users to login to the social networking site just once, enabling access to it from multiple apps. Facebook integration will even be included in the App Store, allowing users to "like" certain apps, songs and movies.
Apple Image via Shutterstock
Siri, iOS' voice-controlled virtual assistant, will also have enhancements and will also come to the iPad for the first time. The app should now be better at interpreting and answering questions. Apple has also partnered with Yelp to allow Siri to include ratings and prices of restaurants.
Call functionality will also receive a boost, offering more options for preventing calls and notifications from disturbing users at night, for one thing. For another, users can now set a reminder to call someone back after a missed call, while a "call when you leave" function reminds users to call back after leaving a building.
Lastly, Apple's new Passbook app acts as a central place to store boarding passes, tickets and gift cards. The app is location based, as well, allowing a reminder to pop up about a Starbucks gift card, for example, when in proximity of a Starbucks.
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Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli