This morning’s WWDC conference wasn’t all about new MacBooks. Apple also unveiled iOS 6, the next version of its mobile operating system for iDevices, and it revealed new details about OS X Lion, the next Mac operating system, as well. Again, you can get all the details from the keynote by following the coverage at The Verge and Engadget.
iOS 6 boasts a wealth of new features and improvements, but the most visible one may be the new Maps app. As rumored, Apple has kicked Google Maps to the curb and replaced it with an interactive maps and navigation app of its own design. The new Maps app for iOS 6 has turn-by-turn navigation, cities modeled in texture-mapped 3D, Yelp integration, traffic monitoring, and Siri integration. From what I can tell, though, it looks like Apple won’t provide a direct replacement for Google Street View—the 3D "Flyover" feature may be the closest alternative.
With iOS 6, Apple has also improved its Siri voice-activated assistant (and implemented it fully on the iPad), and it’s integrated Facebook in much the same way Twitter was integrated into iOS 5. Oh, and there’s a new app called Passbook for keeping track of your movie tickets, boarding passes, store cards, and the like.
iOS 6 is due out some time this fall. You’ll need at least an iPhone 3GS, an iPad 2, or a fourth-generation iPod touch to install it.
As for Mountain Lion, Apple plans to ship that next month—and to charge only $19.99 for it. At the keynote, Apple showed the operating system’s iCloud integration; its new, quicker Safari web browser; a Siri-like dictation mode; and tool to share content on Twitter. I expect Facebook sharing will be available, too.