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Refined iOS 6 highlighted by stunning Maps overhaul

Dan Moren | Sept. 20, 2012
Following on the heels of the massive update that was iOS 5, iOS 6 might seem like merely a modest update. But that doesn't make it insignificant by any means: A key app has received a substantial overhaul in this latest update, Apple has added an intriguing new--if yet unproven--built-in app, and the company has even, for the first time, removed a piece of software present since the iPhone's launch.

Bottom line

There has yet to be a major version of iOS to which we haven't recommended updating, and iOS 6 is no exception to the rule. As always, Apple continues to demonstrate its methodology of adding features gradually and, for the most part, sensibly.

The new Maps app alone, while occasionally rough in spots, are still worth the (free) price of the upgrade. As much as Apple doesn't play the feature checklist game, the addition of turn-by-turn directions knocks down a serious Android advantage.

While iOS 5 may have felt more like a cohesive statement, a flag in the sand, iOS 6 showcases Apple's willingness to dive deeply into a single feature and rebuild it from the ground up to make it even better. And, oh, along the way, it'll take the time to tweak a bunch of its other apps, and add plenty of new features and capabilities.

There are still gaps, to be sure, but it seems like there are fewer every year. And Apple is meanwhile trying to plant more flags with forward-looking features like Passbook. Whether it'll take its rightful place on the Home screen with Mail and Safari, or end up consigned to the dust heap of history like Ping, it's clear that Apple is not resting on its laurels, with iOS 6.

Simply put, there's no reason not to update to iOS 6, and plenty of reasons for you to jump onboard.

 

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