Apple’s iOS 6 goes live

Apple’s long-awaited iOS 6 has gone live for the iPhone 3GS/4/4S, the iPad 2, the new iPad, and the fourth- and fifth-generation iPod touch.

iOS 6 adds over 200 new features, yet automatically removes Google Maps – replacing it with an in-house navigation app that boasts 3D mapping with a flyover view, turn-by-turn directions and traffic support.

Unfortunately, the indigenously designed map app has received a less than stellar reception from journalists and analysts alike.

Indeed, The New York Times recently complained that Apple’s location database is “sparser than Google’s,” lacks integrated public-transportation options and does not allow users to “rotate the map with [their] fingers or zoom in by more than a couple of degrees.”

Key iOS 6 features include bolstered Siri support, easy access to sports scores, restaurant recommendations and movie listings; shared photo streams with iCloud, Facebook integration for Contacts and Calendar, with the ability to post directly from Notification Center, as well as Siri and Facebook-enabled apps like Photos, Safari and Maps.

Additional features? Support for FaceTime calls over cellular networks; various Safari enhancements such as iCloud tabs, offline reading lists, photo uploads and full screen view; the ability to easily configure a VIP Mailbox; the option to decline incoming calls with a quick message, set a callback reminder and enable a new Do Not Disturb option.

Interested? iOS 6 can be downloaded over the air on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch or snagged via iTunes.

In other Apple related news, Cupertino has also rolled out OS X 10.8.2, a relatively minor update for its flagship Mountain Lion operating system. The upgrade offers Facebook integration for Mountain Lion, support for new languages and and enables Power Nap for older MacBook Air notebooks that hit Apple stores in 2010. 

OS X 10.8.2 can be download by selecting “Software Update…” from the Apple menu, or by opening the Mac App Store application and clicking the “update” icon at the top right of the screen.