June 7th 2012 8:31 pm

Heads up! A newer version of this product is out!

final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Ease of use iOS 6 still follows Apple's classic design cue that simpler is better. It will appease mainstream consumers, but might leave more advanced users wanting more. good
  • Speed This is a part of the criteria that's really hard to judge because a lot of the speed comes from hardware. It's faster on the iPhone 5 than it is on the 4S. good
  • Configurability Apple still has the clamp down hard on this one. I can't set default apps, I can't share to services like Instapaper. It's just a really controlled atmosphere. so-so
  • Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.) Ecosystem is the pride and joy of iOS. It has the best apps and content of any other system I've used. Movies, music, apps all integrate seamlessly. great!
  • Openness Much like configurability, Apple has tight control over the system. You have to use their approved file types (no MKVs), and there's just not much to tweak. so-so
Detailed review
iOS 6 isn't a revolution like some hoped or thought it would be. It's an evolutionary step, and a small one at that. It introduces some nice new features like Passbook, but falls short on delivering any game changers.

The new Maps seems to be irking a lot of consumers, but many don't know the true reason Apple had to move away from Google (they started charging money per map load, and refused to license turn-by-turn data to Apple). The nice thing is that Apple is obviously working hard to improve the user experience, and because it's based on OpenStreetMaps, the crowd sourcing aspect will make them better than they are now, if not superior to Google Maps, over time.

Much like with the iPhone 5, Apple knows they have a good thing going with iOS and are rightfully wary about completely overhauling it. They seem to be taking this same philosophy with OS X - giving users quality of life improvements with every update, instead of doing some crazy innovation that they're traditionally known for.

As such, I wouldn't be surprised to see them do something crazy in one of the next few versions. I think they're finally feeling the pressure from Android after a very long head start on both usability and function. Android is finally catching up, and offers a few nice things (default apps, sharing) that Apple hasn't really touched yet.

Knowing Apple, they'll figure it out sooner rather than later, we just have to wait it out.

Comments (2) subscribe to this review's comments


Isn't the phrase "many don't know the true reason Apple had to move away from Google" completely pointless? Regardless of what went on behind-the-scenes, the final product/what the user experiences should be what is judged. To suggest that Apple deserves we "go easy on them" because of something else is just wrong.

It's only a pointless statement if being informed is also pointless. I'm not saying it's okay that Apple has released a shoddy application, but rather that consumers should at least understand why it happened instead of complaining just because everyone else is. I'm also not trying to excuse the poor mapping data, but rather trying to let people know the story behind the switch away from Google and the price they and Apple are currently paying because of turn-by-turn directions.