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 A newer version of this product is out!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 Not much has changed here. If you've used one iOS device then you'll know the basics of how to use iOS 6. Folders, swiping, zooming, you know the drill. good
  • Speed So far my iPod Touch 4th Gen has been responding pretty well to iOS 6. Apps tend to load as fast, if not even slightly faster, than they did on 5.1. good
  • Configurability This has never really been iOS's strong point to me. Stuff like Newsstand not being in a folder and no ability to set a different default browser bugs me. so-so
  • Ecosystem (apps, drivers, etc.) The loss of Google Maps and the built-in YouTube App does this for me, even if I know why it had to be done. Although the improved Weather app is nice. so-so
  • Openness It's Apple's way or the highway, same as it ever was. Same as it ever was. so-so
Detailed review
Ahhhh iOS 6. While the improvements in speed and performance are there, I simply cannot get past putting such a sub-par Maps application on a device as its default. Names of locations are out of date sometimes by months, other times by years. Yelp integration places markers for places that are either not there at all, or are actually a block or two north or south. Transit directions, my main use for the Maps app in the past, is now also a thing of the past. Sure, Apple will direct you to other applications that do transit if you look to get directions that way, but none of them manages to be as accurate as Google was. And the web version of Google Maps is not a sound alternative, as zooming on the map causes any browser to crash on my iPod Touch 4th Gen.

Once upon a time, Apple would have scoffed at the idea of putting anything on their devices that was worse than a previous iteration. That time is no longer today, unfortunately. I look forward to seeing the attempts in future iterations of Maps to right this ship, but I can only review what I have right now at the moment.

The YouTube app Google put out is nice, but the removal of Apple's app worries me. Will further usability be removed in the future when related to YouTube in browsers? Again, this is just me over-thinking things, but it's not good that a release of an OS has me antsy.

On the bright side, I was pleasantly surprised by the improved Weather app. Now I can get a full five-day forecast and hour by hour breakdown in Apple's app, giving me less of a reason to check The Weather Channel one.

So what about the rest of iOS 6? Some improvement and additions look like they're there just to be there. I don't expect to use the Twitter integration very often in the Navigation Screen as I usually only use said screen for Weather and checking message alerts. The new App Store has crashed on me several times when trying to do a simple Search. Amusingly, said Search terms were things like "Siri," "Google Maps" and "YouTube." I learned I have to quickly flip a page or three to avoid a crash. The Podcast application is another product that feels very unpolished. While it does work better than it did on iOS 5, I am disliking the pausing of tracks once any browsing of the now separate Music app occurs. It is possible I might just be looking and not getting ready to listen, folks.

Speaking of the Music app, you change the look and feel of the App yet keep the old interface on double-click from when the screen of the device is off? Some improvements would have been appreciated, like making the space between back and forward wider like a bunch of us have been asking since iOS 4.

I think I've said pretty much all I can say. iOS 6 is just...there. The innovation and "WOW" factor that once was associated with iOS has been replaced with complacency and putting Apple's ducks in a row. I can't give it a higher score than a 7 because of that.
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