Apple today has released iOS 6, the latest version of their pioneering and intuitive mobile OS, built on top of the same UNIX core as OS X. iOS has long been the yard stick against which all mobile operating systems are measured, but with Android looking increasingly impressive and Windows Phone taking a bold and different path, how does iOS 6 match up to the competition?
Apple Maps vs Google Maps
One of the biggest differences between iOS 6 and iOS 5 is the change from Google Maps to Apple’s own “vector based maps” that they made such a song and dance about at the recent conference. Apple removed Google Maps because of their ongoing feud with the search giant over them deciding to develop Android and directly compete with Apple in the mobile space. Google Maps is most people’s go-to mapping website on the internet and it has an impressive array of features. Google has let their iOS version of maps slide in features when compared to the product on Android, but it is still very easy to use and gets you where you want to go.
Apple wanted less Google products on its devices and believes that they can offer a better user experience. However, with the new iOS 6 Maps now available for iPhone 3GS users and up, that does not appear to be the case. Many have already complained that Apple’s mapping app gets confused when trying to get directions by public transport and in other situations when navigating users.
The Apple Maps themselves are quite clear and easy to use, but people are used to Google Maps as that is all they’ve known since getting a smartphone, and these early glitches do not make the transition easy.
Podcasts vs Music
Apple has long led the competition with the way they handle podcasts so seamlessly within iTunes, and the charts and ratings help users discover podcasts they otherwise may well not have come across. Podcasts were recently moved to a separate app within iOS, which did make sense as they are somewhat different content to music singles and albums otherwise available in iTunes, but they were still treated the same way in playlists – as an audio file.
In iOS 6 Apple has decided that users should not be able to add podcasts to playlists for some reason, removing a feature that is one of the most requested to be added on the competing Windows Phone platform.
With the removal of Google Maps Apple seems to have chosen to escalate their feud with Google rather than either wait until Apple Maps were good enough to compete and with the lack of playlists for podcasts it appears Apple has lost its finesse and attention to details for which it was known just 12 months ago.