Apple mobiles taking to the sky

2012-06-13 08:29

SAN FRANCISCO, California - Apple will roll out a new operating system for most of its mobile devices offering new a mapping service with three-including images.

The company says its iOS 6 software will sport more than 200 new apps and options, though some won't be available on all devices. The new operating system will be a free upgrade for iPhones released since 2009, as well as 2011-12 iPads.

The new systems will also work with newer iPod Touch devices.


In the past, Apple has given prominent billing to Google's mapping app but the two companies have become rivals as customers purchase devices running Google's Android operating system.

Apple's new Maps application will have voice navigation, real-time traffic data and offer alternative routes as traffic conditions change.

It will also include "flyover" three-dimensional images taken by helicopters hired by the company to fly over major cities. Google said it has been dispatching its own planes to produce similar 3D images.

Apple's map program will be integrated with its Siri virtual assistant so users can ask for directions and pose other questions.


Apple's new Passbook feature will be a central place to keep your boarding passes, tickets and gift cards. When you enter an airport the app will bring up relevant data such as e-tickets. Passbook will also alert you to gate changes and flight delays once you have a boarding pass stored.

Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin says: "This looks like a harbinger of a digital wallet that could handle a variety of transactions."

Apple's new system will also enhance Facebook apps and Siri.