Jun 11th, 2012

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Apple’s just gotten through with their keynote for 2012’s Worldwide Developer Conference, an event that usually define’s Apples direction for the next year or so and beyond. A ton of interesting things came from the event, including a tidbit that we all knew was coming: Apple will be dropping Google Maps for their own mapping solution.

Apple’s maps app doesn’t have much more than Google Maps at first glance. They both share many features, including the 3D maps feature that Google just announced June 6th.

They now have their own turn-by-turn solution, and this experience is enhanced with Siri. You can ask Siri to reroute you for better traffic or to find you a gas station and it’ll do it in real time. The maps app looked very clean, and I’m sure it’ll be as smooth as any Apple app has.

And beyond that, they improved Siri with the ability to command it to open apps, to pull down sports schedules, scores, and live updates, find someplace to eat on Yelp, book a table at that place using OpenTable, and a lot more.

The browser has gotten some cool enhancements, including a reading list feature that many have been dying to get. You can share tabs between your iOS devices and desktop Safari, not unlike what Google introduced with Chrome Beta for Android.

Passbook gives iOS users the ability to store all sorts of things, including Starbucks cards, boarding passes, and more to help with the clutter of paper. Those are just the major announcements, and buried deep into these apps and most of the OS are 200 new features.

The ability to have a VIP list or put your phone on do-not-disturb mode is very nice. And Apple has also partnered with car manufacturers to include a Siri integration button in new models of their vehicles — this is like On*, but you’re using your phone instead of having to pay for a separate service.

But I must ask: does any of this seem new to you Android users? Be it through a built-in Android feature or an app, I feel as if Android was already capable of many of these things, Siri aside.

iOS 6 seems like it’ll be a godsend for those who’ve only used Apple phones, but I, as a consumer who has to seriously consider the iPhone, am just glad more than anything that many of the things I enjoy about Android can finally be achieved in iOS (and without many additional apps to add those things, to boot).

Relatively speaking, iOS 6 is a huge upgrade for the Apple community, but we’re curious: did any of the announcements today make you want to consider defecting? Personally, I’d be lying if I said I knew 100% that my next phone would be Android. Blasphemous, right?

But having owned an iPad 2 and an iPod Touch, I can speak to the quality of the hardware and the reliability of the software, and now that these features will make their debut in the new iPhone later this year I’ll have a big decision to make come Fall. How about you? Let us know in the comments section and poll below! [Images via Engadget]

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