Apple’s New iOS 6 Likes Facebook, Shuns Google’s Maps

With Apple announcing the new iOS 6 yesterday, everyone wanted to know how the big players would play in the new ball field.

Google, Facebook – how would these behemoths factor into Apple’s newest mobile operating system?

As Mashable reported yesterday, the new iOS is very Facebook friendly. The new software for iPad, iPhone and iPod will integrate fairly seamlessly with the social network. After upgrading to iOS 6, users will see Facebook popping up in their default apps like calendar, contacts and the App Store. Facebook events and friend’s birthdays will show up in the Apple calendar and the maps app will let users post locations directly to their Facebook accounts. iTunes and Siri will also see some love from Facebook as now you’ll be able to dictate your status update to the voice recognition software. (Admittedly, I recently told Siri with the utmost confidence, “Update my Facebook status,” to which she replied, “Sorry, I can’t help you with Facebook.” I will surely be one to welcome this new Siri feature.)

According to the Mashable article, when Apple first integrated Twitter to iOS 5 last year, the number of Apple users who also used Twitter tripled and about 10 billion tweets to date have been composed via iOS 5; 47% of photos on Twitter come from an Apple device. Pretty overwhelming success story if you want to talk about social/mobile integration.

But what about Google? What role will this mammoth play in the new system, made by a company that’s historically at odds with the search engine giant?

Given the strained relationship, it’s not surprising that they aren’t doing much to nurture it. In fact, they’re sort of dumping them. From their maps app, that is. Instead, Apple will adopt maps from TomTom, or so it looks that way for now. But Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice president of iOS software, insists that Apple is, “doing all the cartography ourselves.”

The iOS 6 map software is set t be released later this year and includes turn-by-turn navigation and voice direction – putting it on a par with Google’s Maps app on Android phones which had been far ahead of the game (admittedly as an iPhone user, I’ve been underwhelmed by the mapping options.) It will also include crowdsourced traffic conditions from other iOS users.

So the million dollar question – when’s the iPhone 5 coming?!