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posted: 10/13/2012 7:49 AM

Reviews: Upgraded map, camera apps for iOS 6

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  • The new Apple Inc. Maps app icon is seen on an iPhone 5.

      The new Apple Inc. Maps app icon is seen on an iPhone 5.
    bloomberg/September 2012

 
By Hayley Tsukayama, The Washington Post

Maps for iOS 6

Updated Maps app still finding its way despite a solid foundation

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Apple has taken a lot of guff for the way that it updated the Maps application for its new mobile operating system, iOS 6. Much of that criticism is warranted.

There's no denying that the bones of a good app are there. Apple's turn-by-turn navigation is a welcome addition, and the maps themselves look good.

What's not there, however, is the wisdom of the crowd that has made Google's map application so successful. While Apple has partnered with the company behind the TomTom navigation system to get a head start, there are plenty of errors that remain uncorrected in the app.

It will take time for Apple to build it out. Until then, Maps isn't the best navigation app for the iPhone. Free, included with Apple's new mobile operating system.

Camera for iOS 6

With reduced image blur, it's clear to see how far camera phones have come

Apple has made several upgrades to the Camera app that make the program more than simply the way you access your phone's camera. The company has taken pains to reduce image blur, which helps in lowlight situations, and it improved its high-quality high dynamic range mode.

The biggest improvement is the option to take vertical and horizontal panoramic photos, which Apple says have a 240-degree range. Taking the pictures requires a steady hand, but it's well worth the effort. This addition is available on the iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod Touch.

Apple's quick editing tools still aren't as extensive as the tools found in other apps, but they will be fine in a pinch. The app has additional sharing features, including the ability to add photos to Shared Photo Streams -- essentially iCloud albums available to specific people.

All in all, this is a solid update that will make you marvel at how far the camera phone has come. Free, included with Apple's new operating system.

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