iOS 6 beta in Japan

I’ve had a few weeks with iOS 6 beta here in Japan.  Most of the features work very well. A few changes even provide a smoother experience. BUT, there is one big aspect of the OS that has changed and may be a reason to refrain from updating.

The Apple developed maps service is terrible in Japan. Just take a look at the picture compared to Google Maps:

Apple has missed what makes maps useful in Japan.  Clearly detailed station entrance information, building names and shapes all help guide us through the cluttered streets of Japan, yet are missing from Apple’s maps. I hope for two things regarding this:

  1. The beta is a beta and Apple will roll out something different in September
  2. Google creates their own Google Maps application for iOS that can give us a comparable mapping experience.

The new iTunes Store allows for downloads without entering a password.  So far, the app has managed my updates and downloads for both of my Apple IDs (Japan and the US). This was a necessary step for Apple, as people use more and more apps on each device. It can be a pain to update all of the applications!

I’m not sure who Apple plans to partner with for Passbook, but there could be some great potential for it here in Japan, as the Japanese love their coupons and point cards! I’m looking forward to see which direction it will be taken.

Most of the apps from the Japanese App Store seem to have been updated for use with iOS 6, so thank you to all the great Japanese developers.

I’ve only mentioned a few points of concern, but please comment if you would like any other details about how the iOS runs here in Japan on SoftBank’s network.

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