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Apple's iOS 6 Arrives: What You Need to Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) latest mobile operating system, iOS 6, debuts later Wednesday, just two days before the iPhone 5 is unleashed on the world.

Fortune has posted a schedule, and it looks as if the new OS will hit the East Coast at 1 p.m. EDT.

Apple unveiled iOS 6 at its developer conference in June to much fanfare. There are more than 200 new features being unveiled on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, but Apple highlighted some of the more important features at the conference in June.

Perhaps the most important addition to iOS 6 is Passbook, a location-aware app that many believe is Apple's answer to the digital wallet. Passbook stores discount cards, gift cards, movie tickets and boarding passes.

Also included in the new OS is a new mapping application, Apple Maps. The new app offers 3D mapping and takes the app's back-end away from Google (GOOG - Get Report). Apple is adding turn-by-turn voice navigation to the app, something it previously didn't have with Google Maps.

Siri is receiving a large upgrade as part of iOS 6. Siri can now tell you sports scores, standings, and even make restaurant reservations using Open Table (OPEN). Siri is still in beta testing, but it's becoming quite clear that the voice navigation assistant will be entrenched at Apple for years to come.

Facebook (FB - Get Report) is being heavily integrated into iOS 6, like Twitter was in iOS 5. The partnership between Apple and Facebook will allow users to "like" apps and send pictures directly to the social network.

Apple also announced FaceTime over cellular networks, which had previously only been available only on Wi-Fi.

Interested in more on Apple? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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