Update: As expected, Apple delivers iOS 6

The new mobile OS is available over the air or through iTunes

Apple followed through on past practice today and released iOS 6, the latest version of its mobile OS for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, today at 1 p.m. ET.

Earlier in the day on Twitter, an Australian identified as James Edward Minaj had posted purported release times for iOS around the world.

CNET first reported on Minaj's timetable earlier today.

According to Minaj and others, iOS 6 was slated to hit Apple's servers at 10 a.m. PT, 1 p.m. ET.

That time frame fit with Apple's previous practice.

Last year, Apple launched iOS 5 on Oct. 12 at 1 p.m. ET.

Although Apple had not officially announced the timing of today's iOS 6 release -- it did not do that in the past, either -- it had promised last week to deliver the mobile operating system today.

That, too, fit with past practice: Last year, it offered iOS 5 upgrades to current iPhone owners two days before the newest model was slated to start selling in its retail stores and pre-orders were to reach buyers.

Apple introduced iOS 6 in June at its annual developers conference, where Scott Forstall, Apple's top executive for iOS development, highlighted a handful of new features, including Apple's own mapping technology, an enhanced version of the Siri voice-activated digital assistant, and Passbook, a boarding pass and ticket manager.

iOS 6 can be installed on the iPhone 3GS, the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S; the iPad 2 and this year's third-generation iPad; and the fourth-generation iPod Touch.

The iPhone 5 and fifth-generation iPod Touch, which is also currently available for pre-order, will have iOS 6 pre-installed.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

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