Apple has released the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 6.

The free update is available for the iPhone 3GS and above, the iPad 2 and up, and fourth-generation iPod touch and beyond. The new iPhone 5 will come pre-loaded with iOS 6.

Users should be able to start downloading the update by navigating to Settings > General > Software Update on their iOS device (or by plugging their gadget into a PC/Mac). Once iOS 6 hits the device, there will be a “Download and Install” button (see below), provided you have enough space on your iDevice for the 597MB download.

The download process, however, will likely be very slow today with all the Apple fans eager to upgrade. If you can wait, it’ll likely be a faster experience in the coming days.

Apple unveiled iOS 6 at its Worldwide Developer Conference in June, and announced at last week’s iPhone 5 event that it would start rolling out 19 September. Among the more than 200 new features are a revamped Maps app, Siri on the iPad, as well as Facebook integration, and FaceTime video chat over cellular.

The upgrade also adds Passbook, which allows users to collect all passes – movie tickets, airline boarding passes, supermarket coupons and store cards from Starbucks – in one place. The revamped OS will also support voice commands for apps; tell the iPhone to “launch Yelp,” for example. The same goes for Facebook and Siri; users can post Facebook statuses from Siri by voice. iOS 6 will finally allow UK customers to use Siri to search for information about local businesses, restaurants, and reviews, though some of the voice assistant’s features – such as making restaurant reservations – are only available in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

The updated mobile operating system will be missing two well-known features: the pre-loaded Google Maps and YouTube apps. Instead, Apple will replace Google Maps with its own in-house 3D mapping solution, while the YouTube app will be available in the App Store, not pre-loaded on the iOS home screen.