Apple Shows New Software for iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch
06/11/2012| 03:29pm US/Eastern
--The software, called iOS 6, includes integration with Facebooks website
--Apple's new maps application will end the company's reliance on Google's mapping service
--Apple also unveiled 'the next generation MacBook Pro'
By Ian Sherr
SAN FRANCISCO--Apple Inc. (>> Apple Inc.) on Monday unveiled the latest version of the operating system that powers the popular iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch products as the Silicon Valley gadget company steps up competition against Google Inc. (>> Google Inc) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT).
The software, called iOS 6, includes integration with Facebook Inc.'s (FB) website, new functionality to help customers keep track of movie tickets, keep up with sports scores, and other new features.
A headline feature, however, was Apple's new maps application, which will end the company's reliance on Google Inc.'s (>> Google Inc) mapping service. Apple's new service largely offers the same features, but also includes free turn-by-turn navigation and a new three-dimensional fly-over feature based on photographs taken from flights made over cities around the world.
"This is a world-wide effort," said Scott Forstall, head of Apple's mobile software division. "We're doing all the cartography ourselves."
The announcements came in a nearly two-hour presentation at a developer conference here, which included the debute of of a bevy of new portable computers and features for its upcoming new Macintosh operating system, Mountain Lion, which is expected to be released in July.
Apple also unveiled a new laptop computer, which it called "the next generation MacBook Pro," which has a high-resolution screen, faster chips and a thin design. It is going on sale Monday, and will cost $2,199.
Apple also discussed refinements for its iCloud Internet service, including more social networking and photo sharing features that will be seen as Apple's latest efforts in the increasing arms race against Google to win the hearts of app developers and wallets of consumers.
While Apple's iPhone is still successful by any measure, devices built using Google's Android operating system have outgrown Apple's market share to become the dominant smartphone operating system worldwide. Apple's continued efforts in Internet services, for which Google is well known, is expected to strengthen the iPhone maker's position.
The new operating system, which is expected to begin powering iPhones, iPod Touches and iPads later this year, has become a cornerstone of Apple's success as it has grown from a niche computer maker into a dominant mobile handset manufacturer. Apple has since sold more than 365 million iPhones, and more than 67 million iPads.
"This is ultimately why people choose to work at Apple and with Apple, to do the best work of their lives," said Tim Cook, Apple's chief executive. "I can't think of a better reason of getting up in the morning."
Apple shares were recently down 0.9% at $575.04.
-By Ian Sherr, Dow Jones Newswires; email@example.com;
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