Apple Inc. has just unveiled its own mapping service and improved the search capabilities of its Siri electronic assistant technology.
The new Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook was the one who spearheaded the unveiling of the new services which are the in-house mapping, beefed-up Siri software, address-bar search on its Safari browser.
The upgrades marked a bolstering of Apple’s arsenal as it tries to keep its top-down applications and hardware environment ahead of competition from Android device makers such as Samsung Electronics and Motorola Mobility.
Its new mobile operating software — the iOS6 — comes with the mapping system “built from the ground up,” said software chief Scott Forstall, sidelining the Google map service that the Internet giant has invested heavily in.
Apple will be replacing Google Maps, a pre-loaded app so far on the iPhone and iPad, with its own in-house map service, delivering a big blow to Google, which gets about half its map traffic from Apple devices.
Apple’s map service comes with three-dimensional images of cities called “Flyover” along with real-time traffic updates and also turn-by-turn navigation, the last a feature that Google has in Android devices but had not made available in Apple devices.
And Siri, the innovative voice-activated iPhone search-feature users have criticized as faulty and inadequate, is now available on iPads and recites a larger database of answers, especially sports, restaurants and movies.
Siri is also integrated into the new mapping service so users can ask for step-by-step directions.
Apple has integrated No. 1 social network Facebook deeper into the operating system, allowing Siri-users to post photos with voice commands.
The consumer device giant introduced an all-new addition to its MacBook Pro lineup, Apple’s highest-end laptops. At 0.7 inches and weighing under 4.5 pounds, the new MacBook Pro ranks among the thinnest laptops in the market and will hit store shelves months before many Microsoft Windows-equipped “Ultrabooks.” They will employ the “retina” displays that have won strong positive reviews for the new iPad, but start at $2,199.
Along with the introduction of the new MacBook Pro, Apple also updated it current Mac lineup including the MacBook Air.