Can Apple’s iOS6 kill Google Maps?

Attendees sit in front of an Apple logo during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference 2012.

Apple Inc took the wraps off its own mobile mapping service and made its enhanced Siri voice-search available for iPads as it rolled out souped-up software and hardware on Monday to help it wage war on Google Inc.

CEO Tim Cook, who took over from late co-founder Steve Jobs last August, spearheaded the unveiling of new services — such as in-house mapping and beefed-up Siri software — to help keep at bay Google and its fast-growing Android mobile platform.

Its new mobile operating software — the iOS6 — comes with a 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’s map service comes with three-dimensional images of cities called “Flyover” along with real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation.

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. It is also integrated into the new mapping service.

Finally, executives said Apple has integrated No. 1 social network Facebook deeper into the operating system, allowing Siri-users to post photos with voice commands.

The edge

Long lines marked the beginning of the week-long annual Worldwide Developers’ Conference, where Apple developers rub shoulders with employees, test the latest products and software, and connect with peers. Apple kicked off proceedings by touting its hardware, its biggest edge over Google.

At 0.7 inches, the new MacBook Pro — Apple’s highest-end laptop — 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 an eye-popping $2,199 price tag.

Marketing chief Phil Schiller outlined how the redesigned MacBook Air notebooks, also unveiled at the conference, will be about $100 cheaper on average than predecessors, but sport quicker Intel Corp processors, potentially eating into territory staked out by Hewlett-Packard, Dell Inc and other PC makers.

Analysts have speculated that the company will begin aggressively competing on price, gradually shrinking the premium its Macs carry in general.

More than ever, Apple finds itself in a pitched battle with Google: in smartphones, cloud computing, and a never-ending competition to attract the best software developers. That is crucial as Apple looks to draw users deeper into its applications ecosystem.

Cook told the audience that customers have downloaded more than 30 billion Apple apps so far, choosing from more than 650,000 apps — the largest library in the industry.

Battling in many arenas, the rivals employ different weapons. Apple’s vise-like grip on its ecosystem – with the closely managed app store and its seamless integration with the hardware – stands in sharp contrast to Google’s free-for-all approach.

The open system approach, reminiscent of Microsoft Corp’s hugely successful strategy of creating standard-setting software that runs on a variety of hardware, has allowed Android to capture the market lead in smartphones, albeit with nothing close to Apple’s profit margins.

Android has also helped create several potent hardware rivals to Apple. Samsung Electronics’ Android-driven Galaxy SIII is drawing favorable comparisons to iPhone and Amazon.com Inc’s cheaper Kindle Fire is challenging Apple in tablets and digital content.

The move – years in the making – to replace Google Maps is a dramatic example of how the rivalry between the companies has been evolving.

Google has invested huge sums in mapping technology over the years, and about half its map traffic now comes from iPhones and iPads. Among other things, the traffic from those devices reveals valuable location data that helps improve the mapping service and provides features like real-time traffic reports.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Humans should thank ancient Scottish fish fossils for…

By Kate KellandLONDON (Reuters) - Scientists studying fossils have discovered that the intimate act of sexual intercourse used by humans was pioneered by ancient armored…

National

Comet makes rare close pass by Mars as…

By Irene KlotzNEW YORK (Reuters) - A comet from the outer reaches of the solar system on Sunday made a rare, close pass by Mars…

Local

NYPD: Man found hanging in Brooklyn subway station

A man was found hanging inside a Brooklyn subway station on Saturday morning, police said. The man, who still had not been identified on Sunday,…

Local

Only church destroyed in 9/11 set to rebuild

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the only house of worship destroyed during the terrorist attacks on 9/11, held a groundbreaking ceremony Saturday to start the…

Television

9 things we learned about 'Hannibal' Season 3…

There’s plenty of fall television to be excited about, but the crowd inside the Paley Center for Media on Saturday night only wanted one thing:…

Going Out

Watch home cooks try to impress Tom Colicchio…

Is what you’re making for dinner tonight good enough to serve “Top Chef” judge Tom Colicchio? That’s the standard that some of the city’s best…

Television

‘Homeland’ recap: Season 4, Episode 4 ‘Iron in…

Carrie Mathison, what are you doing?! Don’t seduce virgins! More on that later: Lots of crazy stuff went down on the "Iron in the Fire" ep of "Homeland"!

Movies

Box office: Brad Pitt kills Nazis, also Nicholas…

This weekend, Brad Pitt's second WWII movie, "Fury," rolled into the lead, while the latest Nicholas Sparks movie, "The Best of Me," got little love.

College

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State…

College football AP Top 25 rankings: Mississippi State holds off FSU

NHL

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in…

NHL Power Rankings: Sharks, Canadiens, Blackhawks out in front

NFL

DeMarco Murray carries Cowboys to win over Giants

The Giants knew they would need to stop DeMarco Murray if they were going to leave Dallas with a win. It didn't matter.

NFL

Jets trade for wide receiver Percy Harvin: Report

According to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer, the Jets have sent a conditional draft pick to the Seahawks for wide receiver Percy Harvin.

Wellbeing

Gabby Bernstein: The 3 questions I always get

For the last decade, I’ve been writing self-help books and preaching the Gospel of Gabby to audiences throughout the world. And no matter what country…

Wellbeing

Health News: 5K for lung cancer, free yoga,…

Get some fresh air to benefit lung cancer research On Friday, the first-ever Brooklyn Free to Breathe Run/Walk will take place Oct. 26 at Cadman Plaza…

Education

Can these two college students come up with…

Two Atlanta college students say they have an idea for a simple test that would quickly diagnosis the Ebola virus - and it all started…

Education

Chances are, the average college student isn't taking…

As a bachelor’s degree becomes more expensive than ever, one new report is criticizing colleges for the content of those pricey educations. The American Council…