Apple Developer Conference 2012

U.S. computer giant Apple Inc. has announced a new advanced operating system for its products that will include an Apple-made mobile mapping service for iPhones and iPads, a smarter Siri voice-interaction feature and more FaceTime, or instant videophone communications.

Apple software chief Scott Forstall told the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in California that the new in-house mapping service in the forthcoming iOS 6 operating system is “built from the ground up.”

The move will end Apple’s reliance on Google’s mapping software for its products.

Siri, the voice-activated search feature found on Apple’s iPhone cellular devices, will be able to speak turn-by-turn directions aloud – a significant upgrade for the mobile phone’s version of GPS – global positioning system – software.

Siri will come in more languages and will also be available on the iPad.

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The Voice of America, which first went on the air in 1942, is an international multimedia broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government through the Broadcasting Board of Governors. VOA broadcasts approximately 1,500 hours of news, information, educational, and cultural programming every week to an estimated worldwide audience of 125 million people. See http://www.VOANews.com