Apple Kicks Out Google Maps; Launches 15″ Retina MacBook

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SAN FRANCISCO – Apple CEO Tim Cook yesterday – as tipped – announced plans for Apple to dump Google Maps and introduce its own mapping service, complete with 3D images of city landmarks like the Sydney Opera House, along with real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation.

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At Apple’s annual WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, Cook also announced an enhanced version of the Siri voice-search system for iPads; and a slimline 15-inch version of its MacBook Pro with a Retina high-res display and Intel Ivy Bridge processors.

Apple’s map service comes with three-dimensional images of cities in a system dubbed “Flyover”, along with real-time traffic updates and turn-by-turn navigation, using information said to be supplied by Dutch company Tom Tom.

The mapping system is included in Apple’s new iOS 6 operating system for both iPhone and iPad – and “it is beautiful”, Apple executive Scott Forstall told the WWDC audience.

The new iOS will also include Passbook, an app claimed to enable the forthcoming iPhone 5 to act as an electronic wallet for delivering cinema tickets, airline boarding passes and shopping vouchers, using barcodes on-screen.

Apple says iOS 6 will be available to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users in the northern autumn as a free software update.A new version of the Mac OS X operating system for Macintosh, dubbed “Mountain Lion” will be available as a free download in July.

Siri, the innovative voice-activated iPhone search-feature and dictation taker, celebrates her ascension to the iPad by reciting a larger database of answers, especially on sports, restaurants and movies.

The new 15.4-inch MacBook Pro is claimed to be 25 percent thinner than its predecessor, making it almost as slender as a MacBook Air.

 

It sports a Retina display, claimed to be the world’s highest-resolution notebook display with more than 5 million pixels; and all solid-state drives. In basic form it is powered by a quad-core Intel “Ivy Bridge” i7 processor.

 In Australia the new model is available immediately at a starting price of A$2499.

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