Apple tweaked several features in its mobile operating system to try to enhance its ability to entice users to stay within its ecosystem. 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.
But the highlight was the debut of Apple's in-house mapping service after years of development, a direct challenge to the same Google service that is one of the most popular functions on both Android smartphones and the iPhone.
Apple's new mobile software -- the iOS6 -- will be available in the fall. It comes with a mapping system "built from the ground up," said software chief Scott Forstall.