Apple HOOKS UP with Facebook, Makes Siri MORE HUMAN

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Fans of Siri and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) obsessives had a lot to cheer about during the keynote speech at Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. As rumored, Apple announced that the iPhone 4S voice-activated personal assistant would be integrated into the iPad with the launch of iOS 6 and get several other usage improvements, while the social network also received some expected love.

Apple said Siri would soon be compatible with several other languages other than English, including French, Spanish, Italian, and Korean. The voice-activated personal assistant will also be able to launch apps. Apple is also already working with automakers such as BMW, General Motors (NYSE:GM), Mercedes, Toyota (NYSE:TM), and Honda (NYSE:HMC), to integrate Siri within cars, most likely through a button on the steering wheel, over the next 12 months.

Also, as expected, Apple is integrating Facebook into iOS6. Users will not need to keep logging into apps and will be able to share more easily on the social network. There will be a feature to post to Facebook right from the notification center, the App Store will incorporate “likes”, numbers and emails from Facebook will appear in contacts, and Facebook events as well as birthdays will appear in the Calendar app.

Apple also tweaked its video calling app Facetime so that it would now be available through cellular data, instead of just Wi-Fi.

Apple also announced a new in-house app called Passbook that is designed to consolidate movie tickets, boarding passes, etc., within the mobile device. Tickets will pop up right on the lock screen and will even include alerts for things such as a gate change on your virtual boarding pass.

The new lost mode on the device will allow the user to send a phone number to the phone, so that if someone finds it, they can tap on it to call that number back.

In all, there will be 200 new features in the new version of Apple’s mobile software. Apple is launching the beta version of iOS 6 today, while the consumer version will ship this fall for the iPhone 3GS and later, second- and third-generation iPad devices, and the fourth-generation iPod touch.

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