SAN FRANCISCO -- Fresh off a disappointing initial public offering, Facebook is getting a big boost from Apple, which is building the social network deep into its iPhone and iPad software.
With the next version of Apple Inc.'s software, users will be able to update their Facebook status by talking to their phones.
Users will also be able to "Like" movies and apps in Apple's iTunes store, Apple executive Scott Forstall said in San Francisco at Apple's annual developers' conference.
Siri, Apple's voice-command application, will add a host of new languages, including Spanish, Korean and Mandarin Chinese, Forstall said. "She" will also be able to launch applications and movies. She will also run on iPads for the first time.
Apple says the new software, iOS 6, will launch this fall. It updates the software annually, usually coinciding with the release of a new iPhone.
Even as Apple lends Facebook a hand, it's cutting off one of its links to Google Inc., which makes a rival suite of software for smartphones. IOS 6 will use Apple's own Maps applications rather than Google's. The application will come with traffic reports and turn-by-turn navigation.
Apple also said the new version of its Mac operating system, Mountain Lion, will go on sale next month for $20. The update brings features from Apple's phone and tablet software, like the iMessage texting application, to the Mac.
Microsoft Corp., Apple competitor's when it comes to computer software, is also making Windows more like its phone software, with the release of Windows 8 later this year.
Mountain Lion will also bring dictation to Macs. Users will be able to input text by talking to the computer, in any program. This is already a feature of Microsoft Corp.'s competing Windows software.
On the hardware side, Apple showed off a laptop with a super-high resolution "Retina" display, setting a new standard for screen sharpness.
The new MacBook Pro will have a 15-inch screen and four times the resolution of previous models, Apple executive Phil Schiller said.
Apple already uses "Retina" displays -- with individual pixels too small to be distinguished by the naked eye -- in its latest iPhones and iPads.
On the phones and tablets, the Retina display is a standard feature. On the MacBook, it's an expensive upgrade. The new MacBook will cost $2199 and up, $400 more than the non-Retina MacBook with the same-sized screen.
Apple's other MacBooks are being updated with the latest processors from Intel Corp.
Missing from Monday's presentation was any mention of Apple's ambition to get into making TVs. Analysts had speculated that Apple would at least update the software on the Apple TV, a small box that connects a TV set to iTunes for movie downloads, as a prelude to perhaps launching a fully integrated TV set.
Here are some highlights of iOS 6:
Apple's mobile devices will have a mapping program, built in-house.
In the past, Apple has given prominent billing to Google Inc.'s mapping app. But the two companies have increasingly become rivals as people buy more devices running Google's Android operating system. Google also has been keeping some features, including turn-by-turn directions spoken aloud, exclusive to Android.
Apple's new Maps application will have a voice navigation feature. It will have real-time traffic data and offer alternative routes as traffic conditions change.
It will also include "flyover" three-dimensional images taken by helicopters hired by the company to fly over major cities. Google said last week that it has been dispatching its own planes to produce similar 3D images that will soon be available on its mapping service.
Apple's map program will be integrated with its Siri virtual assistant so that you can ask for directions and pose other questions.
The new software promises better integration with Facebook. The idea is you enter your password just once, and you can post to Facebook from a variety of apps. You can also post about websites directly from Apple's Safari browser.
Facebook will be integrated with Apple's online app store so that you can declare that you "like" specific apps there, as well as songs and movies in iTunes.
Events in Facebook's calendar and birthdays of Facebook friends will also appear on your phone's calendar.
IOS 6 will have enhancements to Siri, which interprets voice commands and talks back to the user. It is also coming to the iPad for the first time.
Since Siri was introduced in October with the iPhone 4S, Siri has been "studying up and learning a lot more," says Scott Forstall, Apple's senior vice president for iPhone software. Siri's sharpened intellect will be especially apparent when the voice assistant is fielding questions about movies, restaurants and other things, according to Forstall.
He demonstrated that by having Siri tell whether LeBron James or Kobe Bryant is the taller basketball player. Siri replies, "LeBron James appears to be slightly taller" as the cards of both players are displayed on an iPhone screen.
Apple says it is partnering with Yelp Inc. so that Siri can include ratings and prices of restaurants when you ask her about places to eat. The company is also partnering with OpenTable Inc. to make reservations.
Siri will now be available in more languages and more countries.
Apple also says it's working with car manufacturers to let you use a button on the steering wheel to talk to Siri, allowing you to keep your hands on the road. Apple says General Motors Co., BMW AG and Daimler AG's Mercedes are among the automakers that have promised to offer Siri integration in the next 12 months.
Don't want to be disturbed?
Apple's new software will give you more options for preventing messages and text notifications from disturbing you at night, for instance.
You can control how and when you get back to people. If you can't call someone back right away, you can set a reminder to call that person back later or have a text message sent directly to the caller.
There's a "call when you leave" feature that reminds you to call back when you are leaving a building or office. The phone can detect when you are leaving.
Apple's new Passbook feature will be a central place to keep your boarding passes, tickets and gift cards.
When you get to a Starbucks, for instance, the device will bring up your gift card if you have one and if you have the location feature turned on. Likewise, when you get to a movie theater or baseball stadium, the ticket will pop up. Passbook will also alert you to gate changes and flight delays once you have a boarding pass stored.
Forrester Research analyst Charles Golvin suspects Passbook will be the foundation for a digital commerce hub that Apple is trying to implant on its mobile devices starting with the next iPhone. "This looks like a harbinger of a digital wallet that could handle a variety of transactions," Golvin said.