‘Biggest cheer’

Additional features include “eyes free”, a feature on which Apple said it had worked with car manufacturers to integrate a “Siri button” to activate the iPhone’s voice-operated assistant.

For the first time on Apple’s devices, video calls will be able to be made over a cellular connection, rather than relying on wi-fi.

imapThe switch to its own mapping platform will provide Apple with even more opportunities to monetise its users, said Carolina Milanesi, an analyst for Gartner, who attended the event in San Francisco.

“Maps got the biggest cheer [from the audience],” she said.

“The opportunity that controlling maps gives to Apple for learning more about what their users are doing, keeping that information, and then being able to leverage that for advertising purposes is huge.”

“iOS6 is a continued evolution,” she told the BBC.

“I think the whole operating system is getting more clever. It’s learning from what consumers are doing and improving the experience.”

Macbook revamp

The company also announced revamped models in its Macbook Pro and Macbook Air ranges. Google revealed its own mapping software, which also has 3D capabilities Its new Macbook Pro is 0.71 inches thick, with a high-resolution Retina display. It utilises Intel’s Ivy Bridge processor.

Its slimline Macbook Air range has also been upgraded with enhanced graphics and processing capabilities.

Both will offer a free upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion, the latest version of the Mac operating system which is set for release in July. Among its features is enhanced synchronisation between desktop, laptop and mobile, thanks to iCloud, the company’s cloud-based storage service.

Once again, predictions that Apple was set to announce a long-rumoured television failed to materialise.