Apple used its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday to go heavy on showing off features of its upcoming update to its iPhone operating system, and a revamping of how its longtime iTunes features will work with future versions of its Mac computers.
Apple CEO Tim Cook and other company officials used a keynote presentation to show off functions the company will add into the operating systems of its main products. For the Mac and its upcoming Catalina operating system, users will soon have three apps to use in place of iTunes.
“Customers love iTunes,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering. “But we are always asked, ‘Can it do more?’ “
In order to do more, Apple will separate iTunes into three stand-alone versions of the Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV apps, with each dedicated to its specific entertainment function. Federighi said that the three apps would be easier and faster to use than with iTunes.
With the move, iTunes — the program that Apple used to popularize the burning of music CDs at home. then expanded with the iTunes Store that revamped how people listen to music, and which, along with the iPod, set Apple on the path toward eventually becoming a company with a trillion-dollar market value — will be no more.
The next Mac OS update will also come with a function called Sidecar that will allow a person to use their iPad as a second screen for their Mac.
Apple also said it will launch a new operating system specifically for the iPad called iPadOS that will bring a new home screen to the device and functions that allow for split screen views and the ability to use multiple apps at one time.
“From a consumer side, they’re polishing the experience,” said Gene Munster, director at tech research firm Loup Ventures. “They’re not showing off many radical changes, and they’re giving a little more control to users.”
For the iPhone, Apple touted the security features of iOS 13, the next iteration of the iPhone operating system. Among the main improvements to iOS 13 are the capability for a person to sign into sites or apps using their Apple ID information without revealing any personal data, and an option to generate a new, random email address that will forward information to one’s real email address.
The iOS 13 update will also include a “Dark Mode” option designed to make viewing the iPhone screen easier, and an improved Maps app that gives more detailed directions and views, and the ability to set favorite locations that can be accessed with one tap.
Tim Bajarin, director of tech consultancy Creative Strategies, called Apple’s slate of operating system updates “significant” and said he expects the new developer tools to “make it possible for developers to create even more innovative applications and make all of Apple products more powerful and versatile.”
Cook showed off new features for tvOS, the operating system behind the Apple TV set-top box, that include allowing multiple users to set up their own profiles for TV show recommendations. The Apple Watch’s new watchOS 6 update will add new fitness and health monitoring features such as a noise monitor that can tell a person the decibel level of the sounds in a particular environment.
Cook said all of the beta versions of all the operating system updates were available to conference developers Monday, while public versions would be released in July.
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