Apple confirms it’s killing iTunes as it unveils latest updates iPhone, Apple Watch and TV at WWDC

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Apple has officially confirmed its plans to phase out iTunes music library and replace it with three different apps – but Windows users will still be able to use the old system.

Following months of rumors, the firm revealed it will be killing off the 18-year-old music storage library in favor of its three newer entertainment apps: Apple Music, Apple Podcast, and Apple TV.

Apple says you’ll still have access to all of your existing music, whether you ‘downloaded the songs, purchased them or ripped them from a CD’.

To replace iTunes, customer’s music will be transferred to Apple Music, with audio books and podcasts moved to Apple Podcast and video will be stored in the Apple TV app.

But anyone using a Window operating system, or any hardware other than a Mac, will not be able to download the new apps and can still use iTunes.

Apple also announced the iTunes Music Store will also be remaining in place. 

The firm also promised the new system will include ‘all the features you’d expect from iTunes, all while being blazingly fast.’

In addition to the death of iTunes, Apple also confirmed another long-running rumor: the launch of ‘dark mode’ for iPhone. 

 

The firm unveiled the sleek new design option alongside iOS 13, which will come with faster download speeds, smarter task reminders, a new keyboard to allow for ultra-fast swipe-typing, and updates for Mail, Notes, and Safari.

Apple kicked off WWDC 2019 on Monday with a more detailed look at its new streaming services and the latest operating systems for its family of devices. It also took the wraps of its first new Mac Pro in years, boasting a cheese grater-style tower, and the new macOS, Catalina.

Among the most notable announcements are new security features similar to those already seen in Google and Facebook, including a ‘Sign in with Apple’ tool designed to authenticate your identity using FaceID ‘without revealing any personal information.’ 

Apple also revealed the App Store is finally coming to Apple Watch, allowing users to download apps directly to the wearable for the first time, and unveiled the new period-tracking app, Cycle Tracker.

CEO Tim Cook started off the event in San Jose with announcements for Apple Arcade, Apple Card, and Apple TV+, including the reveal of a new series, For All Mankind, produced by Battlestar Galactica creator, Ron Moore. 

Ahead of the keynote, Apple also appeared to accidentally leak the new name for its iPad OS, revealing for the tablet will have its own operating system for the first time. 

It later confirmed this during the event, when it officially debuted iPadOS.  

Much of the event, however, was focused on the many updates coming with the new iOS 13. 

‘iOS 12 has been installed on more systems than any other software,’ Cook said before introducing its successor, iOS 13.

With iOS 13, you’ll be able to unlock your phone 30 percent faster using FaceID, Apple’s VP of Software Engineering, Craig Federighi said.

App launch speeds will also be twice as fast, thanks to downloads shrinking by 50 percent and updates by 60 percent.

Apple took the wraps off its highly anticipated Dark Mode during the event on Monday, stating dramatically: ‘iOS now lives in the dark.’ 

The feature, which has long been available among its many competitors, boasts and inverted color palette for a sleeker design that’s easier on the eyes.  

In addition, iOS 13 will include a newly-designed share sheet and brings updates for Safari, Mail, Notes, and Reminders. 

‘Safari now has per-website preferences, Mail has new desktop formatting, and Notes will now have shared folders,’ Federighi revealed.

‘Reminders is now smarter, and can guess when to remind you of certain tasks.’

Apple’s Photo app is also getting smarter, and will soon automatically separate your screenshots from your main images. iOS 13 will also come with more advanced photo editing options, including Portrait Lighting adjustments. 

Apple Maps is also getting a major overhaul slated to become available by the end of 2019, with a focus on keeping things ‘private and secure.’

This will include a new favorites section for different locations, shareable lists, and personalized lists based on your trips. 

And, it your location data will now come with more protections. 

‘Sharing your location with a third party app can really enable some useful third-party experiences,’ said Director of Product Research, Meg Frost.  

‘For the first time you can share your location with an app just once and then require it to ask again the next time it wants it. 

‘And if you do choose to grant an app to continually monitor your location in the background, we’ll give you reports on what they’re up to.

‘Some apps try to infer your location through Bluetooth connections, etc. We’re shutting the door on that abuse as well.’ 

Apple also introduced its new Login feature which aims to merge convenience and privacy by allowing you to authenticate new accounts with FaceID. 

‘Some apps may want your name and maybe even your email. We do allow them to request this information, but you can choose to share your actual email address or you can choose to hide it,’ Frost said.

‘And when you do, we’ll create a unique random address that forwards to your real address.

‘Each app gets a unique random address, and you can disable them anytime when you’re tired of hearing from a specific app.’ 

This will also be available on web, according to the firm.  

Apple Watch got a slew of updates this time around, including new watch faces, ‘taptic chimes’ that will buzz or play a bird sound on every hour, and several new apps.

This includes Audiobooks, Voice Memos, and Calculator – with the ability to split the bill with friends.

Apps on the Watch will now operate independently, meaning you won’t have to download a companion app on your iPhone.  

The App Store is now coming to the Watch itself, too.  ‘You can purchase and install an app directly on your watch,’ said Kevin Lynch, VP of Technology.

New Health apps will better track your activity, and Apple Watch will now even be able to tell you if the noises around you are too loud.

With the new feature, Watch users will be able to check noise levels and receive notifications when things get too loud.   

‘It’s an easy way to protect your hearing health,’ said Sumbul Desai, Apple VP of Health.

‘And of course, this feature was designed with your privacy in mind. Does not record or save your audio. We think the noise app is really going to make a big impact.’

The new Cycle Tracker will be available with or without a watch, and will live inside the Health app. Users will be able to log the heaviness of their flow, and get notifications about their fertile window.  

Cycle tracking – available with or without a watch, now in the Health app. 

Apple Watch will also now come with Shazam built in, and it’s getting Siri web search results, the firm says.

During the event in San Jose, Apple also introduced its first redesigned Mac Pro in years, with 1.5TB of system memory, eight internal PCI slots, 4 double wide slots and I/O card with two thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, 3.5mm headphone jack.

It also contains two 10-gigabyte ethernet ports. 

The processor is ‘designed for customers who need the ultimate in CPU performance,’ said John Turnis. 

‘To get every last ounce of performance out of this thing, it can run 300 watts, fully unconstrained all the time.’

And, it boasts the Radeon Pro Vega II, which the firm claims ‘is quite simply the worlds most powerful graphics card.’ 

According to Apple, it can can run 100 million pixels, or three simultaneous 8K streams at the same time.

It’s ‘by far the most powerful Mac that’s ever been created for professional filmmakers and musicians,’ Turnis said. 

The display is 40 percent larger than the iMac 5K display with 25 times better contrast than typical displays. It has anti-reflective coating and a back-lighting system ‘like no other in the world.’ 

‘Mac Pro can power 6 displays, or up to 120 million pixels,’ the firm says. 

Mac Pro available this fall, at $5999, and the Pro display XDR will available this fall, for $4999.

The new macOS, Catalina will allow users to operate the system entirely by voice commands. 

Say ‘scroll through photos,’ for example to browse on desktop computers and share photos. Voice commands can also be used to open maps, mark a point on the map, and share location. 

A tool called Sidecar will allow you to use your iPad as a second display, Apple says. 

The firm also revealed updates for its family of entertainment services. New motion capture ability and AR tools will allow you, for example, to put an AR version of yourself into Minecraft Earth.  

Apple Arcade will be available later this year with more than 100 games. But, the firm still has not revealed how much its gaming service will cost.

Apple Card is slated to become available this summer, followed by the launch of Apple TV+ this fall.  

‘We completely redesigned the home screen, making Apple TV come to life from the moment you turn it on,’ Cook said. 

‘Apple TV is designed to be used for the whole family, but we wanted to make it even more personal.

‘Today, the Up Next list has recommendations for everyone in the home. You want to see the shows that you love. So were introducing multi-user support for tvOS.

‘Now everyone in the home gets their own Up Next list.’

Family members will be able to switch between different users in a new control center, according to the firm.

This personalization will also come to Apple Music, which users can access through tvOS.    

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