At WWDC, Apple Kills Off iTunes, Adds New Features to iPhone and Watch

Apple iTunes on a MacBook Pro

By Paul Riegler on 3 June 2019
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Observers reported that iTunes, 18, passed peacefully into the cloud Monday morning at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California.

Introduced in 2001 – even before the first iPod let alone iPhone – the tool was welcomed by music lovers who found it an easy way to rip CDs and create mixtapes (albeit without any tape). Two years later, Apple upended music industry with the introduction of 99-cent songs, the first digital economy for music.

ITunes success became its weakness: Apple added feature after feature – support for movies, podcasts, radio stations – that turned the once elegant software into something ungainly where it was hard to find the simplest of functions.

Family members report that iTunes on the Mac will be survived by three apps, Apple Music, Apple TV, and a Podcasts app. The Windows version of iTunes will continue for the foreseeable future as will the iTunes Store in iOS.

Meanwhile, at the conference, Apple introduced its next mobile operating system, iOS 13. Due out this fall, iOS 13 will include a new login feature that allows users to sign into apps without revealing any personal information. Instead, the system will produce an automatically generated and random e-mail address.

“It’s a fast and easy way to sign in without all the tracking,” said Apple Vice President Craig Federighi while introducing the new operating system.

IOS 13 will also include faster Face ID authentication, slimmer downloads and updates, and quicker app launches. It will add Dark Mode across all native apps and a new, more natural voice for Siri.

The iPad’s operating system will split from the iPhone’s. Come fall, iPadOS will have new capabilities that make the tablet feel more like a computer including simplified copy-and-paste functionality and a desktop mode for the Safari web browser.

The Apple Watch will get its own app store; its app downloads will no longer be managed by the iPhone’s app store. The watch is also getting new health capabilities including one that alerts wearers if the environmental noise around them poses a potential health issue.

Apple also introduced the next version of its macOS, macOS Catalina. The new operating system will introduce the aforementioned replacement apps for iTunes and will also support using an iPad as an extended display for the Mac.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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