Goodbye iTunes, it's been a great 18-year ride.
Apple didn't officially say it was killing the iTunes software Monday at its Worldwide Developer's Conference here but instead broke it up into three separate apps.
The WWDC conference is where Apple sneak peeks new features that will come to iPhones, iPads, computers and the Apple Watch in the fall.
iTunes began as a way for consumers to manage their music collections and download songs legally. Now, Apple said it will rename iTunes as a pure music app and pull out movies, TV shows and podcasts into separate TV and podcast apps. The new look comes to Apple computers as part of the new macOS operating system, which will be called Catalina.
Meanwhile, for mobile devices, iOS 13 is the new name for Apple's fall operating system upgrade, which brings new features to older iPhones and is generally used to sell new devices. And iPad finally gets its own operating system—iPadOS.
Highlights to new iOS 13:
—Dark Mode. This option gives a new look to your phone or tablet, with dark backgrounds.
—Maps. Apple has been playing catch-up to Google Maps for years but says it has worked hard to capture more road and air data and says an all-new, more information-rich look to the Maps app will be out in the fall. One feature we haven't seen on Google Maps: looking at photos, in Street View, with mapping data.
—Siri. Apple's much-maligned personal assistant gets a new voice in the fall, to sound more realistic and less computer-like.
—Photos. New management tools will be added to make it easier to find photos, additional editing tools as well, and in a first, Apple is bringing edit tools to video as well.
—Log in with Apple. In a nod to privacy concerns, Apple will offer a "Log in with Apple," a simple ID to counter Facebook and Google's. While those companies track us once we sign in, Apple says it won't do that. And for apps that ask for your email address, Apple will give you the option to have a random dummy email address assigned that will forward to your real address.
—USB on iPad. Because of features specific to the newly announced iPadOS like better file management and multitasking, the iPad is getting more computer-like. Most notably, Apple is finally dropping its longtime reluctance to allow inserting the reading of USB flash drives to move files. In this new operating system, thumb drives will be readable.
—WatchOS. The Apple Watch will now be able to record quick audio segments with Voice Memos on your wrist. In addition to offering several new watch faces, it's also getting Taptic chimes, Calculator to help with splitting the bill and figuring tips as well as streaming music. And in the health realm, the new OS will also offer tracking for your personal fitness trends and alerts when the sound around you veers into dangerous decibel levels for your ears.
The WWDC attracts some 5,000 app developers to Apple's conference, where they learn about new features coming from Apple. The company, in turn, hopes the app makers will add them to their apps. Beyond the pros, Apple also brings in student developers on scholarships, teaching them how to code and other skills, in the hopes that the students will become app makers of tomorrow.
But all is not rosy in app land.
The Supreme Court said an antitrust case can go forward from iPhone users who allege that Apple engages in monopolistic practices in the App Store. Music streaming giant Spotify pushed the European Union to investigate its antitrust complaint against the App Store, and the hugely popular app Netflix recently stopped making itself available in the App Store, saying Apple's commissions were too high.
Apple recently defended its business practices on its website, noting that it has paid out $120 billion to developers over the years for their share in fees from the site and arguing that it allows competitive apps to be side by side with Apple apps in categories like music, calendar, mail, messaging and cloud storage.
"We believe competition makes everything better and results in the best apps for our customers," Apple said.
At WWDC, Apple steered clear of controversy, instead touting all the ways it's contributed to the app economy.
In years past, new apps would be released and take the world by storm, but the charts are mostly dominated by familiar names like Facebook, Instagram, Google Maps and Waze. However, one new app recently cracked the charts, the Q&A app Yolo.
(c)2019 U.S. Today
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.