Apple breaks up iTunes, announces new privacy measures

9:05 am on 4 June 2019

iTunes is to be replaced by Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV, the company confirmed at its annual developer conference.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks about the MacBook Pro at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif.

Apple CEO Tim Cook speaking at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. Photo: AP

The firm also revealed a number of new privacy measures. A new sign-in will be an alternative to logging into apps using social media accounts, hiding the user's email address and data.

The technology giant said the next versions of its macOS operating system which powers the firm's computers will replace the iTunes app with Music, TV and Podcasts.

The three dedicated apps will each handle their own media, from finding and playing content to purchasing it and saving it to a library where applicable.

iTunes was introduced as a media player in 2001, before a built-in music store was added, and it was used as part of the set-up of early generation iPods and iPhones.

Speaking on stage at the tech giant's annual Worldwide Developer Conference, senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi said: "The future of iTunes is not one app, but three."

The restructuring of apps will launch as part of the next version of macOS, to be called Catalina, which will be released later this year.

The announcements were made at the WWDC conference, where the tech giant outlines its software plans for the months ahead.


Apple announced several new privacy measures, building on last year's event where it pledged to jam Facebook's tracking tools.

"Privacy is a fundamental human right," said Apple's software chief Craig Federighi.

He said that apps requesting location information will have to ask every time they require it, and will be blocked from using other markers such as identifying Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals.

Apple is also launching a sign-in-with-Apple login as an alternative to logging in to a service using a social media account.

Using this login, users can choose to hide their email address, with Apple creating a random alternative address which will forward to the real mailbox.

"The unveiling of 'Sign-in With Apple' will concern rivals, particularly the web giants," commented Ben Wood from CCS Insight.

"Existing sign-in services provide a simple means for single sign-in across the web. Privacy is the differentiator that will be heavily emphasised versus Facebook and Google, and represents a great marketing tool for Apple's broader privacy stance."

iOS 13

The next iteration of the iPhone's operating system - iOS 13 - includes a range of changes to its interface, as well as new functions.

The new Dark Mode enables iPhone apps to be viewed with a black background, while the Apple Maps app will come with a virtual tour experience similar to Google's Streetview.

Apple has also made improvements to its language keyboards, including the introduction of new bilingual keyboards and typing predictions for Arabic, Hindi, Thai, Cantonese, Vietnamese and the 22 official Indian languages.

Apple's Kevin Lynch talks about the Apple Watch at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, Calif.,

Photo: AP

Apple Watch

The Apple Watch is to become more independent from the iPhone with its own app store.

New apps for the Watch include a menstrual cycle tracker, with an optional fertility window predictor, and a noise level tool to alert Watch wearers when they are around noise levels that can damage hearing.

Apple said it would not record or store the noise data.

Mac Pro

The tech giant also unveiled a redesigned Mac Pro complete with a 28-core Intel processor and 6k retina display screen, which is 40 percent larger than the current iMac display screen.

It will launch in the autumn with prices starting at $US5,999 - this does not include the screen or stand.

And instead of buying additional monitors, existing Mac users will now use the iPad as a second screen.

- BBC / Reuters