UPDATED with details throughout. At its Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple is unveiling a range of new products and features, including some TV enhancements precede the highly anticipated arrival of streaming service Apple TV Plus.
CEO Tim Cook kicked off the event by introducing the trailer for the company’s original space-race alt-history series, For All Mankind, but did not provide any updated clarity on the date, pricing or other details about the new streaming service.
Cook promised a TV interface that would be “even more entertaining and more personal.” While the game plan is to serve the entire household, he added, ‘When you sit down to watch TV, you want to see the shows that you love.” The tech giant’s “multi-user support” for TVOS, he said, will give individual viewers their own home page with recommendations and favorites.
Music played through the TV operating system will also offer personalization options, leveraging the 50 million songs in Apple Music. Lyrics can be displayed on the TV screen in sync with songs, providing what Cook proclaimed as “the best music experience on television.”
The company’s Apple Arcade system for Apple TV 4K will also now support controllers for PlayStation and Xbox, part of a trend of Apple increasingly being willing to interface with non-Apple hardware. (Apple TV, for example, is now available on Samsung smart TVs.)
Taking the place of iTunes, which launched in 2001, are apps for Music, Podcasts and TV, the company said.
“The future of iTunes is not one app, but three,” SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi told the crowd at the San Jose Convention Center. Each enables the experience to be deeper and more targeted, he said.
Filmmakers and a range of other industry pros leaned forward in their seats for the introduction of the first Macintosh Pro desktop computer since 2013. Featuring 1.5 terabytes of system memory and heavy-duty 8K editing and rendering tools, the setup is paired with a 32-inch, 6K Retina display monitor. The stainless steel-clad, rectangular housing replaces the cylindrical “trash can” design of the previous model, which was largely considered to be a misfire. At a basic price a shade less than $11,000 for the monitor and computer, the system will be available in the fall.
A lengthy overview of the company’s new operating system, iOS13, offered first looks at new features like Dark Mode, which lays a dark background behind Notes, Photos, Apps and other elements of the Apple experience.
Videos can be rotated and filtered, and photos more carefully organized, with AI tools helping to eliminate duplicates or junk images. With thinly veiled broadsides aimed at tech rivals like Facebook and Google, Apple touted new privacy features, including app sign-in with Apple ID and an option to create a random email to connect users to the app. Google and Facebook, through their sign-in features, have required users to offer their personal email addresses, which sometimes leads to misuse of their personal information.