Latest Apple iPhone software iOS7 will support multitasking for all apps, executives said. "It's the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone," said CEO Tim Cook. Photo: Reuters
Apple has unveiled a music streaming service that is a key part of overhauled mobile software that the company called the most revolutionary re-design of its operating system since the iPhone was introduced in 2007.
iTunes Radio, one of the more highly anticipated new features in the revamped iOS mobile platform, is free with ads across many Apple devices including iPhones, iPads and even Apple TV.
Much like rival Pandora Media, the service - which will launch in the in the US autumn, months after Google's "All Access" on-demand competitor debuted - allows listeners to customise their own radio stations by genre, skip songs multiple times, or just tune in to some 200 featured stations.
Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president of internet software and services, introduces iTunes Radio. Photo: Reuters
As Apple kicked off its annual conference in San Francisco for its developers, executives also showed off a new line of Mac computers and said that updated Siri voice software used on the iPhone now incorporates Microsoft's Bing search engine.
Called iOS 7, the smartphone and tablet platform redesigned by resident creative honcho Jony Ive comes with a new edge-to-edge look that uses translucency to highlight underlying content, new typefaces, and new icons. Apple plans to make iOS 7 available in the US autumn.
Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist Matt Murphy, who runs the firm's iFund, tweeted that the new iOS platform "Looks livelier, happier, approachable."
It will also support multitasking for all apps, executives said. "It's the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone," said CEO Tim Cook.
Apple also said that Siri, the voice-activated personal digital assistant, comes with all new male and female voices, a new look, and is now directly integrated with Bing.
Some industry experts have criticised Apple's mobile operating software, which has retained its general look and feel since its inception, for looking somewhat dated.
"The iPhone was the first real smartphone for a lot of people so it had to be really basic. I think now the training-wheels are starting to come off a little bit," said Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote, which makes note-taking software for smartphones.
Marketing chief Phil Schiller offered the audience a sneak peek at Apple's upcoming new Mac Pro - its top-of-the-line computer with a sleek cylindrical chassis that he said will feature several times the processing and memory speed and power of the previous generation.
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