Technology

WWDC 2019: Apple unveils new services and privacy tools

WWDC 2019: Apple unveils new services and privacy tools: Apple announced a host of new software features Monday that the company hopes will pull its customers deeper into its broadening array of gadgets and services.

The Worldwide Developer Conference, as it is called, is usually a celebratory affair, and it was, at least inside the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. But as if to underscore the trouble the company is facing, Reuters reported during the company’s keynote address that the Justice Department is weighing an investigation into Apple for antitrust violations. And later Monday, House Democrats announced a sweeping antitrust probe aimed at tech companies, including Apple.

Apple chief Tim Cook and other executives focused on privacy features as they unveiled software improvements for iPhones, iPads, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and Mac computers at the technology giant’s annual gathering of developers in Silicon Valley. The company also revealed the demise of the iTunes online shop that changed the music industry.

Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi said, “The future of iTunes is not one app, it’s three, Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV.”

Launched in 2001, iTunes was the online shop to buy and download digital songs for Apple iPod players. Lifestyles have since shifted to streaming music, video, podcasts, and more from the internet cloud as online data centers and high-bandwidth connections have given rise to on-demand entertainment expectations.

Apple has made a priority of selling digital content and services to the vast, global audience of people who use its devices as it seeks to wean itself off iPhone sales in a cooling smartphone market.

The audience at the Worldwide Developers Conference cheered for executives and improvements that promised to make it easier to make apps for Apple devices.

According to Federighi, next-generation iOS software powering iPhones coming out later this year was reworked “top to bottom” to be faster.

The iOS mobile operating software has been enhanced with privacy protection features that included providing the option of giving apps permission to access location just once, instead of all the time, and letting users know when apps are tracking their whereabouts.

As an alternative to log in using Facebook or Google accounts, a new “Sign In With Apple” feature will be launched. Federighi said, “This can be convenient, but it can also come at the cost of your privacy. These log-ins can be used to track you.”

The iOS log-in feature will let people sign into apps using AppleID information, but provides the option of masking user names or email addresses with randomly generated information. Federighi said, “The entire experience is meant to help you have control over your data.”

Apple also announced changes that will make iPads easier to use as auxiliary screens for Mac computers and even perform a bit more like laptops themselves with capabilities like multiple windows operating simultaneously.

Apple also unveiled a new Mac Pro high-performance desktop computer aimed at professions, with a starting price of $5,999. “It has a truly gorgeous design and remarkable performance to match,” Cook said of Mac Pro.

Apple previewed its iOS 13 for its mobile devices, which includes a “dark mode,” an upgraded maps application and faster access through its facial recognition sign-on.