Apple unveils new mobile OS


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SAN FRANCISCO -- CEO Tim Cook introduced Apple's newest mobile operating system Monday during the keynote address of the Worldwide Developers Conference, calling it "the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of the iPhone." As part of the update, users will receive a streaming-radio offering called iTunes Radio.

In a video showing off the redesigned iOS 7, design guru Jony Ive revealed a quick settings area, a new swipe-to-unlock screen and flatter-looking icons in an interface envisioned as a series of flat planes. Software engineering leader Craig Federighi followed the video with an introduction of new features of iOS 7, which he said "is like getting an entirely new phone, but one that you already know how to use, one that is so much more beautiful and functional than ever before."

Next, Web services executive Eddy Cue took the stage to show off iTunes Radio, which will allow iOS 7 users to listen to personalized or general stations through the Music application on their iPhone. The offering resembled Pandora, with the offering finding similar music to the requested band: Mr. Cue turned on a "Led Zeppelin" station and received a Rolling Stones song after one song by the former famed rock band.

Mr. Federighi focused on Control Center, which will be a quick entry to certain controls such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, along with a flashlight, and said that iOS 7 will have multitasking for all apps -- not just certain functions. Animated backgrounds for apps and the home screen, folders for different kinds of apps with multiple pages, and the ability to move straight to notifications from the iPhone's lock screen were some of the new features Mr. Federighi introduced. One of the iPhone's most used features, iPhoto, will receive updates that include Instagram-like filters, new organization abilities, and new ways to share.

Siri, Apple's voice-recognition feature, which debuted on the iPhone 4S, will receive a new design and an option to change its well-known female voice to a male voice. It will also be a large part of Apple's new "iOS in the Car" feature, which will integrate with some manufacturers' cars in their 2014 model years.

Earlier in the keynote, Apple showed off an upcoming update to its Mac Pro desktop line that will be made in the United States and introduced a new line of MacBook Air laptops that it promises will have all-day battery life.

Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller called the new Mac Pro "a machine unlike anything we've ever made, both inside and out," and said it would be completely designed and manufactured in the U.S. At one-eighth of the volume of the previous Mac Pro, the new offering will double the performance with help from a new Intel Xeon chip.

The new MacBook Air, which will be offered in 11-inch and 13-inch models, will nearly double the battery life of earlier Airs with Intel's Haswell chipset; they will be available for purchase immediately, Mr. Schiller said.

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