Apple Announces iTunes Radio, a Streaming Music Service Built Into Its Music App
It's official, Apple is launching a music streaming service called iTunes Radio.
The company announced the new service on Monday at its World Wide Developers' Conference along with new mobile and desktop operating systems. The iTunes Radio is expected to launch in the U.S. sometime this Fall.
The new iTunes Radio allows users access, for free, to ad-supported streaming music. However, it will be sans ads for those who subscribe to iTunes Match, which is a paid service—costing $24.99 a year—that enables users to store all their content in Apple's iCloud.
The streaming service—which will rival Pandora, Spotify and Google in the music streaming space—will be integrated into iTunes and built into the Apple music app on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touches. It will also be available on Apple TV.
Pandora downplayed Apple's new service in a statement to CNBC and stressed the hold it has on intellectual property in the radio streaming space.
"Apple's new feature is an evolution of their iTunes offering to bring it on par with other streaming music services that have added radio into their feature sets. We have spent the last 13 years singularly focused on redefining radio and benefit from unrivaled intellectual property, deep experience in delivering personalized play lists, and ubiquitous product availability across every platform. We make it effortless for our more than 200 million registered users to connect with the music they love anytime, anywhere," the company said in its statement.
The new mobile operating system, iOS 7, will launch sometime this Fall and is the biggest overhaul of the user interface since the iPhone originally launched, CEO Tim Cook said. It's interface responds to movement and has a translucent appearance.
Besides a new design to Apple's apps, iOS 7 features new functions that enable the user to multi-task and search easier.
For example, a new function called Control Center enables users to swipe up from the bottom of their screen and the apps the user regularly runs appear. The new mobile OS also is able to notice a user's patterns of app usage to keep them updating in the background based on usage. This helps save battery life.
iPhone users will no longer have to unlock their lock screen to view notifications with iOS 7. They can simply pull down from the top of screen and notifications will appear.
AirDrop is another new feature that Apple introduced on iOS 7 that allows users to share information with those around them. A user just has to open the content they want to share and then add the friend they want to receive it. Once the friends accepts it, they can view the content.
Craig Federighi, the senior vice president of software engineering, also announced OS X Mavericks, the new software for Apple Macs.
Some new features on the new operating system include iCloud Keychain—which is a security feature that allows users to store passwords and credit card information—compressed memory, improvements to Safari and push notifications to Mac computers.
As far as hardware, the company unveiled its updated version of MacBook Pros which will begin shipping on Monday and it also gave a sneak peak of the Mac Pro, which will launch at a later time.
—CNBC's Julia Boorstin contributed to this report.