Apple raises its game with new software plans

APPLE last night revealed a new version of iOS, the software that runs on iPhones and iPads, in what chief executive Tim Cook called the most radical change since the iPhone launched in 2007.

The new operating system, the first created by Apple’s design chief Sir Jonathan Ive, introduces a sleeker, cleaner look and includes a number of new features such as multitasking, easier access to controls like music and internet connections, and upgrades to the photo software.

Apple also introduced iTunes Radio, a long-awaited music streaming offering. The free, ad-supported service creates playlists of songs and broadcasts them over the internet, rather than allowing users to pick and choose songs, as offered by services like Spotify.

Despite the iPhone being arguably the world’s most desirable handset, Apple has been criticised for making only incremental changes to iOS. The seventh version of the software, predictably named iOS 7, comes as Google’s rival software Android eats up a growing share of the market.

“[This] is the biggest change to iOS since the introduction of iPhone,” Cook said at Apple’s developer conference in California.

The new software will be available to users in the autumn, when Apple is expected to announce new versions of the iPhone and iPad.

Cook also unveiled new versions of Apple’s Mac Pro – which will be assembled in the US – and Macbook Pro, as well as a new operating system for Mac computers.