APPLE has confirmed it is dissolving its outdated music library software iTunes into three dedicated apps.
The tech giant said the next version of its macOS operating system, Catalina (10.15), will replace iTunes with the desktop apps Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV on all Mac computers when it arrives in September.
However, iTunes will remain unchanged on Windows platforms and downloads will still be available on the Apple Music subscription service.
iTunes first launched as a media player in 2001, before a built-in music store was added for users of Apple's iPods and later iPhones.
TV shows, music videos and podcasts became available via the software in 2005 before movie purchases followed in 2006.
But iTunes has become growingly outdated amid the rise of streaming services such as Spotify, Netflix and Apple Music itself, as well as Apple TV+ – which will launch along with Catalina later this year.
Speaking on stage at Apple's annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in California on Monday, 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."
Also at the conference, the tech giant confirmed the next version of its iOS operating system for iPhones will introduce Dark Mode, making devices easier to use in low-light conditions.
iOS 13 will also introduce several new privacy measures, including a new 'sign in with Apple' tool – which will allow users to sign in to websites and services using their Apple ID, rather than using a social media account and sharing personal information.
The feature will give users the option to hide their email addresses and instead provides a unique, random email address that forwards messages to them rather than giving their personal address to services.
Another announcement was a new independent app store for the Apple Watch, with apps on the service including an optional fertility window predictor for female users and a noise level tool to alert users to potential hearing damage.
Apple also confirmed a separate version of iOS for the iPad, iPadOS, which will allow tablet users to use their devices more like a desktop computer than a phone.
Meanwhile, the Mac Pro – the latest version of Apple's professional desktop computer – was unveiled at the event with an eye-watering $6,000 price tag.