Apple reportedly testing iTunes 11 to make it compatible with iOS 6, new devices

Apr 11, 2012
Tech

Though it might not be released for a while, Apple is supposedly doing some internal testing with iTunes 11, the next major refresh of the program it uses to sell users mobile and digital content. The report comes from 9to5Mac, which cites unnamed sources and even provides what it says is a screenshot of an […]

Though it might not be released for a while, Apple is supposedly doing some internal testing with iTunes 11, the next major refresh of the program it uses to sell users mobile and digital content.

The report comes from 9to5Mac, which cites unnamed sources and even provides what it says is a screenshot of an internal test of iTunes 11. Specifically, the new version of iTunes is being made compatible with upcoming mobile hardware and the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 6, the report says. Apparently, work on iTunes 11 started after the release of iTunes 10.6. The current work is developing behind-the-scenes changes, although user interface adjustments could also be happening because Apple divides this kind of work between multiple teams to do at various times.

The next version of iTunes is also likely to include some changes to iTunes and the App Store as Apple works on new ways to help users discover new content. Apple purchased a company called Chomp not long ago with that purpose in mind, and 9to5Mac says it’s hearing that the Chomp team has been fully integrated into Apple’s software development teams in order to focus on content discovery. It says when iTunes 11 rolls out, we’ll see some significant changes that could alter the way users find new stuff for their iPads and iPhones.

Support for Apple’s new cloud-based features is going to be more prevalent in iTunes 11 as well, the report states. Users will have better access to control panels for Apple’s cloud services such as iTunes Match, iTunes in the Cloud and iCloud, so changing how those features work will be much easier than it is now.

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However, just when the next version of iTunes will be available is tough to say, and in fact it might not be something users get to download until much later this year. Generally, Apple likes to refresh iTunes alongside hardware or software updates for mobile devices, and sometimes pushes all three together. So while iTunes needs to be adjusted to become compatible with upcoming devices and the next version of iOS, that’ll likely happen in a smaller 10.x update, rather than the full push to the new hardware, sources said.

It might be as late as this fall or after if Apple decides to go the route of a simultaneous launch and wait for its new iPhone to be ready for users. It used to be that iPhones were traditionally released during the summer, but rumors have been putting the launch of the next generation iPhone, colloquially dubbed iPhone 5, at a fall release like the iPhone 4S.

That could mean we’ll be waiting until October for iTunes 11 and iOS 6, and their various improvements, as well. But at least it means Apple has plenty of time to work on them.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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