What to know about Apple's big software event

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 6/3/2019, 2:53 p.m.

Originally Published: 03 JUN 19 11:12 ET

Updated: 03 JUN 19 15:25 ET

By Heather Kelly, CNN Business

(CNN) -- Apple is teasing the future of its software, and it is dark.

At its annual World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose, California, Monday, Apple is announcing new features and designs for the operating systems that run on iPhones, iPads, Macs, Apple Watches and Apple TVs.

iTunes is being replaced after 18 years

As expected, Apple is killing its once groundbreaking, often bemoaned audio and video app, iTunes.

After 18 years, the app will be phased out and replaced with three separate apps that are familiar to iOS users: Apple Music, Apple TV and Apple Podcasts.

Apple's Craig Federighi had a sense of humor about user dissatisfaction with iTunes, joking, "Customers love iTunes and everything it can do."

iOS 13: iPhones are going dark, Maps are going street level

"And now, lets begin our descent into darkness," said Federighi, introducing the new updates to iOS.

IPhones, iPads and the iPod touch will now have an optional dark mode coming in iOS 13. Dark modes favor lighter text on dark backgrounds, and are said to be easier on the eyes when looking at a screen in a dimly-lit environment. Many apps already have their own individual dark modes, and Macs have a system-wide dark mode.

The core, built-in iOS apps are also getting a glow-up. Mail is adding more fonts and formatting options, Notes has a new look, and the Reminders app has been beefed up with a number of new features, including tagging people and making smarter to-dos.

Apple Maps, which has struggled to compete with Google Maps since it launched in 2012, is getting a new, more detailed look at the end of this year in the US. Apple says it rebuilt the app from the ground up by sending hundreds of planes and cars with custom sensors and lidar sensors over 4 million miles across the country. It's also adding other Google Maps-like features, such as favorite locations and interactive street view, which it calls "look around."

With iOS 13, you'll be able to share your name and your photo (or custom emoji) in Messages. (This information will only be shared when you message with someone.) It's adding more personalization options for its "memojis," including makeup, piercings, more teeth options like gaps and grills, earrings, additional hair options, hats and glasses. The avatars will work on more devices, Mail, and even some third-party messaging apps like WeChat.

The iOS update will also impact Apple's AirPods, which will be able to read your incoming email to you in Siri's voice, and let you share audio from your AirPods. The new feature, called AirPods Audio Sharing, will supposedly let you bring your AirPods close to someone else's and — with permission — tap a button to start listening to what they're rocking out to. Siri will support live radio with third-party services like IHeartRadio.