The Cupertino, Calif., company is also launching a Pandora-like Internet radio service, iTunes Radio. It will be built into the Music app and stream music for free. There will be advertising, except for people who pay $25 a year for the iTunes Match online music storage.
Apple was a pioneer of online music sales and is still a leader in that field, but streaming services such as Pandora and Spotify have emerged as popular alternatives to buying. Pandora relies on its users being connected to the Internet at all times and plays songs at random within certain genres for free.
Last month, rival Google Inc. started an on-demand subscription music service called All Access that gives subscribers the ability to pick and choose specific songs and albums from a catalog of millions for playback on computers, tablets and smartphones in exchange for a monthly fee.
Apple updates its iOS operating system every year and doesn't charge for the updates. The new operating system will be available for the iPhone 4 and later models, and on the iPad 2 and later models, including the Mini. The launch of the new software traditionally coincides roughly with the launch of the year's new iPhone model.
Also at the conference, which runs through Friday, Apple revealed that it's switching from its more than decade-long practice of naming its Mac operating system updates after big cats. Instead, it's paying homage to the geography of its home state. Federighi says the next version of Mac OS X will be called Mavericks, after an undersea rock formation that produces big waves near Half Moon Bay, Calif.
The new operating system will extend battery life and shorten boot-up times, Federighi told the audience of software developers. The system improves support for multiple displays and imports the tab concept from Web browsers to the Finder file-organizer.
The software update will include iBooks for the first time, giving people who buy e-books from Apple a way to display them on the computer screen in addition to the iPhone and iPad. Competing e-book vendors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble have cross-platform applications already.
There have been nine OS X versions named after big cats. The latest was Mountain Lion, released last year.
"We do not want to be the first software release in history to be delayed by a lack of cats," Federighi joked.
He said the new software will be out in the fall.
Apple also revealed a complete revamp of the Mac Pro, the boxy desktop model that's the work horse of graphics and film professionals. The new model is a black cylinder, one eighth the volume of the old box.
The current Mac Pro is the only Mac with internal hardware that can easily be modified and expanded by the user, but that possibility disappears with the new model. The company is adopting the same compact, one-piece design present in the Mac Mini and iMac.
The new Mac Pro will be the first Mac to be assembled in the U.S. in many years. CEO Tim Cook promised last year that the company would start a production line in the U.S., but didn't say where. Apple said the new computer will launch later this year.
Online: Apple: http://www.apple.com
Peter Svensson reported from New York.
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