In recent years Apple’s (AAPL) do-it-all iTunes has become more bloated than a stuffed turkey. The completely overhauled iTunes 11 was first announced at the iPhone 5 event for an October release, but was delayed until November because Apple “wanted to take a little extra time to get it right.” With the month almost over, it looks like Apple might finally be ready to release the simplified iTunes app, according to a message received by MacRumors forum member Mikhail who goes by the online pseudonym “stek.” Apple has reportedly begun sending out requests to artists and music labels requesting high-resolution images and galleries for iTunes 11’s release “within the next few days.” iTunes 11 will be the first iTunes to feature iCloud integration.
Following our exclusive report from Thursday suggesting Apple plans to release iTunes 11 in September alongside the iOS 5 and iCloud, a new report claims iTunes 11 will feature a redesigned layout and deep iCloud integration. IDownloadBlog on Friday cites a reliable source in stating that the next major release of iTunes will be “revamped from the ground up.” The report claims Apple’s new version of iTunes will feature a brand new user interface as well as iCloud integration. Mobile device app data and backups will also reportedly be integrated with iTunes 11, effectively mirroring iOS device backups and app data/settings that are automatically synced to iCloud. Apple has made major investments in its iCloud service, including the billion-dollar data center it built in North Carolina, so it would certainly be a logical move to showcase the service right out of the gate when it launches this fall. More →
We received a tip from an unproven source claiming to have knowledge of discussions within Apple to possibly purchase Barnes & Noble. While this might seem like a strange move at first, it actually makes a whole lot of sense. Apple would be able to take Barnes & Noble’s vast digital library of books and publications, and fold them into Apple’s own iBooks store. Apple would have no use for the NOOK, and that would likely be discontinued in this scenario. Apple could then convert some of the brick and mortar Barnes & Noble stores into Apple stores and close the rest. It’s out there, and with a price most likely around $1 billion to $1.5 billion, it might be a stretch (though it would barely make a dent in Apple’s giant pile of cash). It also almost makes too much sense for Apple to do this, said another source of ours, mentioning that Apple doesn’t make moves that appear logical to most outside observers at the time. This unproven source also said that iTunes 11 would be released in September along with iOS 5 and iCloud, and will support reading iBooks on computers as well as textbook purchases and rentals.