Everything to expect from Apple’s jam-packed WWDC 2016 keynote

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WWDC's opening keynote will be at San Francisco's cavernous Bill Graham Auditorium.
WWDC's opening keynote will be at San Francisco's cavernous Bill Graham Auditorium.
Photo: Milo Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple’s keynote to kick off this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference is going to be huge. So huge, in fact, that Apple already revealed some stuff early because Tim Cook and his Cupertino cronies won’t have time to cover everything during the jam-packed, two-hour event.

While WWDC might seem like a bit of a snoozefest for Apple fans who don’t know anything about Xcode and Swift, the 2016 edition of the annual developer conference should bring lots of new stuff even normals can get hyped about. The WWDC keynote will give us a peek inside the ever-evolving Apple ecosystem — and thus our clearest picture of the future of all Apple products.

This year, all of Apple’s platforms are set to get major updates, as are some of the company’s most popular services, like Siri and Apple Music. Here’s what to watch for during Apple’s keynote, which will kick off WWDC 2016 next Monday morning in San Francisco.

Apple rumored to be phasing out iTunes music downloads

Apple Music is awesome -- but can it replace the iTunes Store?
Apple Music could be the death knell for iTunes music downloads.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

With a major Apple Music refresh likely to be arriving at WWDC, there’s no doubting that Apple sees subscription-based streaming music as the way of the future. But where does this leave iTunes music downloads?

Despite Apple’s denials, according to “sources with close knowledge of the company’s plans,” the company continues to plan to “phase out” music downloads in a “just a few years” — depending on how this whole streaming music thing does, of course!

DJ Khaled is the major key to Apple Music’s new ads

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Ray Liotta and DJ Khaled getting their nails did.
Ray Liotta and DJ Khaled getting their nails did.
Photo: Apple

Snapchat philosopher and hip-hop producer DJ Khaled is the latest celebrity to endorse Apple Music in a new series of ads that show Khaled living the life while introducing Naomi Campbell and Ray Liotta to Apple Music.

Along with dropping some major keys in the new ad, Khaled also dropped a fresh new song featuring Drake called “For Free” that’s available for free on Apple Music. The song is so hot it’s already the top song on iTunes.

Check out the funny new ads below:

Apple scores win in long $533 million patent battle

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WWDC 2016 could be Apple's most exciting conference ever.
Apple's legal problems just got a bit better.
Photo: Milo Kahney

Apple took a major step this week toward getting out of its $533 million payment to the patent troll Smartflash LLC after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office ruled that two of three patents owned by Smartflash are invalid.

The patent agency ruled that the two of the patents shouldn’t have even been issues in the first place because they are abstract concepts and not specific inventions. The USPTO made a similar ruling against one of Smartflash’s patents in March, which could help Apple get the case dismissed.

How silly songs about the iPhone sparked a music career

When the Moog strikes, Parry Gripp writes funny songs about anything.
When the Moog strikes, Parry Gripp writes funny songs about anything.
Photo: Dana E. Ross

Cult of Mac 2.0 bugParry Gripp was the lead vocalist of a promising pop punk band that had a record deal and stardom just around the corner.

Success never came and just as Parry Gripp was set to give up, a new career in music rose from the ashes — by accident — thanks to the iPhone and Apple.

The technology company was not only fodder for Gripp’s brand of absurd novelty music he was creating but, through iTunes, Apple provided a way for him to publish his music and start to make a living.