Apple may introduce High Definition audio playback in iOS 8, launch new Lightning cable and In-ear Headphones

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Japanese website Macotakara claims that Apple may introduce high definition audio playback in iOS 8.

The report also claims that Apple will launch new versions of in-ear headphones and Lightning cable.

Last month, a report claimed Apple may improve the quality of iTunes music tracks by serving up lossless 24-bit audio files. Apple currently offers 16-bit audio files, but has been encouraging artists for years to submit music in 24-bit 96kHz resolution as part of the company’s Mastered for iTunes program. These 24-bit masters are then used to create more realistic encodes at 16-bit resolution.

It’s plausible as the company likely has a large existing library of high-quality music submitted by artists participating in the Mastered for iTunes program. Apple could allow customers to download 24-bit HD version of a track that can be played on iOS 8 compatible devices. It remains to be seen if Apple will charge extra for the high definition music downloads or offer it for free.

The report also claims Apple is planning to upgrade the Lightning cable to accommodate high-definition playback on Made For iPhone (MFi) audio accessories. The report does not mention when the new Lightning cables would be released, but it will most likely be alongside new product launches such as the iPhone 6 and new iPads later this fall, which is also when iOS 8 will be released.

The report claims Apple is also working on new In-ear Headphones to accommodate high-definition playback. Apple hasn’t updated the premium in-ear headphones since 2008.

Apple is expected to unveil iOS 8, the major mobile operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch at the WWDC 2014 Keynote on June 2nd.

iOS 8 is expected to come with new features and improvements such as an all-new Healthbook app, song recognition feature powered by Shazam, improved Maps app with improved points-of-interest data, public transit directions in select cities, augmented reality and indoor mapping, all-new Preview and TextEdit apps to make it easier to access documents in iCloud, inter-app communication capabilities, a new Tips app, standalone app for iTunes Radio, improved Notification and lots more. Check out the latest updates on our iOS 8 category page.

[Macotakara via MacRumors]