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Apple rumored to unveil iOS 5, new MobileMe at media event in early April

A new rumor claims Apple will hold its annual iOS roadmap event in early April to show off iOS 5 as expected, but also states the company will also unveil an updated MobileMe service.

Citing a "confident" source, German site Macerkopf.de reported Tuesday (via Google Translate) that the event will be held in early April at the company's Cupertino, Calif., campus. The timing would not be a surprise, as last year's iOS 4 preview event was held in early April.

But the inclusion of MobileMe in the annual event would be new, and could signal that anticipated changes to the cloud-based service will be heavily integrated into the next major release of Apple's mobile operating system for the iPhone and iPad.

In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple plans to improve MobileMe by having the service act as a "locker" to hold personal data such as photos, music and videos. It was also said that Apple is considering making the service, which currently costs $99 per year, free.

Corroborating that information, The New York Times separately reported that Apple plans to roll out an enhanced MobileMe this year. It was said that Apple is working on improved "voice navigation" on the iPhone, allowing users to operate the device through voice commands without the need to rely on a virtual keyboard.

Further evidence of planned changes to MobileMe came as Apple discontinued the sale of retail boxes for the service last month. It has also been rumored that the new MobileMe will rely on self-storage from a home computer for streaming, rather than remotely saved files hosted by Apple.