This year’s second major special media event, which kicks off the Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) on June 8th, will be primarily focused on the next-generation operating systems for Mac and iOS. Rumors have suggested that we may also see the fourth generation Apple TV with Internet TV streaming service, Apple Music with Spotify-like unlimited streaming and Apple Pay expanding to more countries. Without further ado, here’s everything we expect in terms of iOS for WWDC 2015.
The ninth generation operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch is guaranteed to be present at Monday’s event. At every previous WWDC keynote, Apple announced the next-generation operating system for iOS and this year is not expected to be any different. Especially since the entire week is designed for developers to get a feel for the new operating system and how to improve their apps. We don’t expect any major design overhauls, mostly just improvements, bug fixes and a handful of new features. For the features, we will see a new Home application that will be the control center for all smart home accessories (HomeKit), support for train, bus and subway navigation in the Maps application, a new system-wide font called San Fransisco, a new Siri interface with more colors like the Apple Watch and much more.
The major iOS update will be released to developers immediately and to public beta testers probably about two weeks later.
Apple Music (with iOS 8.4)
In addition to the all-new Music app that will come out with the release of iOS 8.4, Apple is working on a new Spotify-like music streaming service. The service will allow users to stream any music that is available on the iTunes Store any time they want for a monthly subscription price of $9.99. A trial period of one to three months will also be announced at WWDC to entice users to switch from Spotify to Apple Music. The service will come with a social aspect called Artist Activity that will allow listeners to follow their favorite artists, view exclusive content, find tour dates and more.
The all-new Music app in iOS 8.4 is expected to be released in the last week of June.
Apple’s virtual payment service, which came out in October 2014, will see updates at the conference next week. Since there are now more than 300 supporting institutions in the United States and as of March, over 700,000 stores accept the service, we expect Apple to brag about the latest numbers. We also expect that Apple will announce Apple Pay’s international expansion with Canada likely being the first country outside the United States. The United Kingdom and China are also rumored to be in talks with Apple about using the payment service, but these might not be announced on Monday. In addition, Apple will announce their new rewards program that will incentivize users with perks for using the payment service.
The Apple Watch came out in April exclusively online with an enormous amount of support and quickly sold out. The Apple Watch will be hitting store shelves soon and at the end of the month, it will be available in several more countries. Apple will definitely give us numbers about the success the Apple Watch has seen. A new Apple Watch software development kit (SDK) will be announced that will allow developers to create native apps that don’t require the iPhone. Currently apps are created on the iPhone first and extensions are displayed on the watch. These new apps will work without the iPhone. In addition, the apps will be able to use the watch’s sensors instead of relying on the paired phone’s sensors.
Apple TV with Internet TV Streaming Service
For several months leading up to WWDC, the redesigned fourth generation Apple TV and Internet TV streaming service were both expected to be announced at the conference, but they are apparently not ready yet. The new Apple TV will come with a slimmer box, redesigned and more tactile remote, support for Siri and an App Store in addition to the Internet TV streaming service. The service would be available for $30-$40 per month and come with about twenty-five channels from major networks. Apple is still in talks with some networks so they plan to hold off until everything is ready in the fall.
Although this most recent report came from The New York Times and they are very credible, we are not ready to let go of this just yet. We expect to at least see the Apple TV at the event in one form or another so that’s why we didn’t completely write it off.