The annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference started a few hours ago with a keynote from Apple CEO Tim Cook. He, along with several members of the Apple team, announced many new software products like Mac OS X El Capitan, iOS 9, watchOS 2 and more.
Mac OS X El Capitan
The next-generation operating system for Mac has arrived. This update has two major focuses: experience and performance. For changes in experience, Apple added many new features that enhance the way the Mac is used. For example, Split View allows you to work on two apps simultaneously together. Like Windows, the computer will automatically size two apps to fix next to each other in your fullscreen window space. Apple also expanded the Notes app, Mail, Safari, Photos, Maps and made Spotlight Search more like Facebook’s Graph Search. For performance, they added the Metal graphics core technology which increases the performance and graphics of apps.
Comes out to developers today, to public beta testers in July and the public in the Fall.
Apple announced several new updates with the next-generation operating system for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Like El Capitan, the team focused on key areas when talking about the updates. In terms of Intelligence, Siri has been updated with a new colorful user interface and more capabilities. Siri can search through your photos and videos in the Photos app to provide specific answers to requests, like searching for those pictures you took last year at WWDC. There’s a new page to the left of the Home screen (where the search bar used to be pre-iOS 7) that displays suggestions for people to talk to, apps to use, what’s nearby in terms of food, drinks, shopping and fun and what’s currently in the news. This section is also for Spotlight Search and it has expanded capabilities to return search results with videos on YouTube and Vimeo, third-party apps, measurement conversions and more.
The second key area is Enhancements and this, simply put, means that Apple has updated several of their apps with more functions. For example, the Notes app has a new toolbar that has shortcuts for formatting options, the App Switcher has a completely new user interface, the Health app can track more data points, the Maps app can provide transit directions and Apple added a new app called News, which provides magazines and news articles from several sources in an easy-to-read format.
Apple also focused on increasing performance with the iPhone. They reduced the total available space to 1.3GB in order to install iOS 9 instead of the 4.6GB needed for iOS 8. The team also increased the energy efficiency by adding an additional hour of battery time for devices running iOS 9 and a new function called Low Power Mode that will switch off many functions to add up to three additional hours of battery life (on top of the hour).
For the final area of focus, Apple designed specific features of iOS 9 to solely work on the iPad. After nearly two years of rumors, Multitasking is finally here on the iPad. Like the iPhone, there’s a new App Switcher user interface. The iPad can use two apps simultaneously next to each other with features called Slide Over, Split View and Picture in Picture.
Comes out to developers today, public beta testers in July and the public in the Fall. All the devices that could upgrade to iOS 8 will be able to update to iOS 9 as well.
Apple Watch (watchOS 2)
Even though the Apple Watch is only a few weeks old, Apple has announced the second-generation operating system. On a side note, this means we can expect a new operating system every WWDC (so watchOS 3 in June 2016). Anyway, watchOS 2 adds a lot of new functions, like photos for the watch’s face, third-party complications, new apps can run without the need for the iPhone, support for transit directions, Siri can control HomeKit-enabled devices and more.
Comes out to developers today, the public in the Fall.
To start off talking about Apple Pay, the team went into detail about the success the payment service has seen. Apple Pay has been out since October 2014 and is now accepted in over one million locations. Several major retailers have announced they will soon be accepting the service in their stores too, like JCPenney, Forever21, Dunkin Donuts, Trader Joe’s, Best Buy and many others. With iOS 9, the Passbook app has been renamed to Wallet and there’s a new icon. Store credit and debits cards and loyalty and rewards cards will also be stored in the app. Finally, Apple announced that Apple Pay will begin its international expansion by entering the United Kingdom in July.
One More Thing…
As rumored, Apple announced their new music streaming service that will directly compete with Spotify and Rdio. This music service will allow for unlimited streaming for every song found in the iTunes Store (some of which are not found on Spotify). It will recommend playlists and albums based on the music you listen to, show you top charts, new music and more, allow you to connect to your favorite artists and view the content they share, like photos, videos and sound bites, and there’s a 24/7 global radio that is live from New York City, Los Angeles and London. The music streaming service, which is found in the all-new Music app, will be available for $9.99/month per person or $14.99/month for families of up to six people. Apple is offering a three-month free trial for those who want to test out the service.
The new Music app with streaming service comes with iOS 8.4 and is available to download on June 30th. Apple will also be releasing an app on Android in the Fall.