Streaming Music, iOS 9 and 'El Capitan': What You Need to Know From Apple's WWDC
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) happened today, which means the company made a ton of announcements. Apple executives talked about updates to its desktop operating system, OS X, as well as its mobile operating system iOS.
This year, the company had another platform to talk about: the Apple Watch. It has a new operating system. Apple also used the event to show off the result of its acquisition with Beats last year, Apple Music.
If you didn’t manage to watch the keynote, here’s what you need to know:
Apple Music is Coming June 30th
Apple’s new music service is officially launching on June 30th. The three-part service combines a traditional music-streaming service with a 24/7 radio station and a “Connect” feature where artists can interact directly with fans through exclusive photos and videos.
The music streaming service offers rich recommendations based on your personal artists and genre preferences and the radio station, Beats 1, will be manned by live DJs in L.A., New York, and London.
Apple Music will be $9.99 per month, but will be available for free for the first three months. Families of up to six people can score a group membership for $14.99.
iOS 9 Has Some Cool New Features
We’re not likely to see iOS 9 until later this fall with Apple unveils a new iPhone. We do, however, have a good idea of what’s in store with the new version of the operating system. With it Siri will be getting smarter, and offering suggestions based on where you are and the time of day. Passbook is going to be rebranded as Wallet, Maps is finally going to get public-transit directions for some major cities, and the Notes app is going to get a huge upgrade.
For the iPad, Apple announced a new multitasking view where you can run two apps side-by-side on the screen at the same time. A new News app will also provide Flipboard-style reading of content on the tablet, with some content designed by publishers like CNN and Wired specifically for the app.
Related: At WWDC, Apple Shows Off iOS 9
The Next Version of OS X is ‘El Capitan’
Apple unveiled the name for the next version of OSX: El Capitan. The OS has a number of performance and experience improvements. Some highlights include an updated Spotlight Search, which allows you to search for things like “documents I worked on in June,” and a number of updates to Safari.
The operating system is available today for developers and will be available for all Mac users as a free download this Fall.
Apple Watch is Getting Better
The Apple Watch has only been on the market for six weeks, but Apple is already looking at ways to improve it. Apple’s watchOS2 will bring native watch apps to the device, a huge win for developers. The new OS will also support new watch faces, including a Photo Album face, support multiple colors in Digital Touch drawings, and allows you to use Siri to see glances. A new SDK will give developers hardware access to the watch’s microphone and speaker as well as its accelerometer and the digital crown, which means we should see some cool apps taking advantage of that new access soon. Developers also now have access to HomeKit and HealthKit apps.