Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference is one of the year’s most anticipated tech events as Apple generally unveils a great deal of new services and products during the keynote speech. In a sense, the whole thing has become very predictable. Today’s event, however, finally saw the company put its first female executive onstage, VP of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey. Apple execs also boasted high adoption rates for OS X and the App Store passing 100 billion downloaded apps with $30 billion paid out to developers. Here are five of today’s biggest announcements.
1. Apple Music is revealed
To the surprise of no one, Apple revealed the simply titled Apple Music, the company’s long-awaited music streaming service, which will feature 24/7 radio stations with artist DJs and a Connect feature for bands and artists to interact with fans. There will be a mix of human-curated playlists and smart playlists that will rummage through your iTunes and make suggestions. It launches on June 30 and, after a 3-month free trial, will cost $9.99 a month.
2. The new OS X: El Capitan
We saw the latest update of the desktop OS X operating system, OS X 10.11, happily dubbed El Capitan. Last year we saw OS X Yosemite and the eagle-eyed among you will note that El Capitan is a rock formation within Yosemite National Park. With that in mind, El Capitan builds on Yosemite with a focus on user experience. Spotlight search has been improved, Safari users will be able to pin tabs to the browser, and in the mail app you will now be able to use natural language search and swipe to delete messages.
3. iOS9 is coming in July
iOS9 was unveiled today with a completely revamped Siri interface. This includes a new feature called Proactive, which will offer up app suggestions based on things like the time of day and your location. Apple promises an extra three hours of life for your battery when running iOS9 via its new “low power mode.” It also includes a deep linking feature for Spotlight so that while searching for something, you’ll be able to view content from your apps without opening them. The public beta of iOS9 is coming in July.
4. Good news for developers
Speaking of Spotlight, Apple announced a new software development kit for Spotlight. We saw a new update to the WatchKit SDK too, which will allow developers to build native apps for the Apple Watch separately from the iPhone. The OS will simply be known as watchOS. Also, Apple announced the newest version of Swift for developers, which will be open source.
5. Apple Pay marches on
The gradual roll out of Apple Pay continues with the UK, which will arguably be one of its biggest markets. Apple Pay will now accept reward cards with Dunkin’ Donuts and Walgreens among the retailers on board. The updates also tie in nicely with iOS9 as Maps will show you which merchants nearby are accepting Apple Pay.