Apple kicked off their annual Developer Conference yesterday with a 2-hour keynote showing off the forthcoming versions of their operating systems, OS X for Macs, iOS for iPhones and iPads and WatchOS for Apple Watch.
The focus of iOS 9 is on intelligence and performance. Featuring a smarter proactive Siri voice assistant with improvements to search and reminders, Siri borrows some of the useful features which Android devices have been used to with Google Now. Third-party app developers can now add capabilities to apps to take advantage of the improved search. There’s improved multi-tasking too, with a new iPad-only split screen mode available.
Under the hood, there are lots of improvements to performance and security too. Battery life will be improved by using the ambient light and proximity sensors to detect if its facing down on a table and will prevent the screen from turning on, even when a notification is received. A new low power mode will extend battery life even further when you’re low on power.
A new ‘News’ app (which replaces the Newsstand app) focuses on articles and content rather than individual single issues of print publications. Content providers can take advantage of a range of interactive features and visual affects to make articles engaging. A number of big name publications are already signed up. Users will be able to follow specific titles as well as interests/topics. It’ll also suggest news articles to you based on what you’ve read.
Apple Pay, previously only available in the US, is coming to the UK next month. Not only are eight banks signed up already – but you’ll also be able to use your iPhone 6 (or Apple Watch) to pay for the London underground and buses.
iOS 9 will be available to all in the Autumn, with a public beta available to everyone for the first time from next month. (link to https://beta.apple.com/sp/betaprogram/ )
The Apple Watch has only started shipping to customers six weeks ago, and already a ‘WatchOS 2’ update is coming soon with a number of big improvements. Native apps will be available for the first time and a range of new capabilities are available to developers to make more advanced apps with access to using the microphone, playing back video and audio and using the Apple Watch’s built in speaker.
Apple also demoed ‘Apple Music’ its new streaming music service set to launch at the end of the month. The service features a new 24/7 radio station called ‘Beats 1’ along with a Connect service for artists to post music, video and photo updates directly to fans. The new music app will be available at launch for iOS, Windows PCs and Macs – with Android and Apple TV support coming later in the year. A three month trial will be available for free for all users.
What did you think of the announcements? Let us know in the comments!