Apple WWDC day 1 kicked off with a bang.
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The event was opened with a comedy sketch starring Bill Hader, Angry Birds and drones. Tim Cook then made a short appearance discussing native apps on Apple Watch and then merely stating:
I’m going to dispense with my normal updates other than to tell you everything’s great.
Craig Federighi, Apple’s Senior VP of Software Development spoke about iOS and OS X:
Apple OS X
The new update to OS X is called El Capitan and has some cool new features to look forward to. El Capitan has new gestures and you can pin sites in Safari. In the Mail app you will be able to open numerous tabs in the compose window, drag pictures into your Mail straight from the web and you can drag windows around to have multiple split-screen views.
A free update for users will be rolled out later this year.
El Capitan is Better for Gaming
Epic Games showed off Metal for Mac. No, it’s got nothing to do with a new music service; Metal is a graphics API. Epic Games demonstrated that Metal will graphically improve the Macs, which will improve the gaming experience.
Siri has been updated so that app developers will be able to develop apps to include key words and phrases so that search results can appear in apps.
Siri’s search function was further updated to make it more contextual and Federighi demonstrated by asking Siri “remind me about this later” while reading a message. Siri will now recognise contextual search and pick up that “this” means the text message.
Apple Pay was major news at Apple WWDC day 1. It was revealed that all four major credit card companies are on board and will have over 1 million location supporting the payment system by Apple.
It was announced that Apple Pay was being rolled out to the UK next month and will support up to 80% of credit cards and debit cards in the UK. Apple has added 250 000 locations, including London’s massive transportation system, that will support Apple Pay.
The Passbook App has now been dubbed Wallet.
Brand New Apple News App:
Apple has created a dedicated Apple News app which it claims “offers the best mobile reading experience ever“. The app will pull news articles from your favourite news sites in a similar way to Flipboard, with the addition that original content can be generated for Apple News specifically.
The Apple News app is ad-free (for now) and has learning algorithms to suggest news stories to you based on your behaviour and preferences. Federighi stated that your privacy was protected and that:
Unlike any other news aggregation service on the planet we know of, News is designed from the ground up with your privacy in mind.
Apple News will be available in the UK, Australia and US first before it is released globally.
There will be a new low-power mode that will give you up to 3 hours more battery life and the new update will need less than 2GB to be updated. The update will be available later this year and will support all devices.
The App Store
Tim Cook revealed that the App Store has over 100 billion app downloads and has paid over $30 billion (!!!) to app developers.
Cook describes the Apple Watch OS update as “a giant moment” similar to when the App Store was launched.
watchOS2 will support third-part apps as predicted and has a cool new feature called Time Travel. Time Travel lets you zoom into features found on your Watch face like calendar events or the weather. You can now reply to emails from your Watch and it has a bedside alarm clock.
You can connect the Watch to your home WiFi now, which allows you to communicate with your iPhone at longer range. The whole goal is to make the Watch less dependant on the iPhone.
Another massive update is that you can now play videos on the Apple Watch.
The rumours were true! The user experience on the iPad is being improved by iOS 9. You will now have app-switching shortcuts, split-screen multitasking and QuickType. If you place two fingers down on the keyboard it will become a trackpad with a cursor and everything.
The split-screen experience looks really cool and screens that are in use will come into focus, but you can drag multiple windows around and even play a video and drag it around the screen while working on something else. The split-screen function will only work on iPad 2 and higher and will not be available for older models.
One More Thing
Apple always leaves the best for last and at this year’s Apple WWDC day 1 the world was introduced to Apple Music.
Apple Music will bring you music directly from the artists themselves and you will even get to listen to music that hasn’t even been released. You can listen to live podcasts and stream Beats One, which is a global 24/7 radio station broadcast from New York, London and LA.
Drake joined the stage to explain that the new Connect feature is what will make music artists great. Connect is a place for artist to upload music and videos and receive feedback from other artists and fans.
Apple Music will be rolled out by the end of the month and will even be available on Android devices, a first for Apple. You will get the first three months free and then have to pay $10 p/m or $14.99 p/m for a family plan for up to six family members.