Apple announced iOS 9, watchOS 2, and OS X “El Capitan”

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I’m afraid it’s a bit of an Apple-centric news day today, what with Apple unveiling several major product updates (and its new Apple Music service) at the WWDC 2015 developer conference.

Besides the new $9.99/month unlimited music streaming, Apple also demonstrated what’s coming in the next major iOS version, iOS 9, as well as OS X on the Mac, this time around being named after a famous mountain in the Yosemite National Park, El Capitan.

Apple product updates from WWDC 2015

There was also the highly anticipated update to watchOS, enabling developers to create even better and more useful Apple Watch apps.

Operating system updates, but no new hardware unveiled at WWDC 2015

While some people were disappointed that no new Apple TV set-top box was announced (long overdue, by the way), the company showed off what’s coming in its operating systems, and it seems that this time around they’re focusing on performance, stability and user experience improvements.

Apple also announced that Apple Pay, it’s mobile payments service will also be launched in the UK in the next month or two.

They also said that their new Swift programming language has been improved, and is to become an open source project, helping the language to gain more widespread support from the developer community.

Here’s just a few highlights from the keynote speech from last night.

OS X El Capitan

OS X El Capitan

  • OS X El Capitan features improved performance thanks to the use of “Metal” graphics layer, meaning faster performance all round and better battery life
  • The new OS also adds tweaks to the window management in terms of moving windows around and resizing/snapping windows to various parts of the screen
  • They focused on improving the most commonly used apps, such as Notes and Mail. Mail now allows much easier moving between and copying items between messages in full screen mode
  • Easier access to spaces, as well as dragging apps into their own dedicated spaces
  • New Music app

iOS 9

iOS 9 Featured Image

  • Performance was the main focus for the new OS, so much so that even older devices such as the iPhone 4S will support iOS 9
  • New low power/battery saver mode eeks out an extra few hours of usage
  • Much better Siri, as well as ‘proactive’ mode which suggests apps, music, etc based on things you commonly do at certain times of the day. You can also now say to Siri things like “show me all my photos from two weeks ago in Thailand”
  • Improved Maps app with public transport directions in hundreds of countries
  • There’s a new News app (replacing Newsstand) which personalises news based on your interests
  • Passbook has been renamed Wallet, and stores all your credit cards and rewards cards to use at compatible Apple Pay merchants
  • New Music app

watchOS 2

watch OS 2

  • Developers will now be able to create native apps, where the app logic runs on the watch rather than relying on an iPhone
  • The Watch will be able to get more information over Wi-Fi when it’s not connected to an iPhone
  • New customisable watch faces and ‘complications’ (the widgets that show additional information on the watch face), as well as the ability for developers to make their own
  • New ‘alarm clock’ mode when the watch is placed on its side when charging at night – i.e. essentially appearing like a bedside alarm clock
  • Faster app loading and opening
  • Lots of user interface and performance tweaks

Overall, while there wasn’t anything revolutionary about the updates, they’re all fairly solid updates and it’s good news that Apple has gone back to focus on performance and reliability rather than trying to cram in loads of new features this time around.

SOURCE: Apple Keynote.

 

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