WWDC 2015: Recap

So, WWDC has ended, and given us a lot of things both Mac OS X & iOS related.
Firstly, let's summarise the Mac OS X changes:

"Mac OS X v10.11"

The upcoming version of Mac OS X will be named 'El Capitan', named after the rock formation found in Yosemite National Park, California. Aside from the name change, Apple's desktop OS is coming with some UI improvements, with a better split-screen experience, as well as a much-improved Mission Control engine, allowing for easier switching between windows and applications alike.

Spotlight becomes more feature packed, allowing for deeper integration with various data sources, and a more natural search feature, allowing users to list 'photos taken in San Francisco last summer', or similar.

The major improvement in this year's OS release, is the inclusion of Metal, Apple's graphics platform, allowing the device's CPU & GPU to work more efficiently, as we've seen in Apple's previous mobile OS release, iOS 8.

El Capitan is available for download now, as part of a developer preview, with a public beta opening in July, before the official release coming sometime in the fall.

"iOS 9"

Apple's updated mobile OS seems to be heavily focused on reliability and efficiency, rather than features this year, with a large focus on consumer privacy. With an updated Siri, allowing for deeper integration with apps, the user experience is surely going to improve when it comes to finding information when the user is on the go.

In the new version, users can expect meeting invites to be automatically added to their calendars, and will be alerted closer to the meeting time, taking any necessary travel time into account beforehand. If the user receives a call from a number not in their contact list, the new iOS version has the ability to search indexed emails for a matching phone number, throwing a possible 'maybe' contact name on screen.

Newsstand is being replaced by Apple News, a curated news app based on the user's interests (very much like Flipboard does now), with a number of publications already signed up to provide content for the app from launch, such as NY Times, Wired and Vanity Fair.

The iPad version of iOS 9 also gives the user access to split screen functionality, running two apps side-by-side, as well as picture in picture video, so that the user is able to watch video clips whilst continuing in other applications.

Much like OS X v10.11, iOS 9 is currently available to developers, with a public beta in July, and a full release in the fall.

"Watch OS 2"

Some good news for the Apple Watch developers; Apple has finally brought native development to their new piece of hardware, allowing access to the variety of sensors, and removing the dependancy on the iPhone. App information can be added to the watch face, and the new Time Travel feature, will give an insight into what the user has arranged in the nearby future (meetings, events, even predicting the charge level on their electric car).

"Apple Music"

As widely expected, and highly anticipated, Apple announced their competitor to Spotify, and Jay-Z's Tidal service. Apple Music will allow indie artists to easily advertise their music on the platform, and join the many other artists that will provide content to the service, when it launches on the 30th of June.

Connect will see a more social aspect of the music streaming service come alive, with artists having their own platform to share lyrics, video and other unreleased music to their fans.

Beats 1, will be Apple's Worldwide 24/7 radio station, with hubs in LA, New York and London, provided a wide variety of music to it's listeners, with DJs like Pharrell and Drake signed up to provide their mixes for the service.

Apple Music will be priced at $9.99US/month, with the first 3 months being free.

Other news includes Swift 2, the updated version of Apple's development language, and now being announced as open-source, as well as the expansion of Apple Pay to the UK, and a partnership with Square, giving independant retailers an opportunity to make use of Apple's payment system.

About the Author

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After gaining an interest in software development during my high school years, I combined this interest with my love of travelling, and have worked with high-profile clients all over the world, developing a number of mobile products along the way. Now, having a keen passion in mobile app development, I'm always on the lookout for new challenges, new projects, or even potential investors for some of my ideas.

I'm open to new projects, so feel free to drop me an email for a quote.

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