Apple has announced their mid-year updates for iOS, OS X, and Watch OS platforms, at the Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC for short. Here’s a breakdown of the main announcements:
Apple announced OS X El Capitan, the follow up to OS X Yosemite. Yes, they’re dead serious about the name. Unlike Yosemite, El Capitan doesn’t feature a redesigned interface – it only serves to improve what Yosemite has built upon.
El Capitan features include:
- Split View; or the ability to open two consecutive apps on the same screen, by dragging one app onto a fullscreen app.
- Windows get a cleaner look when viewed in Mission Control.
- Mail gets gesture support, as well as the ability to go fullscreen.
- Website pinning, as well as the ability to mute tabs in Safari. Websites will also be able to make use of Force Touch trackpads on laptops that have Force Touch trackpads.
- Notes let’s users add photos, maps and URLs to any note.
- Maps gets Transit Directions.
- Metal comes to OS X, and brings a 50% improvement in graphic rendering speed.
El Capitan is available to developers today, and will come to users as a free upgrade in the Fall.
Apple announced iOS 9, and while it doesn’t have any groundbreaking features, it’s meant for optimization; with under the hood improvements that vary from decreasing update size to 1.3 GB, to extending battery life. Apple is also known for updating as many devices as possible, and this year isn’t any different: the iPhone 4S, and iPad 2 – both devices were released in 2011 – will be updated to iOS 9.
iOS 9 features include:
- Siri takes on Google Now with Proactive Assistant.
- News is updated, and will display stories based on topics the user is interested in.
- Notes is updated, and lets users add checklists, photos, maps, and URLs. Users can also draw sketches.
- Maps lets users plan their destinations with Transit view.
- Split View comes to the iPad Air 2, where two apps run at the same time side by side. Picture in Picture allows users to play video from one app while using a different app. Slide Over allows users to open a second app without leaving the one they’re in.
- Introduction of Apple Wallet with increased card support, such as store credit cards.
- Keyboard shows lowercase letters when typing in lowercase.
iOS is available for developers today, and will come to users as a free upgrade in the Fall.
Apple announced Watch OS 2, the much needed update for Watch OS, in order to fully make use of the Apple Watch hardware.
Watch OS 2 Features Include:
- Native apps that run on the watch itself. Apps can also take advantage of the Apple Watch sensors and digital crown.
- New watch faces, including Photo Album and Time-Lapse faces.
- More ways to customize complications (the information you see on your watch). Users can also rotate the digital crown to view future complications with Time Travel.
- When the Apple Watch is charging on it’s side, it will give an alarm clock-like display with Nightstand mode.
- Support for Transit, Apple Pay, and the updated Siri.
Watch OS 2 is available for developers today, and will come to users as a free upgrade in the Fall.
- Apple announced Music, its music streaming service that will be available to users on 6/30/2015.
- Individual plans are $9.99 a month, and family plans are $14.99 a month.
- Apple surprised fans by announcing Android support for its Music service, since this is the first time Apple makes an Android app.
- Apple announced the new version of its programming language, Swift, as an open source project.
Apple is different this year; its competitors have caught up and even surpassed Apple in some areas. This compelled Apple to look around, see what these competitors are up to, and to implement similar features in their updates.