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Apple´s Developer Conference Hits The Right Notes

Jonathan Lazo

June 15th, 2015

Apple WWDC 15

Last week at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) 2015, Apple finally revealed what it´s been working on and what’s coming up. Altogether this was an excellent event by Apple, demonstrating a range of incremental improvements and new releases. While Apple Music and Watch may have grabbed the headlines, there were a range of significant announcements for enterprises – for example Swift going open source.

Here we dive into what you need to know about WWDC 2015.

Contextual Search Arrives With OS X 10.11 El Capitan

This update of OS comes with some cool new stuff. In particular gestures and a way to pin sites on Safari so they’ll load instantly from the landing page, as well as the ability to mute each website from the tab with a speaker icon on the URL.

Importantly, Spotlight and Siri are becoming more contextual. Instead of looking for files by name, you can now describe what you’re looking for, such as “files I worked on last June”.

El Capitan will allow you to split the screen into multi-tasking windows. It is also getting the Metal 3D graphics SDK to improve gaming and apps on its desktop, giving Macs a nice performance boost. Apple says this will accelerate app launches 1.4 times, and it will be twice as fast to switch between apps.

For developers, El Capitan has been available since 8 June. A public beta will arrive in July and there will be a free upgrade for everyone this fall.

iOS 9 Sees Incremental Improvements

With Apple’s app store passing 100 billion app downloads, and Siri answering more than 1 billion requests each week, Apple is clearly doing something right. For this update Siri has become 40% faster at responding, and there will also be a 40% reduction in its word-error rate.

iOS 9 will take up less space on your iPhone – this has traditionally been a complaint from many iPhone users. Meanwhile, iPad users will have new productivity options like opening two apps side-by-side.

The first beta ever for iOS will be out in July and the final version, like OS 10.11, will be available in the fall.

Watch OS 2 Gets Native Apps

The smartwatch’s Watch OS gets native apps, which means they can be faster, better and smarter.

Developers will also be happier now – you will be able to make apps that play back video and audio using the watch speakers, and there’s support for HealthKit and HomeKit. Also the new features of iOS 9, like transit or news, will also be available in Watch.

Swift 2.0 Goes Open Source

Swift goes open source! And it will also have support on OS X and Linux. It will gain whole-module optimization, better error handling and protocol extensions. This is a big deal, particularly for enterprises, as they will now be able to develop their own solutions across Apple’s platforms.

Meanwhile Apple has also opened up its search API, allowing deep links into applications and backlinks. If you’ve incorporated autolayout and size classes, your apps will automatically support the new split and picture-in-picture views.

Apple Music Shows Streaming Is The New Norm

Apple saved this for the end of its keynote, with Drake showing up to present this new music service. Apple Music will have everything you need – streaming favorite artists, music videos, and exclusive clips. There is also “Connect” which will let artists upload music and connect directly with fans. The fact that it is integrated with Siri (so you can say to your phone, “play my favorite album”) will help it compete against competitors such as Spotify. It is also priced competitively, at $9.99 per month, or there is a $14.99 family plan for five people.

Apple has created a global radio station called Beats 1. This won’t be like the conventional radio stations on other music services, as it will be a 24/7 global radio station, hosted by former BBC Radio One DJ Zane Lowe. The service aims not just to play great music, but help us discover new music. And to top it all off, and show us how Apple is becoming more open, it’s coming to Android! This will be the first time the company has created an app for another mobile operating system.


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