WWDC 2015 – Apple Watch SDK, iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, Apple Music
Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference is about to kick off. On Monday, June 8th, company executives will take the stage at San Francisco’s Moscone Center to provide their annual roadmap for Apple’s software, services, and devices.
Traditionally, Apple has used the conference to introduce major upgrades to the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch operating system iOS, as well as the Mac operating system OS X, along with new services. Of course, 2015 will be no different. Apple has been preparing a new version of iOS 9 codenamed “Monarch,” a release of OS X 10.11 codenamed “Gala,” a new streaming Apple Music service based on Beats Music, and updates for the Apple Watch.
Over the last several years, we have provided advance reports on the lion’s share of announcements that will be made at WWDC, as well as a comprehensive roundup ahead of the event. Read on for our roundup of what’s coming, along with fresh new details not found in our earlier reports.
iOS 9, codenamed “Monarch” after the ski resort, may well be the most important topic of the conference. Hundreds of millions of people use iPhones and iPads every day, and Apple has realized that it’s time to step back from focusing on significant feature changes to improve the core experience. With iOS 9, Apple is preparing fixes, under-the-hood improvements to reduce app sizes, and better support for older devices. But new features aren’t entirely absent.
Apple is planning to announce a new application called Home, which makes this week’s launch of the first HomeKit devices less than coincidental. The new Home app will allow users of approved HomeKit accessories to create virtual rooms, set up and install accessories, and find new ones for their homes. The app will work with the Apple TV so that customers can access and control their devices from outside their homes. The Apple TV serves as a remote gateway hub for HomeKit.
Swift 2.0 + Smaller Apps:
From our earlier story on the Swift changes:
Since Swift is still evolving as a development language, Apple previously did not include Swift programming “code libraries” within iOS. For this reason, developers who choose to write App Store apps with Swift must include the code libraries inside each of their apps. Consequently, App Store applications written in Swift carry approximately 8MB of additional code, and the more Swift apps you have, the more storage space you lose to code library copies.
With iOS 9, we are told that this will change: Swift’s code libraries will be pre-installed within the new iOS operating system. This means that Swift applications updated for iOS 9 will require less space and consume less data when downloaded over a cellular connection. Users with lower-capacity iPhones and iPads or non-unlimited cellular data plans will see at least small improvements over time.
After a major user-interface overhaul last year with OS X 10.10 Yosemite, Apple will match iOS 9 and go back to the basics with OS X 10.11. Apple’s next Mac software upgrade will focus on core enhancements to usability, performance, and security. The new OS is internally codenamed “Gala,” after the apple, but the marketing name based on a place in California is yet to be revealed. There will, of course, be some new features, including Control Center. The upgrade will also likely bring the Mac software in line with iOS by bringing over the aforementioned Maps and iMessage improvements.
User Interface + New Font:
The OS won’t be without additional interface changes, though. Much like iOS 8 did following iOS 7’s release, OS X 10.11 will clean up some of the untouched corners of the Yosemite design overhaul. Additionally, matching iOS 9, the new interface will likely pick up the San Francisco typeface across the system from the Apple Watch.
Besides new major OS upgrades on both the iOS and Mac sides, Apple is preparing to unveil its long-awaited Beats Music-based streaming service at WWDC. The service will likely be deeply integrated into an iOS 8.4 update coming in late June, as well as iOS 9 for the fall. To support the new service, Apple is also prepping updates including iTunes 12.2 for OS X and Windows, and an update for the Apple TV. Below, we provide in-depth details on the features, pricing, and country availability for “Apple Music” and the new iTunes Radio.
From our earlier Apple Music at WWDC Roundup:
Cloud Streaming + Features:
The Apple streaming music service will debut as a key component of Apple’s redesigned Music application for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. The new Music app takes several cues from competing services and Apple’s own music player on the Mac, iTunes. The Music app has two main sections: “My Music” and “Playlists.” Both of these sections will be populated by music stored on the iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch and in the cloud with the new streaming service.