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WWDC15 Keynote Summary

Rick McMullin

Rick McMullin, CTO, bitHeads

Like the past several WWDC keynotes there were no really major announcements coming out this year but rather a lot of minor changes and modifications that when put together make for some great content for all of the Apple fans out there.

The keynote was organized into 3 main categories:
• Mac OS X
• iOS 9
• WatchOS

Mac OS X
The first item announced about the next release of OS X was the name itself. El Capitan will be name for the next major release of OS X. The main El Capitan features announced revolved mostly around enhanced spotlight searching that is much more contextually aware than it has been in the past and performance improvements that are being gained largely by integrating Metal into OS X. There were many other small feature enhancements that were introduced but those were the two biggies.

iOS 9
Once again there were no real bomb shells announced as part of the iOS 9 presentation but there were many small improvements and a few new apps being introduced as well. The first thing introduced were a number of Siri enhancements that make Siri behave much more like a proactive digital assistant then a search engine speech recognition wrapper. Craig Federighi gave several demos like asking Siri to remind him of a task to do later in the day, pulling up photos that he had taken last June, remembering what type of music he liked to listen to while doing different things, etc.

Also as part of the iOS talk Jennifer Bailey talked about the status of Apple Pay and the renaming of Passbook to Wallet. She announced many new Apple Pay partners and that Apple Pay was coming to the UK this summer.

There were also many map enhancements including support for public transit directions, a new news application, better tools support for game developers and a ton of updates to allow better multitasking of applications, split screen support for running apps side by side and picture in picture support for watching videos overlaid on another application.

All in all it was pretty impressive the number of improvements that are coming out as part of iOS 9.


The big news here was the announced support for native Watch apps. Up until now (in the whole 6 week history of the Apple watch) the application logic of an Apple Watch app was running largely on the phone that it is paired with. The watch itself only ran code that handled the presentation of the application on the watch’s screen. This is about to change with WatchOS 2. This should pave the way for even more interesting and better performing Apple Watch apps in the next few months.

In addition to native app support Apple also announced support for changing the watch face to a personal photo or gallery, support for app developers to display information (complications) on the watch face, Time Travel to see what the state of your calendar, weather etc is suppose to be in the future, HomeKit support, access to the microphone and many other features.

In true Steve Jobs fashion, Tim Cook borrowed the one more thing segue to make the Apple Music announcement. Apple music can probably best be described as combining the existing iTunes Store, with your own purchased music, with Pandora or Songza, with internet radio, with Twitter for musicians. Pretty much a one stop shop for everything that is music it is definitely an ambitious undertaking but for true music lovers and people in the music biz it seemed like it would be a really compelling service. Apple Music is coming by the end of June and will cost $9.99 / month for an individual or $14.99/month for up to 6 family members.

Rick McMullin, CTO, bitHeads

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