San Francisco — The 26th annual Apple Worldwide Developers Conference launched Apple’s long-awaited music-streaming reboot, served up enhancements to the iOS and Mac operating systems, and outed upgraded Watch OS and Apple Pay features.
Here’s what Apple executives unveiled:
The Apple Music streaming service will let users stream the millions of songs in the iTunes store on demand for the first time, stream playlists and albums recommended by music experts instead of algorithms for particular listeners, stream genre-specific stations created by DJs,and listen to the Beats 1 24/7 radio station broadcasting with live DJs from New York, Los Angeles and London.
The app will also let artists share content such as videos, remixes and photos.
Apple Music launches in more than 100 countries on June 30 at $9.99/month on Apple devices, and for the first time, Apple is launching a family plan to enable up to six family members to share an account with their own libraries, recommendations and the like so multiple family members can stream simultaneously. The service will be available on Android devices later this year.
The first three months are free.
Key enhancements in iOS 9 include:
--the expansion of HomeKit home-automation control to windows shades, sensors such as carbon monoxide and motion sensors, and security systems.
--the ability of Car Play to support automakers’ own apps from within the Car Play UI, plus the ability to connect an iPhone to a Car Play head unit wirelessly without plugging the phone into a USB port.
--a smaller footprint using up only 1.3GB of free space instead of the 4.6GB required by iOS 8 to boost performance.
-- enhanced iPad multitasking capabilities, including the ability to display two live apps simultaneously on the iPad Air 2 and, on the Air 2 and other iPads, enable other features. They include the ability to swipe from the edges of a phone or iPad to display such apps as email and calendar over to other apps and ability to display live video from one app over other apps.
--proactivity and more intelligence, such as proactively displaying context-and time-sensitive information, including the ability to launch the “now-playing” widget when headphones are plugged in and suggesting apps you might want to launch depending on the time of day. Users who are viewing the web can ask Siri to remind them later about a web link, and Siri will automatically display the link letter.
--adding public-transit navigation to Apple Maps.
--new Siri capabilities such as “show me photos taken last July” and asking it to remind you of something later on.
--extending battery life by an hour and creating a low-power switch to extend battery life another three hours.
The upgrade is due in the fall and will work with all devices that already work with iOS 8.
The upgraded OS, available to consumers in the fall, adds the ability to:
-- bring native apps to the Apple Watch for the first time, including HomeKit and HealthKit apps.
--place Facetime audio calls from the Watch in addition to taking regular cellular calls via a connected iPhone.
--use Wi-Fi to communicate with the cloud without going through an iPhone.
--let developers create apps that display short videos on the Watch screen, play music through the Watch’s speaker, access the digital crown, and access the taptic engine and accelerometer.
--let developers display information on the main watch face.
--scroll backward and forward in time through the calendar, weather report and other apps.
--let users display a picture or series of pictures in sequence on a Watch face.
--launch apps via Siri.
--put the watch in “nightstand mode” when placed on its side while charging, displaying time and alarm information and letting users hit a snooze button or turn the alarm off.
Apple is adding more participants and features. New participants are:
--the Discover card and its more than 50 million car members, due in the fall.
--new retailers later this year such as Trader Joe’s, Baskin Robbins and JC Penney.
--branded store credit cards from such retailers as Kohl's and JC Penney.
--small businesses through the fall launch of a new ApplePay-enabled card reader from Square.
--Pinterest, enabling in-app purchases of products.
Next month, ApplePay will be enabled in more than 1 million retail locations, the company said. It’s already supported by 25,000 banks.
New Apple Pay features enabled in iOS 9 include:
--storage of loyalty cards and reward cards later this year from such companies as Kohl’s, Walgreen, and Dunkin Donuts, joining debit and credit cards.
The El Capitan upgrade to the Mac OS X adds features and performance enhancements, including:
--performs operations faster, such as launching apps 1.4 times faster, switching between apps two times faster, four-times faster opening of pdf previews.
--let users type Spotlight searches for documents in natural spoken sentences such as “show me all photos taken in Utah in June.”
-- more gesture controls, such as shaking the touchpad to find your cursor.
--natural-language Spotlight searches for documents and other files, enabling users, for example, to type “find all documents I work on last June.”
-- side-by-side app display.
--a faster way to use “Mission Control” to display all windows.
--and Metal technology, launched last year on iOS, to accelerate game performance, delivering 50 percent faster graphics rendering and a 40 percent reduction in CPU usage to render graphics.
El Capitan is available today to developers. The public beta starts in July and rolls out as a free upgrade in the fall.