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WWDC 2015 Highlights: Just the best bits from Apple's dev conference

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WWDC 2015

The 26th edition of WWDC has just taken place, with Tim Cook and co offering an insight into the future of some of its biggest products, including OS X, iOS, Apple Pay and the Apple Watch. There was also the small matter of this year's 'one more thing': Apple Music. Here's everything that went down at the developer conference.

Apple Music

Apple Music

Let's start with the biggie. We've long suspected it being in the works, but Apple has finally unveiled its new music streaming service, Apple Music. Building on the pre-existing Beats Music platform and iTunes, the new service will see Apple look to gain traction in the latest growth area of the music space – streaming.

However, although there are streaming elements, Apple Music is about far more than simply challenging Spotify. Built into the iPhone and iPad’s existing Music app, the service also combines a new, free, live, global radio station, Beats1, and the chance for musicians and users to better interact with each other.

Apple lets you select tracks, artists and albums you like, building playlists around similar moods, sounds and beats as recommended by a team of music professionals. Follow the link below for the complete breakdown.

READ MORE: Apple Music lands as Spotify rival

El Capitan 17

OS X El Capitan

The impressive-sounding OS X El Capitan has been revealed as the latest edition of Apple's Mac operating system. OS X El Capitan features several new upgrades, particularly focused on improving the performance of your Mac and enhancing the built-in apps.

One thing we particularly like is the Pinned Sites feature for Safari. If you've got a tab open that you use a lot - like Twitter or Facebook for example, you can drag it to the side to keep it as a Pinned Site for easy access. You can open related tabs, but that pin won't ever leave unless you want it to.

There are also big performance increases coming with OS X El Capitan, apparently making a lot of things run faster. According to Federighi, El Capitan will increase app launches by 1.4 times, while app switching and opening PDFs in Preview will be speeded up too.

Mission Control, Search and Spotlight have also been touched by the hand of the Apple God.

El Capitan is available to developers in beta now, with a public beta starting in July. For everyone else, you can download the full El Capitan experience sometime this autumn for free.

READ MORE: OS X El Capitan: What's new?

iOS 9 resized 25

iOS 9

The successor to iOS 8 will come in autumn, packed with a host of new features, including big upgrades to Siri. The digital assitant will become a Google Now-like ‘Proactive Assistant’ with iOS 9, understanding context and personal habits better than ever before.

For instance, you can now ask Siri to show you photos from a specific holiday you went on, or tell it to remind you to do something when you get into your car. It can also understand what you’re looking at specifically at a given point, and resolve commands based around this.

If, for instance, someone sends you a text message about an event, you can vaguely instruct Siri to remind you ‘about this’, which will set a reminder about the details in the SMS.

The iPad will gain access to its own special set of iOS 9 features, including the new QuickType keyboard, which doubles up as a trackpad, and enhanced multi-tasking.

READ MORE: iOS 9 Features: What's new?

Apple Pay in the UK

Apple Pay

Having been restricted to US-based iDevice owners to date, the NFC-based contactless payment service will be introduced to the UK next month.

Banks onboard from day one include HSBC, Lloyds, RBS and Natwest, with 70 per cent of UK debit cards to be supported. A number of UK retailers have already signed up to support Apple Pay payments, including the Post Office, Marks & Spencers, Boots and Waitrose. TfL will officially support it too, allowing you to glide around London in style.

READ MORE: Apple Pay coming to the UK in July

Apple Watch OS 2 7

watchOS 2

The Apple Watch is about to get a whole lot more engaging; with Apple confirming it will be bestowed with support for native apps. Although there are already thousands of Apple Watch apps available for download, at present, all are simply compressed ports of existing iPhone alternative.

Now, however, the company has revealed its debut wearable will soon support dedicated apps which don’t need a separate app stored on a synced iPhone. This will reduce its reliance on the companion phone, allowing owners to make better use of their timepiece.

Fitness and sport apps is just one category to make use of this, with user’s favourite fitness trackers to run natively on the watch, meaning your step count and calorie burn should always be on point. Further native apps already confirmed including HomeKit, Ping’s golf swing analyser and Apple’s digital wallet. The link below details all of the upcoming changes.

READ MORE: Apple Watch OS: What's new?

HomeKit

HomeKit

A small collection of HomeKit enhancements may have gone largely unnoticed at the show, but they detailed upcoming remote access via iCloud and support for new device types. The former will allow users to control and access their HomeKit-enabled devices via iCloud, so you don't need to be at home to give commands using Siri.

Apple has also introduced new profiles for devices like mechanical blinds, home security systems and a wider variety of room sensors.

anthony_kerr

April 17, 2015, 12:15 am

What about the 15" Macbook Pro update?

Paul

June 5, 2015, 3:06 pm

smells like another apple victory

LeeTronix

June 5, 2015, 4:34 pm

As the laws of gravity states - what goes up must come down...

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