June 9, 2015
As much as we all would have loved to stay up to catch Apple’s WWDC keynote last night, not everyone has a wealth of energy to bank on the next day when they’re at work. So we’ve come up with a summarised list of updates that is relevant to the consumer a.k.a. you and I. This year, it really felt like Apple was just playing catch up with the rest of its competitors when they announced the new updates, but we’ll leave it to you to decide.
Basically, it’s another music streaming service. It was the final “big reveal” at the end of the keynote presentation, something that Tim Cook has been religiously following through with all of his keynotes. You get to consolidate all your music – either from the iTunes Store® or ripped CDs – into one place, alongside the Apple Music catalog, which has 30 million songs. If your Spotify subscription is ending soon, you might want to try this out. Available from 30 June, you’ll be entitled to a 3-month free membership, after which a US$9.99/month subscription fee will apply. Try before you buy.
• Beats 1: Apple’s first radio station
– Broadcast live over 100 countries
– 24-hours, led by DJs Zane Lowe (Los Angeles), Ebro Darden (New York) and Julie Adnuga (London)
– Offers exclusive interviews, guest hosts, music news
• Music Connect
– Connect with artists, as they have the ability to share lyrics, backstage photos, videos or exclusive song releases
– Fans can engage through comments and likes
Another big update, says Apple, and we don’t disagree. The new battery optimisation in the iOS 9 provides users with an extra hour of battery life (hooray, sort of), complemented by a new “Low power mode”, which will aid in extending the battery life. Also, unlike previous software updates, the iOS 9 requires less space and has an “Install Later” feature, which will help to update your device when you’re not using it. Apart from that, the iOS 9 also makes multi-tasking much easier for iPad users.
• New Siri® interface
• Proactive assistance automatically suggests actions for you based on usage patterns (i.e. apps to launch, people to contact based on usage patterns, telling you to leave for your events/appointments)
• iOS 9 can learn what you listen to at specific locations or times of day so the next time you hit the gym, it’ll display playback controls of your preferred app
• New iPad Features:
– Slide Over: swiping over your current app lets you work on another without closing it
– Single tap gives you access to the Split View feature
– Picture-in-Picture: lets you use FaceTime® or watch a video while using other apps
– New Multi-Touch™ gestures for easier selecting and editing of text
• News App:
– Lays out relevant stories like a magazine, but with the immediacy and customisation of digital media (i.e. you get to see news you want to read in one place)
– The more you read, the more refined the selection of stories get delivered to you
– Share news with friends or save for later
– Nearly 20 publishers on board, including Condé Nast, ESPN, The New York Times, Hearst, Time Inc. CNN and Bloomberg
• Enhancements to other built-in apps like Maps and Notes
The new OS X gets a new system font, aptly named “San Francisco”. And just like the iPad’s new “Split View” feature, you’ll be able to do the same with this new OS – use two apps side-by-side in full screen without any distractions.
• Introduction of Metal™ – Apple’s breakthrough graphics technology for improved performance throughout the system
• Enhancements to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight® search
• Mission Control® comes with a cleaner interface
• Too many windows? Drag a few to the top of the screen and into the new “Spaces Bar” in Mission Control®
• Built-in apps like Safari, Mail, Photos and Notes get more streamlined in OS X El Capitan
• Spotlight generates more results for even more topics, including weather, stocks, sports, transit and web video
• Enhanced international language support
Developers can now take advantage of Apple Watch’s hardware features like the Digital Crown, Taptic Engine, accelerometer and microphone and heart rate sensor, which means more useful apps for us in future. Then again, how many of us are actually going to get the Apple Watch anyway?
• New Photo and Photo Album watch faces let you view photos from your albums or pick one as your watch face by just raising your wrist
• Time-Lapse watch face lets you pick time-lapse videos (shot over 24 hours) of NYC, London and Shanghai
• Time Travel Feature: use the Digital Crown to scroll through past, present and future events/meetings/activities/temperature/info from third-party apps
• Nightstand Mode: Apple Watch becomes bedside alarm clock; Digital Crown and side buttons become snooze and off buttons
• You can reply Mails and messages using dictation, Smart Replies or emoji
This was very frustrating. When are we going to get Apple Pay!?
• Apple Pay™ will be available in the UK from next month. No news on its availability in Singapore
• Apple Pay™ is improved with added support for rewards programs and store-issued credit and debit cards with iOS9. Still no news about its availability in Singapore
• Apple Pay™ expands its reach to more than one million locations in the US next month. Singapore still isn’t mentioned.
• Apple Pay™ will accept most credit and debit cards from all major card networks. I guess Singapore won’t get it anytime soon.
* – available in Fall 2015
More info at apple.com.