Today's keynote from the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference was long on software announcements and short on hardware. This summer and fall, we'll see OS X updates, iOS 9, Apple Music, Apple News, and enhancements to Apple Pay, Maps, Notes, and more. Read on for our highlights from the keynote.
OS X El Capitan
Craig Federighi, Apple's senior vice president of software engineering, announced the forthcoming Mac OS X update, El Capitan, named after the famed granite monolith at Yosemite National Park. New features include gestures for quick actions, pinning for the sites you access most, improved Spotlight search, split view so you can see two apps side by side, and the ability to create multiple desktops. El Capitan will be available for free this fall. If you can't wait to try it, the developer beta is out now, and a public beta will be released in July. Sign up here to test OS X El Capitan.
First, iOS 9 is leaner than iOS 8 -- 1.3GB versus iOS 8's 4.6GB -- making it easier to install and lightening the load on your phone's memory. Siri has been refined to work quickly and more accurately, and you'll be able to ask Siri to pull up photos, videos, music, and articles. Siri will anticipate your needs, based on where you are or the time of day. Plug in your headphones and your phone will suggest something to play; add a location to a calendar event, and your iPhone will advise you when to leave. While searches offer more thorough results in iOS 9, Apple promises that your queries will not be tied to your Apple ID or sold. Like El Capitan, iOS 9 is available now to developers, and -- for the first time for iOS -- there will be a public beta in July.
On the iPad, the QuickType keyboard improves your typing and editing experience. Slide Over, Split View, and Picture-in-Picture features let you work with multiple apps at the same time.
Apple Pay is going to blow up, according to Apple vice president of Internet services Jennifer Bailey. Apple Pay will now work with all five major credit card companies, Square, and more apps and brands. You can also pay for items on Pinterest with Apple Pay, and you can connect your loyalty cards.
Wallet, Notes, and Maps
Passbook is now Wallet. Notes now features checklists and the ability to photograph or draw notes, or add data from Safari and other apps. Maps now includes Transit view, with public transportation directions, and supports more international cities, as well as points of interest nearby.
Legendary producer Jimmy Iovine says that streaming-music service Apple Music will bring all the ways we consume music together. Not only will Apple Music include your digital library, but also a 24/7 radio station, Beats 1. The service features tens of millions of tracks, playlists curated by real artists (not robots), and new ways to connect with artists big, small, and unsigned via behind-the-scenes photos, lyric demos, and remixes. Apple Music launches June 30 and is available with iOS 8.4 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. The price is $9.99 per month, with the first three months free.