Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2015) kicks off later today, and Apple is expected to unveil iOS 9 and OS X 10.11, as well as their new music streaming service.
While previous versions of iOS have concentrated on adding features, the new version unveiled at this year’s WWDC 2015 is said to focus on performance improvements and bug fixes. Smaller app sizes, bug fixes, less crashes and better support for older devices are the name of the game for iOS 9.
While performance is king in iOS 9, new features are still on the way. Apple has reportedly replaced the iOS 9 system font with the San Francisco font used for the Apple Watch, resulting in an easier to read interface.
Apple has also been working on transit navigation instructions for its Apple Maps app. The new feature will allow users to navigate bus routes, subways, trains, and other public transportation via the Maps app.
Apple has also been working to improve overall security with “Rootless” security, which will prevent even administrator level users from accessing certain files on an iOS device.
Apple is also reportedly working on making its in-house apps, such as Notes, Calendar, and Reminders more secure by converting them to an iCloud Drove back-end. This should improve syncing, offering end-to-end encryption, and faster updating across devices.
“Trusted Wi-Fi” could make an appearance at WWDC 2015, offering the ability for iOS devices to connect to authorized wireless routers without additional security measures, requiring a more encrypted connection for non-trusted wireless routers.
In an iPad-only move, Apple is said to be preparing to offer split-screen display ability for the device, allowing users to run two apps side-by-side and share content between the apps. While the feature was originally intended for use with Apple’s much-rumored 12.9-inch “iPad Pro,” it may be announced today that the feature will work with other models.
Also in the works, but possibly not ready for today’s event, is multi-user mode for the iPad, allowing multiple users to login to an iPad, and only seeing their apps, data, bookmarks, and other user-specific data.
Apple is also said to have concentrated heavily on better compatibility and performance with older devices. This would be a welcome boon to owners of older devices that have run poorly on iOS 8.
Apple’s HomeKit continues to move forward, and we may see a “Home” app that allows users to create virtual rooms, set up and install accessories, and find new ones for their homes. The app will also allow Apple TV owners to access their HomeKit compatible devices form outside the home, allowing them to remotely control their smart devices from the road.
OS X 10.11
The latest version of OS X, also to be unveiled at WWDC 2015, is expected to also concentrate on under the hood improvements, however the new operating system will not be without its own new features.
OS X 10.11 should also make use of the San Francisco font as its system font just like iOS 9, and will also share the “Rootless,” iCloud Drive, and “Trusted WiFi” security enhancements.
Also expected is a new “Control Center,” residing on the left side of the Mac desktop, available with a swipe, much like the current Notification Center. Here, users will be able to control brightness, volume, media, as well as being able to shutdown or put their Mac to sleep.
Also expected today is the debut of a native SDK for the Apple Watch, which should allow the development of true apps that will run directly on the Watch, lessening its dependence on the iPhone.
There will likely be announcements concerning Apple Pay during the Keynote. Apple is working to bring Apple Pay to the UK and Canada, so perhaps there will be a reveal for the dates when it will go live.
Also mentioned in some reports is an Apple Pay Rewards Program, allowing users to add their debit and rewards cars to Apple Pay. Rewards and loyalty cards are currently stored in the Passbook app.
Apple is expected to unveil its new “Apple Music” streaming service on stage on Monday. The new service, based on the Beats Music service Apple acquired last year, will offer streaming of music for $9.99 per month. Apple will likely offer a three month free trail period to lure listeners to their new service.
Apple has reportedly been working with record companies right up to today’s deadline to settle on terms for rights to the music used on the service.
While most reports indicate Apple will not debut a revamped Apple TV or a new streaming television subscription service to accompany it, this reporter is holding on to the slimmest of hopes that there will be an announcement today.
Apple’s WWDC 2015 kicks off at 10AM Pacific/1PM Eastern time today, Monday June 8. MacTrast will cover the Keynote, and all the happenings during the conference.