WWDC 2015 is just around the corner with the keynote starting on Monday, June 8th at 10.00 AM PT. The conference will then continue until Friday, June 12th. So here’s what you need to know:
-iOS 7 and 8 made huge leaps in design and functionality. That rapid advancement did come with some caveats. Namely the slow performance and instability. The performance on newer devices was fine, but older devices suffered from frequent lag. Performance issues have been partially fixed in .1 updates, but they were never enough. They were also the most unstable iOS versions to date. iOS 9 is rumored to focus more on the behind the scenes improvements rather than functionality. This would make new OS updates much more appealing to users of older devices. There are also big security advancements in the pipeline including improvements to iCloud Drive, Wi-Fi and root security, which is going to be a heavy blow to the jailbreak community. iCloud Drive will now also integrate with the native Apple apps.
-iOS 9 is also rumored to switch to the more legible Apple Watch “San Francisco” font. The new font can also be seen on the 12-inch Macbook keyboard, however it’s possible that Apple will stick with the current font.
-HomeKit will also be mentioned and Apple has provided us with some details surrounding the new smart home solution. A code will be needed for pairing and once the devices are connected Siri or apps will be used to control them. A 3rd gen Apple TV will be required if you want to remotely control your devices. These devices will then be able to be grouped and controlled together by one Siri command. Each HomeKit set-up has an administrator and multiple users can control one set-up. Previous reports indicate that a home app will make an appearance, but it isn’t likely.
-The Maps app will receive the much needed transit directions. The rollout will be slow however as only a handful of cities in North America, Europe and China will support them. There will also be a new transit maps view and icons for transportation services will be larger. Apple has also been gathering 3D street view images, but they aren’t likely to be ready for prime time until 2018. Apple’s indoor maps are making progress, however they may get cut this year.
-iPad is rumored to get a dual-app viewing mode and multi-user support. Sources warn however that they may not appear at WWDC or in the fall, but rather as a .1 or .2 update.
-“Proactive” will combine Siri, spotlight and some first-party apps for a new Google Now like feature. It will be accessible to the left of the first home screen where Spotlight was located pre-iOS 7. A very limited Siri API will also be available to developers that will allow minimal integration with Proactive. Maps could also get an augmented reality view showing points of interest, but Apple may just decide to list local listings in a Browse Around Me tab.
-The native keyboard will revert to the previous Shift Key look and will have more editing controls in portrait mode on iPhone 6 Plus. Apple Pay will launch in Canada and UK and iMessage is expected to gain new contact and group-specific read receipt options.
OS X 10.11
Not much is known about the next version of OS 10 apart from the similar performance and stability improvements as iOS 9. Control center may also appear along with some other minor improvements.
Apple Watch OS
The Apple Watch OS is said to get a Find My Watch feature. Another feature called “Smart Leasing” will notify the user if they accidentally leave their iPhone behind. You will also be notified if you have an irregular heart beat, but this feature may never ship due to liability problems and regulations. In the future Apple wants to add an oxygen saturation and blood pressure monitor as well as sleep tracking features and glucose sensors.
Apart from this native third-party apps and support for third party widgets on clock faces will appear. Security, connectivity with other Apple devices and Wi-Fi capabilities will also be enhanced.
The Apple Watch is also rumored to be a primary input device for the next-gen Apple TV. The updated box will also feature Siri integration and third-party application support. The announcement of the new device was originally planned at WWDC, but has now been pushed back. When the next Apple TV does launch a Live TV cable replacement service is expected to debut.
Apple is getting ready to launch their music streaming service as a key component of the redesigned music app in iOS 8.4. Search will take into account the cloud-based and device based library.
iTunes Radio will soon feature custom celebrity DJ stations with unlimited skipping.
The failed Ping music social network will be replaced by a new feature called “Artist Activity”. It will allow artists to manage their own pages and share sample music from them or other artists, exclusive videos and promote their tours. Users will then be able to like and comment on these posts using their Apple ID.
The revamped music services will launch in iTunes 12.2 for both Mac and Windows, iOS 8.4, Apple TV and surprisingly Android in the last week of June.
It’s said to cost around 10$ a month with a one-month free trial. iTunes Radio will remain free, but an optional ad-removing premium package will be available.
As per usual we can expect a new version of Xcode with support for third-party Apple TV app development and Swift 2.0 with Application Binary Interface stability. For the end-user this means a bit more storage on their iOS devices. Also expect tons of new APIs and app and game development technologies for developers.
Don’t hold your breath for new iPads, iPhones or iPod Touches. We may see updated AirPort routers, thunderbolt display and other Macs.
I got this info from 9to5mac, which is a website with very reliable sources. If you want to watch WWDC live you can do so by visiting apple.com/live on June 8th at 10 AM PT.
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