WWDC: Announcements From Apple Show Interesting Developments
The following article is a guest post by Maria Ramos.
The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is an annual event held by Apple to let software developers get a preview of new products and technologies. Established in 1990 and held every year since then, the conference has recently become more popular than ever, reaching the 5,000-attendee capacity every year since 2008. This year was no exception as an excited crowd packed into the Moscone Center in San Francisco on June 8 to listen to Apple staff describe what’s coming up in the near future.
A new version of Apple’s desktop OS was announced: OS X 10.11 El Capitan. The Spotlight search feature is being enhanced so that users can type in a natural language query and see files that match it, and the same capability has been added to email search. The Metal 3D API, which has already been released for iOS, is implemented in El Capitan and promises to make games run smoother and faster. Overall, app launching speeds are claimed to be 1.4 times as fast as they previously were.
iOS, the operating system that powers iPhones, iPads, and other mobile devices, has been upgraded to version 9. Users can expect more intelligent performance from virtual assistant Siri, which will now be more aware of the context in which commands are given. iPads running iOS 9 are able to display multiple windows at the same time much as traditional desktop computers do. Several apps have been tweaked, including Maps, which now contains public transit information, and a News app has been developed.
Apple Pay is a relatively new service that allows users to pay for things using their smartphones without the need to provide credit card info. After a debut in the United States, it has been expanded to the UK market, where commuters can use it to pay for fares on buses, trains, and the London Tube. A few retailers, like Marks & Spencer and Costa Coffee, have also announced that they will support this payment method.
Some of the new releases by Apple are geared more towards developers, but regular customers will see benefits over time as enhanced capabilities are programmed into apps. The Swift development language has been upgraded to version 2.0, and Apple intends to open up the source code in the near future to let programmers have a look inside. Through updates to the HomeKit and HealthKit frameworks, it will be easier for Apple devices to integrate with products for home automation, such as the Honeywell Lyric, ConnectSense Smart Outlets, and Brinks Security, as well as fitness monitors like the Nike Fuelband and Withings’ Smart Body Analyzer.
The watchOS, used in the Apple Watch, has seen its first major upgrade with the release of version 2. There are a few watch faces that were initially planned to be released at launch but were not included in
watchOS 1. They’ve been added in now, and they allow users to customize how their Watch displays the time and other info. Another new feature is the ability to not just read emails, but to also reply to them. You can choose from preset, canned responses or record dictated replies.
While most of the announcements at this year’s WWDC focused on improvements to existing products, the Apple Music streaming service is something fresh and new. This subscription-based offering is intended to compete with Spotify and Google Play. Apple Music will integrate with iTunes, so it will be able to recommend music based upon the types of artists and songs that you already enjoy listening to.
Apple has come to dominate the mobile space and has broken new ground with its popular Watch. Nevertheless, the firm isn’t resting on its laurels as demonstrated by the exciting developments unveiled at the latest WWDC. In the world of high-tech, today’s market leader could become tomorrow’s dinosaur, so it’s heartening to see Apple striving to maintain and extend its edge against all comers.
The preceding article is a guest post by Maria Ramos.