Monday, June 8, 2015

Recap Of Apple's Big Day

Here's what Apple unveiled publicly today:
  • The much-rumored Apple Music subscription service has been unveiled, and so has a radio station (Beats 1) featuring live DJs. Jimmy Iovine trumpets Apple Music's emphasis on human curation (algorithms will also be used), and a service (called Music Connect) meant to connect fans with artists.
  • Apple Music will launch on June 30 in over 100 countries, and come with a 3-month free trial. Beyond that, it costs $9.99/month for individual plans (similar to rivals), and $14.99/month for family plans (up to 6 members). Android support arrives in the fall.
  • Apple's iOS 9 News app aims to take on Flipboard and other mobile reader apps with the help of curated content from partners such as ESPN, Conde Nast, BuzzFeed, the NYT, Bloomberg, and The Verge. Much like other reader apps, News will analyze reading habits to better personalize content over time.
  • Confirming a May rumor, the iPad is getting multitasking support via iOS 9: Swiping or pulling down an app from the side brings up other apps (SlideOver), with iPad Air 2 users also able to simultaneously work on two apps (SplitView). Also: A picture-in-picture mode for video is also being added.
  • watchOS 2 supports native 3rd-paty apps, lets Apple Watch users create various custom photo faces, and lets developers create "Complications" that mash up different types of info. New Siri controls are also included, as is an updated Mail app and a Nightstand Mode.
  • Other announcements: 1) Apple Pay is adding support for retail rewards cards. 2) CarPlay is adding wireless support, and HomeKit support for more home devices. 3) The Maps app is being updated to support public transit directions. 4) Apple has unveiled the next-gen version of its Swift programming language (Swift 2), and is making Swift open-source. 5) Cumulative App Store downloads have topped 100B; Apple states the average user has 119 apps.
  • As expected, iOS 9 will officially launch in the fall (i.e. the time that new iPhones typically launch). watchOS 2 also formally launches in the fall.

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