It’s that time of the year again. Next week, Apple developers will gather at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California for the 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference.
There Apple CEO Tim Cook will take the stage to unveil some of the its new products -- both software and hadrware. From iOS 9 to the Apple TV, these products will give a glimpse into what features may make it into Apple's portfolio of products in the coming months. Here’s a closer look at what to expect at WWDC 2015.
The Apple TV is downright old and it hasn't seen a major revision for over three years. But this year, Apple is expected to break that streak with the introduction of a revamped Apple TV which may come with a newly designed remote, support for Siri, third-party apps and home automation control through Apple’s HomeKit software framework. Apple may also to debut its own streaming television service alongside the Apple TV. But it isn’t expected to be available to customers until the fall.
Over a month since the launch of Apple’s first smartwatch, the company is hardly done tinkering with it. Speaking at Re/code’s Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, Apple Senior Vice President of Operation Jeff Williams revealed Apple’s plans to offer native app support for software made by third-party developers.
There are over 3,000 apps for the smartwatch currently. But unlike built-in apps, which run directly on the watch, third-party apps run off a companion iPhone. The move to native third-party apps will allow apps to run without an iPhone and enable them to take advantage of Apple Watch sensors and features, such as the Digital Crown.
Following a preview at WWDC, Apple will officially support third-party native apps in the Fall.
Apple is set to unveil a revamped iTunes subscription streaming music built using technology from Beats Music. It hasn’t officially announced prices for the service. But Apple may offer it for $10 a month after a three month free trial, according to the New York Post. Beats Music was acquired as part of Apple's purchase of Beats Electronics, which closed for $3 billion last August.
Control lights, doors, locks, outlets and more all from your iPhone or iPad. That's the promise of Apple's HomeKit, a software framework designed to enable iPhones and iPads to control connected appliances in a home. Apple began certifying products compatible with HomeKit in November and it expects the first of them to rollout this month.
Bug fixes and optimization are expected to be at the top of the list for iOS 9. But that doesn’t mean Apple's mobile OS will be entirely devoid of new features. One of the biggest changes may come in the form of transit directions, which have been missing from Apple’s built-in apps since it ditched Google Maps in favor of its own Maps app in 2012.
Apple's iOS 9 may also introduce split-screen multitasking for its iPads, according to 9to5Mac. The feature was previously discovered in code for iOS 8. But it failed to make it to its final release. Apple could use this feature for its so-called “iPad Pro,” which is expected to come with a 12-inch display and a stylus.
A new service on iOS 9 codenamed “Proactive,” may also debut at WWDC 2015 according to 9to5Mac. Much like Google Now, Proactive is expected to provide contextual-based information based on user’s habits and data, while reducing iOS’ reliance on Google for search.
And the San Francisco font, first introduced in the Apple Watch may also make its way over to rest of Apple's mobile ecosystem.
OS X 10.11
For the most part, Apple’s desktop operating system is also expected to have a strong focus on bug fixes and performance tweaks. But it may also introduce a couple new features as well, such as a Control Center panel, where users can access controls in a similar fashion to iOS. Apple may also rollout a security feature called Rootless, which may prevent even administrator-level users from modifying certain system files and data.
Apple’s WWDC kicks off June 8 with a keynote at 10 a.m. PDT, followed by several workshops which run through June 12. Member of Apple’s developer program will be able to watch conference sessions live streamed throughout the week through Apple’s website and additional video content will be posted by the end of each day.