I finally had a chance to watch the almost 2 1/2 hour WWDC keynote from this past Monday.
For the Mac, OS X 10.11 El Capitan (a formation inside of Yosemite Park) continues the pattern of previous OS X updates (major, minor) This version focuses on user experience and performance, no major interface changes. All Macs which can run OS X Yosemite will be able to run El Capitan. I encourage you to upgrade to it when it comes out later this fall and it is FREE.
For iDevices (iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad) iOS 9, also focuses on improving user experience. Many nice enhancements such as the keyboard will now show uppercase and lowercase based on Caps Lock or Shift key. Newstand is replaced by News which looks to be similar to FlipBoard . There are enhancements to Notes, Maps and Passbook is now replaced by Wallet and can hold store credit cards. One of the biggest enhancements is multitasking. On iPad Air 2 you’ll be able to run 2 apps side-by-side, otherwise you’ll use SlideOver. Another new feature is picture-in-picture. Plus there are enhancements to Siri and battery life. If your iDevice is able to run iOS 8, then you’ll also be able to run iOS 9 and will be out in September, again for FREE.
Next is watchOS 2. Some of the big improvements are you can use your own pictures for watch faces. Also, apps will run on the watch itself instead of on the phone. This should definitely improve the speed of apps on the watch. This will be available for consumers this fall. Since I don’t have an Apple Watch, I don’t have much of an opinion on it.
Next was Apple Music. It will be available June 30th along with iOS 8.4 and updated iTunes. There is a single user plan for $9.99/month and a family plan for up to 6 people for $14.99/month. To see if you like it or not, the first 3 months will be free. It will of course have all your music plus access to “millions of songs”. Next, is Beats 1 “global radio” with DJs from Los Angeles, New York and London. The last part is called “Connect” (which reminds me of the failed iTunes Ping) and that will allow you to connect with the artists who make the music. Since I’m not into “pop” music too much, I don’t have much interest in this as well.
For developers, a big change is now you don’t need to have a membership for the Apple Developer Program to test apps you write on your iDevice. But if you do want to put your app in the Mac App Store or iOS App Store you will need to pay $99/year. Prior to Monday, you had to pay $99 for the iOS App Developer program and $99 for the Mac App Developer program. If you had membership in both, you’ll automatically be extended. Also, Swift was upgraded to version 2.0 and will be open source which means you’ll be able to write apps in Swift for OS X, iOS and Linux.
Overall, I’m looking forward to the changes to OS X, iOS and the Apple Developer Program.
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