If you use any Apple products, or are thinking about using Apple products, you’ll be excited to learn what Apple announced this week at its World Wide Developers Conference. Changes, new services, and updates to its Mac, iPhone and iPad operating systems mean the future will be different.
Apple announced updates for its iPhone, iPad, Mac computers and Watch that will make these devices run faster and more smoothly. These updates, due in the fall, add new features that may make life easier for you!
Apple also introduced a streaming music service launching June 30 that may change the way you listen to your favorite tunes.
iOS 9 brings you not only new apps but also new features to existing apps. Apple’s apps become more useful and new apps bring new utility to your devices.
Apple will be offering a News app, similar to Zite and Flipboard, that will give you the news you’re interested in based on the categories you choose. The app promises news from top publishers including The New York Times, Conde Nast, ESPN, CNN, Bloomberg, Time Inc, and Hearst, with more publishers by launch.
You can apply to be an Apple News Publisher to have your content included in the News app. Find out more at the Apple Publisher Developer site.
News monitors over a million topics and tries to learn what interests you most. Choose from categories such as business, politics, technology, arts & entertainment, fashion and sports.
Choose your favorite topics and publishers to see a home page of articles you’re most interested in reading.You can bookmark articles to read later and share them with others.
Apple’s Notes app has always offered very basic note-taking capabilities but now the app may become a serious contender to Evernote. Notes is being beefed up to make it more powerful and useful.
Beginning in iOS 9 you’ll be able to add photos, maps and web addresses to your notes. Lists can become checklists so you can mark off your to-do lists. You’ll be able to draw in the app so if writing or sketching is easier for you, go for it!
Tapping the Sharing button from another app lets you add that information to your notes. You’ll also be able to search your notes to find items.
You can sync your notes to iCloud so they’ll be available across all of your devices.
Apple Maps will include public transit information so you can plan your trips on buses, subways and trains in some cities around the world. You can use Siri to help you find directions, including for mass transit.
Maps will also include a Nearby feature so you can find restaurants, shops and more near where you are.
Your iPhone Maps app will sync with your Mac Maps app so you can plan your route on your computer and having it available when you’re on the go.
Moving from Android to iPhone
Thinking of switching from Android to iPhone? Apple’s going to make that process easier for you. Apple has a new Move to iOS app for transferring your stuff from your Android phone to your iPhone, including “contacts, message history, camera photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, wallpaper, and DRM-free songs and books.”
Any free apps you used on Android, such as Facebook or Twitter, will be suggested to you in iTunes for easy download onto your iPhone. Any paid apps will be added to your Wish List.
Passbook has been re-named Wallet (not to be confused with Google Wallet) and will be merged with Apple Pay. You’ll be able to pay for your items using more credit cards, including store credit cards, and use your loyalty cards as well.
Double-tapping the home button allows you to access Wallet from your lock screen so you don’t have to unlock the phone to access your loyalty cards.
Longer Battery Life
iOS 9 will extend the battery life of your device, up to one hour. You’ll get a low power mode to make your battery last even longer. Your phone will also turn off notifications when it’s face-down on a surface, further saving battery life.
With iOS 9 you’ll be able to set 6-digit passcodes to unlock your device. You’ll be able to use two-step verification to authenticate your identity when you log into iCloud on a new device.
iPad Does Double-Duty
You’ll be able to make the most of your iPad’s screen by opening apps side-by-side with Split View. You can multi-task by having two apps open at the same time and interact with each one separately. Open a video and have it play in a separate window on top while you use an app in the background.
If you have an older Apple device, don’t fret. Apple is not making any device obsolete with iOS 9. The updated operating system will be able to work on iPhones back to the 4S and iPads back to the iPad 2. The iPod Touch 5th generation will also be supported.
iOS 9 is due to be released in the fall of 2015.
Mac OS X El Capitan
Your Mac will be getting a refresh too with the latest version of its operating system called El Capitan, adding speed and functionality. El Capitan will be released sometime this fall.
If you like to multi-task, check out Split View that automatically sizes two windows to fill your computer screen. Have the Internet open in one screen and an app open in the other.
You’ll get a new view of open windows with Mission Control. You’ll see all of your open windows on your screen and be able to move them to a new desktop more easily.
Searching on your Mac will be easier with Spotlight. You can use normal language to search for files, such as “the document I drafted yesterday”. Search results will include results from more sources, including sports scores, weather, stock prices and more.
Apple is also updating the operating system for its Watch.
You’ll get a choice of new faces for your watch, including videos from major cities, your favorite photo, or a slide show of your favorite photos.
Apple is allowing developers to create complications for their apps so you may be able to add data from your favorite apps on to your Watch face. You may be able to get information about an upcoming flight, sports scores, stock prices, etc. on your Watch face.
No, the Apple Watch won’t let you go Back to the Future, but it will be able to show you what’s in store for you and what you’ve done in the past few days. With Time Travel you spin the bezel to see appointments, weather and news for the past few days or see what lies ahead for the next few days.
Your Watch no longer has to sleep when it’s plugged in to recharge. Turn your Watch into an alarm clock in Nightstand Mode. You can have the display show the time and set an alarm to wake you in the morning.
Better App Performance
The new operating system will allow certain apps to run directly on the Watch so there isn’t a delay in connecting to your phone to get data.
If Google Music, Amazon Music, Spotify, Pandora and your iTunes Library aren’t enough for you, then good news! Apple will be introducing its streaming music service June 30 called Apple Music.
Millions of tracks will be available and you can listen to tunes and playlists picked by famous artists. You can listen to Apple Music radio that plays globally 24/7.
Apple Music is a paid service with a free trial for three months. A single subscription costs $9.99 and a family subscription will run you $14.99. A free radio station with ads will also be available.
Which new features are you most excited about getting this fall? Which ones would you use the most? Are there any features you’d like to see Apple introduce? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments section below!