5 insights from Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference

Updates on iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, WatchOS 2 and so much more

Apple’s plans for Beats Music

One of the largest reveals to happen at the WWDC overnight was Apple Music, a new application coming to iPhones, iPads and the iPod Touch with iOS 9. The application focuses squarely on music streaming, radio streaming and bridging the divide between artists and their fans.

Apple’s music catalogue is made up of 30 million songs. Songs from its catalogue will be streamed from the Apple Music app, but the company has gone one further with the launch of Beats 1.

Beats 1 is a radio station hosted by international DJs in New York, Los Angeles and London. It will offer exclusive interviews and guest hosts when it begins streaming to 100 countries from the 30 June.

Apple Music will let artists communicate with their fans. They can share lyrics, backstage photos, videos and go as far as release their favourite songs directly from their iPhone.

Apple Music will be available from 30 June with a free 3-month membership.

Apple is opening up its smartwatch with WatchOS 2

The first major update to come to the Apple Watch will expand the range of watchfaces and allow photos to be used as watch backgrounds. This is a much needed move as the current smartwatch comes with a dozen or so watchfaces.

Arguably the biggest improvements to come to Apple’s Watch will be from third party developers, who will be able to make use of the digital crown, the ‘taptic’ vibrating engine and the heart rate sensor in their applications. Real time updates will be possible too as developers gain access to the complications on a watch face.

Other improvements include a multiple friend panels and a ‘nightstand’ mode, which transforms the watch into a bedside alarm clock.

Picture in picture

Apple iPads and iMacs will be beneficiaries of a feature intended to make people more productive. New modes will make it possible to split a screen between two applications, superimpose one app over another or have a video playback in a small window on top of other applications.

Tying into this update is a revised task switcher for iOS devices and a revamped mission control for Apple Mac, which will be featured in iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan

Read more: 5 ways to extend your smartphone's battery life

Siri and search keeping up with Google Now

Search forms the foundation of Google’s business and it is an area Microsoft is impinging on with the introduction of its Cortana personal assistant in Windows 10.

It makes sense then that Apple is improving its own ‘spotlight’ search tool and its Siri personal assistant with contextual reminders and proactive assistance, the latter of which offers the kind of functionality found in Google Now.

Apple devices will be able to glean calendar appointments, check traffic information and then advise people when it is the best time to leave. Another feature of note is its ability to recognise what song and apps should be played based on where you are and the time of day.

News, News and more News

A redesigned News application will be preinstalled on iOS 9 devices. News from a range of sources will be aggregated into an interface styled after magazines. Twenty publishers with fifty publications have partnered with Apple, including ESPN, The New York Times, Hearst, Time Inc., CNN and Bloomberg.

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