5 most important announcements at WWDC 2015
WWDC 2015 keynote: Where and when to watch
WWDC 2015 starts today at 6pm UK time with a keynote speech from Tim Cook. We’ll be covering the announcements live on Twitter, and you can watch the whole thing using an Apple device from Apple’s website. You will also be able to watch from an Apple TV from the Apple Events channel.
If you don’t have an Apple device, you can watch the WWDC keynote on Windows or Linux using VLC Media Player. Once the keynote has started, use the “open network stream” option and paste in the URL of the stream, which should be:
We’ll be covering the event live on Twitter and posting news as it breaks on this page, so come back regularly for the headlines. Our sister title IT Pro will also be live-blogging the event on their WWDC news page, so check them out too.
What is going to happen at WWDC 2015?
This year’s conference and keynote is expected to see the arrival of iOS 8.4 (not iOS 9), OS X 11, an updated Apple TV and my personal favourite: news about Apple HomeKit.
WWDC 2015: iOS 8.4/iOS 9
Despite many rumours suggesting that iOS 9 would be launching at WWDC, it looks as though Apple will release iOS 8.4 instead, saving the iOS 9 beta for a few months’ time.
iOS 8.4 will still carry some heavy updates. Chief among these will be the inclusion of Apple’s new music-streaming service. It isn’t clear what the name for this service will be just yet, but I wouldn’t bet against something original such as Apple Music.
Apple Music, as we’ll refer to it for now, is set to have a strong social theme, with accredited artists having control over their own pages. The idea is that musicians can create playlists, share photos, videos and updates to their fans directly through the service.
The remaining two updates involve Siri and Maps. Siri is expected to receive a makeover to bring it into line with Apple Watch’s styling, and Apple Maps will feature live bus and train information too.
It will be possible to update all devices back to the iPhone 4s and iPad 2 to iOS 8.4. However, when iOS 9 launches several months from now, the aforementioned devices will fall victim to the OS updates, making it a Lightning-cable-only update.
WWDC 2015: OS X 10.11
A new version of OS X is almost certain to make an appearance at WWDC 2015. What Apple will choose to name it is another matter; we predict it will be named after another beautiful Californian National Park.
The current OS, Yosemite, underwent a pretty significant design update in 2014, and while it was widely well received, there were some complaints about its performance. As a result of this, we expect design tweaks will be kept to a minimum this year, with the focus instead on optimising the OS’s performance.
There’s also a bit of an elephant in the room with the current OS X. There’s no Siri, which is bizarre, considering it’s a feature that Apple hails as incredible on every other platform. But that’s set to change with OS X 10.11, and it’s about time too.
WWDC 2015: Apple TV
There’s been a lot of talk lately about launching an actual Apple TV. One with a 4K screen. Sadly, “talk” is where this rumour starts and ends. Market/network fragmentation has led Apple to decide that a 4K Apple TV wouldn’t be able to define itself in a crowded marketplace.
There’ll probably be a redesigned Apple TV set-top box, however. It will be slimmer, equipped with an iPod-esque remote control, and will integrate with Siri.
Perhaps the most significant news for Apple TV is the release of a new SDK, rumoured to be called TVKit. Apple TV is currently behind the competition –the likes of Chromecast, Roku and Amazon Fire TV – when it comes to third-party apps. Opening up the hardware to developers with an improved SDK is exactly what’s needed to revive Apple TV from its current slumber.
WWDC 2015: HomeKit
What excites me most about this year’s conference is the news surrounding Apple HomeKit. First announced at the same event last year, Apple is expected to reveal more about its vision to put your iOS device at the centre of your connected home.
Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller said the following about the program: “we already have dozens of partners who have committed to bringing HomeKit accessories to market, and we’re looking forward to the first ones coming next month.”
I have a feeling that we’re going to be blown away by what HomeKit has to offer this year.
WWDC 2015: Apple Pay rewards programme
Apple is reportedly planning to add a new rewards programme to its wireless payment system, Apple Pay.
According to The New York Times, one of the big announcements at WWDC will centre on the addition of a rewards programme for the mobile wallet service.
The article cites two unnamed sources allegedly briefed on the product, although it doesn’t give any indication what shape these rewards may take. If true, the move towards a rewards programme will be taken as a clear challenge to Google’s overhauled Android Pay, which is expected to be launched at the Google I/O 2015.
A rewards scheme could entice customers to use Apple Pay rather than competing services, cash or standard credit cards. The fact that Apple Pay can only be used on the latest mobile devices and with a limited number of retailers has, up to now, prevented the technology becoming ubiquitous.
That said, Apple Pay has seen a steady increase in the US. A recent report by the Auriemma Consulting Group claimed that 46% of iPhone 6 users in the US have successfully used Apple Pay. According to Marianne Berry, managing director of ACG’s Payment Insights practice, the base of the service “is broadening from the tech-savvy early adopters”. A rewards scheme could therefore be the thing that tips Apple Pay into the mainstream.
WWDC 2015: Apple Watch font for iOS 9 and OS X 10.11
To go along with the compact Apple Watch display, Apple developed the San Francisco font that, according to the developer site, was “designed specifically for legibility”.
Now the Apple Watch font looks set to replace the standard Helvetica Neue font currently used on iOS and OS X.
According to 9to5Mac, San Francisco could be getting its debut at WWDC. Citing unnamed sources, the Apple news site suggests that the rollout of San Francisco will serve to refresh the look of Apple’s operating systems and prevent iOS and OS X from becoming stale.
WWDC 2015: iPad Pro
Bad news. This isn’t the event where you’re likely to see a new iPad. Certainly not the iPad Pro. If (and that’s a big if) there will be a 12in iPad coming in 2015, then it’s going to launch in the autumn, alongside or after, the iPhone 6s/7.
Go to the next page for: A brief history of WWDC
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