Apple held its annual World Wide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco over the weekend and announced a slew of brand new software updates across all of your favourite Apple devices from desktops to mobiles. We’ve got all the coolest announcements in one place.
The next version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 9, will be released during spring this year. Changes abound in this new version with Apple touting both improved search functionality and an upgraded version of Siri without any compromises to user security.
Multitasking on the iPad has gotten an update so that you can now use two applications simultaneously, either side-by-side or using picture-in-picture. Perfect for watching a video while still browsing the web or emailing.
The on-board apps have seen a few changes too with Apple Maps getting more detailed transit info, plus a complete redesign of the Notes application and a brand new News app that Apple claims is “the best news reading experience on any mobile device.”
“iOS 9 is packed with more intelligence throughout, and delivers big updates to the apps customers use most — Maps supports public transit, a redesigned Notes app provides great new ways to capture ideas, and a beautiful News app delivers content that’s personalised to your interests,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “With our new iPad features, users can take advantage of the power of iPad, working in two apps at the same time with Split View, Slide Over or Picture-in-Picture.”
Apple Pay is getting full-fledged functionality with a wallet app that will allow users to store their cards for fast payment at store checkouts. It’s an extremely cool feature but Apple have since confirmed that it won’t be making its way to Australia just yet.
Finally, Apple says that iOS 9 will be far more efficient, taxing your battery less and introducing a low power mode to help you squeeze a bit more juice out of your device. Software updates will be a bit lighter too, becoming smaller downloads and requiring less space to install.
The first major software update for the Apple Watch will arrive alongside iOS 9 in spring year. The good news for developers is that the WatchKit API is already available so you can start building apps for watchOS 2 right now. The update will include new watch faces, the ability to turn a photo into a watch face, third-party app info will appear as watch face complications and a wealth of new features for Mail, Friends and Digital Touch. You’ll be able to use your Digital Crown in conjunction with the calendar app in what’s called Time Travel, letting you jump back and forth in time to various events, appointments and meetings, weather updates and even flight information.
“We are thrilled with the feedback we’re getting from Apple Watch customers, and after just a few weeks of availability we’re excited for developers to start building native apps for watchOS 2,” said Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of Technology. “We think Apple Watch users will love being able to see information from their favourite apps right on the watch face, and enjoy the many new experiences developers will dream up now that they have access to even more innovative features of Apple Watch.”
OS X El Capitan
iMac and MacBook owners aren’t getting left out in the cold with the next version of OS X, called El Capitan, set to take over from current version OS X Yosemite. Apple says the new update will enhance window management and bring significant updates to on-board applications and Spotlight searches. El Capitan also comes loaded for bear with Metal, Apple’s graphics tech that allows for big performance improvements and a better environment for gaming and powerful apps used by creatives the world over.
“OS X delivers unparalleled integration between Mac hardware, iOS devices, apps and online services, and has helped Mac sales outpace the PC industry every year for the last decade,” said Federighi. “Customers loved last year’s landmark OS X Yosemite release and made it the fastest-adopted PC operating system ever. With El Capitan, we’re further refining the Mac experience with enhancements to window management, Spotlight and built-in apps, and improving performance so everyday activities — from launching apps to accessing email — are faster and more responsive.”
El Capitan’s changes and refinements are everywhere, from a new system font called San Franciso to a completely redesigned and easier-to-use Mission Control screen. If you find you’ve got too much going on at once, drag the window to the top of the screen to add it to your Spaces Bar. Spaces allows you to properly group applications to keep things from getting cluttered. Split View is another new feature that will let you place two windows on your screen, side-by-side and in full screen, in order to have both applications running together without having to switch between them.
The on-board apps have gotten a bit of a spruce up too with Safari now featuring Pinned Sites, which will keep your favourite sites tabbed and open (though no word on how this will affect Safari’s memory use) plus a mute button to make any noisy tab clam up. Mail now comes with Smart Suggestions that will scan each mail for recognisable names or events and prompt you to add them to contacts or calendar with ease. You only have to swipe on your Magic Mouse or Track Pad to delete mail the same way you do in iOS. Photos now has a bunch of new sort options to help you keep track of your moments more efficiently.
Notes now lets you drag and drop photos, PDFs, videos and various other files into the app, as well as adding content from other apps like Safari or Maps via the Share menu. Checklists can be created with ease and the Attachments Browser lets you look through all your attached files at a glance. iCloud syncs your notes across all of your devices.
No confirmed release date yet, but Apple says it will also release in spring.