Everything You Need To Know From Today’s Apple WWDC Keynote

0/44 Replay Gallery More Galleries

Everything You Need To Know From Today’s Apple WWDC Keynote


WWDC 2015

It’s that time again! Today was Apple’s 2015 WWDC Conference, where Apple announces just about everything the company has been working on for the last few months.

That tends to mean a lot of news. Too busy for all that? We get it! That’s why we’ve wrapped up everything they announced today in bite-sized bits for your rapid fire perusal.


The Next Version Of OS X

Apple announced OS X 10.11, or “OS X El Capitan”.

The name tells you quite a bit about the update itself. OS X 10.10 was “OS X Yosemite”. “El Capitan” is a big ol’ rock formation inside Yosemite National park. Much like how “Snow Leopard” was a small(ish) update to OS X Leopard, El Capitan is a relatively small upgrade from Yosemite. It focuses on 3 key things…


#1: Spotlight Improvements

Spotlight is getting more intelligent search, allowing for more natural search queries. You can search for things like “Photos from July”, and it’ll parse it properly.

These search improvements extend to apps like Mail, where queries like “Show me emails from Bill that I never read” will work.


#2: Built-In App Improvements

Some of OS X’s built in apps are getting overhauled.  Examples:

– Mail is getting a Mailbox-esque swipe interaction. Swipe left on a message to delete it, swipe right to mark as new.

– Safari will help you find tabs that are making noise


#3: Window Management

You can now snap applications to an edge of your screen by dragging them to one side of the display. This will automatically resize them to take up half of your screen; meanwhile, a list of other open apps will pop up to offer up all the apps you might want filling the other half.



Performance in OS X, meanwhile, is said to be greatly improved.

– Apps launch 1.4x faster
– Apps switch 2x faster
– PDFs open in Preview 4x faster


OS X Adoption Rate

Apple also took a second to highlight just how fast OS X Yosemite is being adopted: amongst active Mac users, 55% were on Yosemite within 8 months.


Metal For OS X

Apple is bringing Metal to OS X. Metal is a low-level API that debuted on iOS and brings vast performance enhancements by letting devs write code that executes “close to the metal”. Sound complicated? Just think “faster apps” and “prettier games”


Coming This Fall

OS X El Capitan ships to developers today, rolls into a public beta in July, and will be available for free to everyone sometime this Fall.


iOS 9

Not letting OS X hog all the spotlight, iOS is getting the upgrade treatment as well.


Siri Is Getting Smarter

In an effort to make Siri a “proactive assistant”, Siri is getting quite a bit smarter. You’ll be able to say things like “remind me of this when I get to my car”, and Siri will act accordingly.

If you’re looking at a text, or a web page, or an email, you can say “Remind me of this later”  and Siri will understand that “this” refers to that specific thing.


Phone Number Recognition

The Phone dialer app will be able to recognize and identify phone numbers that aren’t in your contacts, to some degree.

Apple doesn’t want to transmit every incoming phone number for privacy reasons — so instead, it digs into your email inbox and tries to match numbers to names it finds in there. All of this data stays on your device, and never gets sent back to Apple.


Search Overhaul

The search screen is getting an overhaul. It’ll now show your most frequent contacts, along with apps that you usually use at this time of day.


Search API

Meanwhile, third party developers will finally be able to hook into iOS’ built in search functionality.

A search for “potato”, for example, found a recipe within the Yumly app. The results deeplink to the appropriate place within the app — so tapping that Baked Potato Chips item would drop you right into the recipe within Yumly


Apple Pay Coming To UK

Apple Pay is coming to the UK next month. Commuters will be able to pay fares on London’s public transit system using Apple Pay, and Apple is promising support from over 250,000 merchant locations.


Apple Pay-compatible Square Reader

Square is launching a new tap-to-pay reader this fall, which will allow small businesses/food trucks/etc to easily start accepting Apple Pay.


Loyalty Programs

Meanwhile, Apple Pay is picking up support for loyalty and rewards programs. As part of this, Apple’s “Passbook” app is being renamed “Wallet”


Notes Overhaul

iOS 9’s built-in Notes app is getting support for text formatting (bold/italics/etc), checklists (because we all use it for shopping lists anyway), and doodles.


New Maps App with Transit!

iOS lost built-in public transit support years ago, when Apple switch away from Google Maps. It’s finally coming back.

The new Maps app will give you step-by-step transit directions — hell, it’ll even tell you where to go within many popular transit stations. No more trying to figure out which friggin’ station exit you need!


Apple Goes After Flipboard

Look out, Flipboard! Apple is getting into the news reader business with a new app, aptly dubbed “News”. It’ll accept feeds from most popular blogs, but publishers can also custom format content specifically for the app to gain stuff like image galleries and inline video playback.


iPad Changes

While most of the improvements in iOS 9 are coming to all iOS 9-compatible devices, a few are iPad-specific. Such as…



The keyboard is getting a bit of an overhaul, with built-in copy/paste/formatting buttons.

More notably: the keyboard is also now a trackpad. If you swipe with two fingers, you can quickly move and control that blinking cursor within your text.


Deeper Hardware Keyboard Support

Do you use a bluetooth keyboard with your iPad? Good news! The iPad is getting a few new tricks for you, too: things like improved shortcut keys, and a OS X-esque cmd-tab app switcher.


Split Screen iPad Apps

Perhaps the biggest feature of all, and something that has been rumored for ages: the iPad is getting split screen apps.

You’ll now be able to run two apps at once, side by side. Here, for example, is the Notes app running beside a browser window. And better yet….


Picture In Picture Video

It’s also getting picture-in-picture video playback. Want to watch Orange Is The New Black while you browse the web? Sure!

The PIP box can be dragged around the screen, as well as resized.



Sadly, split screen apps are limited to the latest/most powerful iPad hardware: the iPad Air 2.


iOS 9 Availability

iOS 9 is available to developers today. In a first for iOS, it’ll also be available as a public beta for those who opt-in sometime in July. For everyone else, it comes in July.

The full list of devices it’ll support is pictured to the left.


CarPlay Goes Wireless

Traditionally requiring a cable, Apple’s in-car entertainment system is going wireless. You’ll be able to keep your phone in your backpack and have it take over the CarPlay-compatible screen in your dash…


Swift 2

Apple also announce Swift 2, the second iteration of their new programming language. It has faster compile times, mutability warnings, and a bunch of other stuff that Swift devs should love


Swift Goes Open Source

It’s also going open source some time in Late 2015.


App Store Downloads

In a quick aside, Tim Cook also mentioned that the App Store recently passed its 100 billionth download. Meanwhile, they’ve paid out over $30 Billion dollars to developers.


watchOS 2

Along with OS X and iOS, the OS behind the Apple Watch — now dubbed watchOS — is also getting an upgrade. This comes 6 weeks after the launch of the watch.


New Watch Faces

You’ll be able to make custom watch faces from your photos, or rotate between the photos in an album.



Third party developers will be able to build Apple Watch “complications” — which is a fancy way of saying “things that appear on your watch face”. Expect ESPN to build a sports score complication, for example.


Time Travel

You can now “time travel” on your watch face, allowing you to scrub back/forward through time and adjust complications accordingly. Roll back 30 minutes, for example, and that temperature gauge would show how cold it was 30 minutes prior. Roll forward 30 minutes, and it’ll show a weather prediction.



Nightstand Mode

You can now more easily use your Apple Watch as an tableside clock/alarm while it charges.


Facetime Audio Calls

You can now make/receive Facetime Audio calls through you Apple Watch


Native Watch Apps

Perhaps most important of all (with regards to the Watch stuff): developers can now build native apps for the watch, vastly expanding the possibilities of what can be built.

To date, devs have been limited to a somewhat restricted framework called WatchKit. With native applications, developers can take advantage of all sorts of things for the first time, like the Watch’s built-in mic, speaker, heart rate sensor, accelerometer, and more.


WatchOS 2 Availability

WatchOS 2 will ship this fall


One More Thing

Bringing back a tradition from the Jobs era, Cook acted as if he was done only to pull out “One More Thing…”


Apple Music

As long rumored, Apple is launching a Spotify/Rdio competitor. It’s $9.99 per month, or $14.99 on a family plan (with support for up to 6 accounts)


Apple Music Connect

Curiously, part of Apple Music is “Connect” — a way for artists and fans to, well, connect. If you remember Apple’s failed attempt to launch a social network called “Ping”, its a bit like a second stab at that.


Apple Music Launch

Apple Music will launch on June 30th in over 100 countries.



The keynote ended with a performance by TheWeeknd, who debuted a never-before-heard single. The bass was loud enough that my friggin’ facial hair was vibrating, but it was a damned good performance.