Apple WWDC on Music, El Capitan, Watch: live blog recap – USA TODAY
Apple (AAPL) announced a revamped streaming music service with the unveiling of Apple Music during the keynote of its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday.
The service will boast more than 30 million songs when it launches on June 30 for Apple devices, Windows and Android this fall. It will cost $9.99 a month. Users can also sign up for a family plan accommodating up to six family members for $14.99 a month.
For a breakdown of how the keynote unfolded, check out our updates below:
3:21 p.m.: Cook wraps up the keynote with a live performance from The Weeknd, with a world premiere of his next song.
3:18 p.m.: Cue confirms it will launch June 30 in 100 countries for Apple devices, Windows and Android in the fall. It’s $9.99 a month, but the first three months will be free. Families will have a separate plan at $14.99, allowing six family members to get their own accounts and libraries.
3:13 p.m.: As Cue demonstrates, the app will boasts exclusive performances and other downloads through the Connect option. It also boasts Search and Siri support. You can ask for specific songs or queries like “play the top 10 songs in alternative,” as Cue shows.
3:10 p.m.: As Cue continues to demonstrate Apple Music, a press release offers more details on what to expect from Apple Music. It will launch June 30 for $9.99 a month (or $14.99 for a family plan) and feature more than 30 million songs. The release says Apple Music will appear on all Apple devices as well as PCs and Android phones, noting availability for Android and Apple TV is coming this fall.
3:03 p.m.: Drake talks about how the arrival of Connect came at the perfect time, as he continues working on his new album. “This is something that simplifies everything for the modern musician like myself and the modern consumer like you.”
3:01 p.m.: Cue shifts to Connect, where artists can upload songs, videos or photos directly to fans. Drake takes the stage to talk more. “What an honor it is to be in this room,” he says.
2:59 p.m.: Eddy Cue appears to discuss Apple Music, which includes My Music, featuring recently added songs and purchases. Users can search and stream millions of songs on iTunes. It will include For You, which includes recommendations based on personal tastes. There’s also Beats1, the 24/7 radio station. “Internet radio isn’t really radio,” says Cue. “It’s just a playlist of songs.”
2:53 p.m.: Iovine returns to talk more. “You need a human touch,” says Iovine about giving users the right songs and playlists at the right time.
2:51 p.m.: Trent Reznor is collaborating with Apple on the Apple Music app. The service will leverage the iTunes library, and include a 24/7 radio station from DJs worldwide. There’s also Connect, where artists can share songs or other content with fans. “For fans, we tried to create a complete experience,” says Reznor.
2:50 p.m.: “Technology and art can work together, at least at Apple,” says Iovine, noting the state of music is a “fragmented mess.”
2:49 p.m.: Cook confirms the launch of Apple Music. He introduces Jimmy Iovine, who joined Apple following the acquisition of Beats Electronics last year.
2:47 p.m.: Apple kicks off another video, looking at the history of music. Because why not. Meanwhile, Apple launched a page for the beta software program, for users who want to test out the new iOS or OS X early.
2:45 p.m.: Tim Cook is back. “Before we close this morning, we do have one more thing,” Cook says. Music time?
2:44 p.m.: Lynch now uses instant messaging app WeChat to record an audio response and sending it. Users can also use stickers, navigating with the digital crown and using with the touchscreen. Video app Vine is also available, allowing users to watch videos from their wrist.
2:39 p.m.: Lynch moving to a demo of how native apps will work on the Apple Watch. He starts by creating a photo face, choosing a photo then cropping it as a watch face. Next, he goes forward in time to determine whether his watch will have enough battery life by the time of his upcoming flight. He then replies to a message by using Siri. Minus the Siri delay, works pretty well.
2:35 p.m.: The Watch will support rewards cards from Apple Pay, and pull them up directly without the phone. Transit directions from Maps will also appear.
2:33 p.m.: A new user interface called Nightstand mode will display the time while it’s charging, basically turning it into an alarm clock. The new version of watchOS will also let users make Facetime audio calls or reply to emails via the watch.
2:31 p.m.: Lynch says users will soon be able to choose their own options that appear on the face, including sports and weather. It will also include Time Travel, to go forward or backward through time using the digital crown. Rotating the crown shows future events, for example.
2:28 p.m.: Kevin Lynch appears to talk about the Watch. He starts with enhancements, including new watchfaces featuring photos or photo albums and time-lapse faces with images that match the time.
2:26 p.m.: Cook is back to discuss watchOS, the operating system for Apple Watch. As Cook noted earlier, native apps will make their debut. “For us, this is a giant moment.”
2:22 p.m.: Apps earning comparisons in the video to the spread of electricity to the masses and the invention of the microscope and telescope.
2:20 p.m.: “The app store continues to be the most profitable app marketplace on the planet,” says Cook, presenting a video about developer impact.
2:18 p.m.: Tim Cook returns to the stage to talk more about iOS apps. Cook says the company has paid $30 billion to developers, while the App Store topped 100 billion downloads.
2:16 p.m.: Federighi says Swift, the programming language used by developers, will go open source, generating the most applause. This is a developers conference, after all. Standard libraries and the compiler will be available at the end of the year for iOS, OS X and Linux.
2:14 p.m.: Moving to CarPlay, the software designed for cars will support apps from car makers, while future cars will include CarPlay without needing the user’s smartphone.
2:12 p.m.: Games will add ReplayKit, which will let users record gameplay and share it. It also includes GameplayKit for enhanced artificial intelligence.
2:10 p.m.: Moving on to battery life, Federighi says iOS 9 will include Low Power Mode, which adds three hours of life. The update also adds two-factor authentication and will be smaller overall. Instead of 4.6 GB for iOS 8, the iOS 9 update will be 1.3 GB
2:08 p.m.: The iPad also includes picture in picture, demonstrated with the WatchESPN app and Mail. Users can move the smaller video to any location they want, Federighi says. A quick tap removes the video.
2:06 p.m.: Users will be able to pull up two apps side by side, using a slider in the middle to go fullscreen with the app of their choice when needed.
2:03 p.m.: The iPad will finally including app multitasking. A demo shows options including a simple task switcher and a slide over feature where users can swipe from the right to quickly enter other apps like Calendar or Mail.
2:02 p.m.: The iPad will introduce a trackpad, accessible on the keyboard by placing two fingers on top. Hooking up physical keyboards is easier, too, says Federighi. Shortcuts for app switching and searching in spotlight have been added.
1:59 p.m.: Federighi returns to discuss some of the early partners for the News app, including Conde Nast and The New York Times. It rolls out in the U.S., U.K. and Australia to start. Now, it’s iPad time.
1:57 p.m.: An Explore tab will offer new publishers and topics based on what the user reads. News tracks more than a million topics.
1:55 p.m.: News will create personal feeds based on reading habits, says Prescott. Stories are more colorful and animated compared to other apps, reminiscent of reading apps like Flipboard.
1:53 p.m.: Federighi says they will introduce a News app, something Apple has been “wanting to do for years.” Content from “the world’s greatest sources” will be available. It will boast custom layouts and more interactive. Susan Prescott, who runs News, takes the stage for a demo.
1:52 p.m.: A handful of cities will include Transit directions in the U.S. and China. Search has improved, allowing users to seek out locations with a tap. If it’s a merchant, Maps will tell you if they support Apple Pay.
1:51 p.m.: Federighi now looking at Maps, which will feature Transit directions. It’s about time.
1:49 p.m.: Federighi is back to discuss changes to current apps, including Notes, which boast features such as drawing within the app or adding links.
1:48 p.m.: Store credit and debit cards from companies including Kohls will be supported, says Bailey. Also, the Passbook app will get a new name: Wallet.
1:46 p.m.: Bailey says Apple Pay will launch in the U.K. next month. More than 250,000 merchants will support the service when it launches. The London Transportation System will also support Apple Pay.
1:45 p.m.: Payment processing company Square will unveil a card reader that supports Apple Pay, says Bailey. Several apps will support Apple Pay from within the app itself, including Pinterest with its buyable pins.
1:44 p.m.: Jennifer Bailey, vice president of Apple Pay, is up next to discuss big updates. Discover has been added among credit card vendors that will appear on Apple Pay. Several new merchants such as Trader Joes, Baskin Robbins and JC Penney’s will join later this year.
1:42 p.m.: Federighi says privacy is a priority with the updates. “It stays on device under your control,” says Federighi of user data on the phone.
1:40 p.m.: Federighi is doing a deep dive into how iOS 9 works, including the enhancements to search. It appears to move a lot quicker, while search appears more useful.
1:35 p.m.: When users search, Siri will make suggestions make on user patterns, such as contacts or apps. Video search and sports search is also supported. Federighi says. There’s also now a Search API that allows third-party apps to leverage the feature.
1:32 p.m.: The priority for iOS 9 is to boost intelligence and performance. Federighi starts with Siri, which serves more than 1 billion requests a week. Siri’s 40% faster at responding to users, he says. It appears to work a lot faster, and is better at taking reminders. Federighi says the system will be more “proactive.” For example, if you listen to music in the morning, your device will automatically play music when your headphones plug in.
1:30 p.m.: El Capitan will launch in public beta in July. Federighi moves on to iOS. He says 83% of active iOS users have upgraded to iOS 8.
1:28 p.m.: Epic’s Unreal Engine — which powers several high-profile video game properties — will be available for the Mac soon. Blizzard, 2K and Unity will also bring their gaming engines to Mac because of Metal, says Federighi.
1:25 p.m.: Epic Games’ Josh Adams and Billy Bramer on stage to showcase how the graphic processing software Metal will work on Mac. The demonstration focuses on Fortnite, the next game from Epic for PCs. The concept requires players to gather resources and create a custom fort.
1:22 p.m.: Federighi shifts to the performance on El Capitan. App switching is twice as fast, and opening PDFs in Preview is four times as fast.
1:20 p.m.: Federighi moves on to windows management, saying Mission Control will be more streamlined and simpler to use. He’s using a touch trackpad to perform gestures that bring windows to the forefront. Working on two windows side by side is easier as well. Federighi simply drops an app on one side and the screen automatically sizes both apps to fit side by side.
1:18 p.m.: Federighi demonstrates Spotlight Search, starting with the San Francisco Giants, followed by a weather search. It’s more specific, allowing people to find exactly what they’re looking for, he says.
1:16 p.m.: Federighi says El Capitan managing windows and spotlight search have been improved, as well as introduces new built-in apps. It will feature new gestures such as swipes left and right, similar to iOS. Safari will include pinned sites that instantly load when the browser boots up.
1:14 p.m.: Federighi says the Yosemite update for OS X boasted the fastest adoption rate ever on a personal computer. The follow up will be called OS X El Capitan.
1:12 p.m.: “Everything is going great,” Cook says of Apple’s progress, noting the Apple Watch will get native apps soon. Craig Federighi on stage to talk iOS and OS X.
1:11 p.m.: Cook starts with the story of Cleveland Indians player Brandon Moss, who hit his 100th homerun. After the ball landed in the Indians’ bullpen, his teammates decided to hold the ball for ransom in exchange for a variety of Apple products including iPads and Apple Watches. Cook says they’ll pay the ransom, concluding by pulling out the home run ball.
1:09 p.m.: Cook says they will not only live stream the keynote address, but more than 30 sessions from the conference.
1:05 p.m.: Cook pops up on stage to start the keynote. Lots of applause from the developers in the crowd. “This developer conference continues to be the epicenter of change not only for Apple but the industry,” says Cook, noting attendees from 70 countries are at the event. “Our most global conference ever.”
1:03 p.m.: No surprise here: Apple kicks off with a video, spoofing the behind-the-scenes prep with Bill Hader as director of the event.
Apple will stream the event on its website, but comes a few caveats. You can only watch it on Apple TV, or on an Apple computer or mobile device running the Safari web browser.
The WWDC keynote is where Apple offers the first details on its latest version of iOS, the operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad. It’s likely Apple will also reveal refinements to the Apple Watch, which launched earlier this year.
But the biggest announcement might be the unveiling of its streaming music service, leveraging its acquisition of Beats Electronics last year for $3 billion. Recent reports suggest the service will cost $10 a month, but include a free option with a smaller selection of songs along with stations curated by human DJs.
As for iOS 9, the next version of its operating system, it’s expected to run more efficiently that previous releases as well as take up less space. Analysts also expect improved notifications and changes to the keyboard.
As for Apple TV, the company’s set-top box for streaming video? Don’t hold your breath for any announcements. Several reports have suggested the company is planning to revamp the device and launch its own streaming TV service.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.
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