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Apple WWDC cheat sheet: The major announcements

Updated Jun 8th, 2015 9:43AM EDT
WWDC 2015 Preview iOS 9 Apple Music

WWDC 2015 is kicking off on Monday and Apple is expected to make several major new announcements that will set the stage for its big fall product launches this year. Below we’ll give you the lowdown on the biggest announcements we expect to see at WWDC 2015.

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iOS 9: Apple’s smartphone and tablet OS will get a new update at WWDC although we don’t expect that it will represent a massive overhaul as iOS 7 and iOS 8 have been over the past two years. Instead, Apple is reportedly working on delivering a more stable release that will hopefully not have many of the issues that plagued the first versions of iOS 7 and iOS 8.

That said, iOS 9 is expected to get some new features such as native Force Touch compatibility that will let iPhone users take advantage of the same Force Touch controls on the Apple Watch; a multi-user mode for iPads similar to the one that Android tablets have had for years now; the addition of something called Proactive that Apple has designed to be a proper rival to Google Now; a feature called Rootless that will bar access to certain files even from administrative-level users; various security improvements such as stronger Wi-Fi encryption through the Trusted Wi-Fi feature and a more secure method of iCloud syncing; and mass transit information for Apple Maps.

OS X 10.11: Unlike with iOS 9, we really don’t have much of an idea what new features OS X 10.11 will bring. In general, leaks have pointed to general stability and security improvements, including adding the Trusted Wi-Fi and Rootless features that it’s created for iOS 9.

Apple Music: At last, Apple looks set to offer a proper Spotify rival with the launch of Apple Music. The service will be based on the Beats Music streaming service that Apple acquired when it bought Beats last year. The pricing for the service will reportedly be at $9.99 to match what Spotify is offering and Apple is reportedly working on getting artist exclusives for the service that will draw more people to subscribe. There will be no free tier for the service but there will be a free three-month trial that will give you plenty of time to try it out and see if it’s worth your money.

Apple Music is going to launch alongside the release of iOS 8.4 in late June so we won’t have to wait until iOS 9 launches this fall to start using it.

Apple Watch SDK: Apple is planning to unveil an Apple Watch SDK at WWDC 2015 that will give developers native code to use for their apps and will also give them access to the device’s native sensors, such as the Digital Crown. The plan is to have the SDK come out of preview sometime in the fall, presumably alongside the final version of iOS 9. This should hopefully improve the quality of third-party Apple Watch apps, which many early adopters have said are a weak point of the device.

And finally, here’s something we don’t expect to hear about — the new Apple TV set-top box and the Apple TV streaming service. While reports have suggested that Apple is still on track to launch both of these products in the fall, they apparently aren’t ready to be shown off publicly just year.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.

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