Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is the technology giant’s opportunity to announce its intentions in the coming months and years. It’s the time when the firm makes public the projects and releases it has in the pipeline, and it’s watched with anticipation by Apple fans across the globe. This year’s event took place in San Francisco earlier this month – here are the biggest takeaways from the all-important keynote speech.
New operating systems
The big news from the WWDC was about operating systems. Apple took the opportunity to unveil three new releases – for mobile devices, Mac desktops and laptops, and the Apple Watch. Access to all three has been given to developers as of now, with public beta testing and full availability expected to follow later in the year.
On the mobile front, iOS 9 ups the ante on intelligence, with a focus on allowing devices to learn more about our behavior and so tailor the user experience to suit. At the root of these improvements are upgrades to both Siri and search; expect mobile devices running iOS 9 to be better at launching apps before you realize you need them – great for productivity – and reminding you about (and getting you to) upcoming meetings and appointments. Among other changes, upgrades to the iPad will enable enhanced productivity and multitasking, great news for the hurried business user who needs to make the most of the time available.
The desktop and laptop operating system upgrade to OS X 10.11 is seen as a stepping stone from Yosemite rather than an entirely new approach – but it’s a significant upgrade all the same. Among the most exciting developments are search improvements that will allow you to use natural language when you’re on the hunt for important information and files; likewise, the release is intended to make multitasking across windows even more of a breeze. The productivity and communication apps most commonly used by our business clients – the likes of Mail, Safari and Notes – have also been tuned up both in terms of visible features and behind-the-scenes upgrades to their running speed and overall performance.
Finally, though the Apple Watch might not yet be at the stage of being a game-changer on the office productivity scene, the second release of its operating system lays the way for an enhanced user experience. watchOS 2 will, most crucially, lessen the requirement for you to use your iPhone alongside your watch – one of the notable drawbacks when the watch came on sale – and instead allow the device to do more, and run more apps, on its own.
Apple also used WWDC to reveal details of improvements to Apple Maps that will see the service include transit information for cities including San Francisco, New York and London – making it easier for you to get to your meeting on time if you’re taking public transportation. Equally exciting is the news that Apple Pay continues to grow; the mobile payment system is being rolled out to more and more retailers across the US, and is making the jump across the pond to the United Kingdom, where it’s being rolled out in banks, stores and on public transportation.
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