By Edward Cardenas
SOUTHFIELD (CBS Detroit) – Apple unveiled a new music streaming service Monday along with enhancements to its OS, iOS and Apple Watch operating systems at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference.
Apple Music is the company’s new streaming service which combines a worldwide live radio station from Apple broadcasting 24 hours a day with playlists curated from the user’s favorite bands and genres, behind-the-scenes features and Siri search functions.
“We love music, and the new Apple Music service puts an incredible experience at every fan’s fingertips,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services, in a release. “All the ways people love enjoying music come together in one app — a revolutionary streaming service, live worldwide radio and an exciting way for fans to connect with artists.”
The new service launches June 30, and the first three months of Apple Music will be free. After the trial period, it will be $9.99 a month and $14.99 a month for a family plan which allows up to six people to use the service.
In addition to rolling out a new music service to compete with existing apps such as Pandora and Spotify, Apple previewed enhancements to the Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch operating systems.
This fall Apple will release iOS 9, the new software for its Phone, iPad and iPod touch devices.
Features of the new software include:
- Improved Siri features including new ways to search for photos and videos; enhanced search results and intuitive functions to automatically play a song or display information from an app,
- Multitasking features designed specifically for iPad to allow users to work with two apps simultaneously, side-by-side or in the new Picture-in-Picture feature which allows users to keep watching a video while browsing the web, composing email or using any other app,
- A touch pad feature which makes the screen of an iPad a mouse,
- More detailed transit information in Maps; a redesigned Notes app with new ways to capture ideas, messages and to-do lists, and an all-new News app which provides content from a variety of sources in a dynamic format,
- Apple Pay adds Discover, rewards programs from merchants such as Walgreens and Kohl’s Department Stores, and participating store-issued credit and debit cards,
- The new iOS also offers longer battery life and require less space to install.
Apple will release OS X El Capitan, a new version of OS X, that offers enhancements to window management, built-in apps and Spotlight search, and improved processing speed.
There will also be improvements to watchOS 2, the first major software update for Apple Watch which was released about six weeks ago.
Starting this fall, users will be able take their favorite photo and turn it into a new watch face. There is also a Time Travel feature which lets users scroll with the Digital Crown to explore events in the future (and past) including upcoming meetings or activities, the temperature for the week, and information from third-party apps, such as upcoming flight information.
Additional features include:
- Nightstand Mode that transforms Apple Watch into a bedside alarm clock, with the Digital Crown and side button serving as snooze and off buttons for the alarm,
- Use merchant rewards and store-issued credit and debit cards with Apple Pay,
- And the ability to utilize Siri to start specific workouts, launch Glances and reply to email.
While there were a number of software enhancements announced at the conference, there was no new products revealed during the nearly two-hour keynote address that kicked off the event in San Francisco.