CUPERTINO (dpa-AFX) - Apple Inc. (AAPL) Monday announced updates for operating platforms that powers its computers and mobile devices. Apple also launched Apple Music, its new music streaming service at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.
iOS 9, the latest iteration of its mobile devices platform, comes with array of new features including a smarter Siri, improved Maps, and iPad split-screen multitasking.
Craig Federighi, Apple's SVP of Software Engineering, said, 'iOS 9 is packed with more intelligence throughout, and delivers big updates to the apps customers use most - Maps supports public transit, a redesigned Notes app provides great new ways to capture ideas, and a beautiful News app delivers content that's personalized to your interests.'
The new multitasking features in iOS 9 has been specifically designed for iPad, which allows users to work with two apps side-by-side or lets users watch a video while using any other app. Siri's improvements include an all-new design, contextual reminders and new ways to search photos and videos. Apple Maps now provides assistance to users using metropolitan transit systems with schedules and showing subway station entrances and exits.
The new Mac operating system has been named OS X El Capitan, after the name of a landmark in Yosemite National Park. Earlier, Apple used to name its computer operating platforms after big cats, including Puma, Jaguar, Lion and Snow Leopard, however, Apple has now started naming its Mac operating system after places in California, like Maverics and Yosemite.
The beta version of iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan is available to developers starting today, while it will be available for a free update to users this fall.
Commenting on the changes made to OS X, Federighi said, 'With El Capitan, we're further refining the Mac experience with enhancements to window management, Spotlight and built-in apps, and improving performance so everyday activities - from launching apps to accessing email - are faster and more responsive.'
New features include the new Split View that automatically splits the full screen for two apps, allowing users to work with both apps. Apple has also improved the Safari web browser. It now features Pinned Sites that allows users to pin sites in the tab bar to keep it open and active. The address bar now has a new mute button that will quickly mute audio from any tab.
Spotlight search has been enhanced and now responds to queries in natural language, like find 'documents I worked on in June.'
Apple has also brought its graphics technology Metal to OS X, which accelerates animation and graphics to boost system-level rendering up to 50 percent and efficiency by up to 40 percent.
Apple also previewed watchOS 2, its first software update for Apple Watch. watchOS 2 includes new watch faces, third-party app information and new communication capabilities in Mail, Friends and Digital Touch.
Apple also unveiled its music streaming service, Apple Music. Apple has offered a 3-month free membership for Apple Music starting June 30, after which the service will cost $9.99 a month or $14.99 for a family plan that will serve up to six family members. The service will be available in 100 countries and will also be launched on Android platform this fall.
Apple also announced starting next month, Apple Pay, its digital payment service, will be available to customers in the UK, making it the first country outside the U.S. At launch, Apple Pay will be accepted at over 250,000 locations with support from eight of the UK's banks, across all of the major credit and debit card networks.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX