Apple Unveils iOS 9, Apple Music, Native Watch Apps, OS X El Capitan

Apple made a host of announcements at its annual developers conference, WWDC, on Monday, including new versions of iOS and OS X, a new Apple Music service, and native apps for the Apple Watch.

Apple CEO Tim Cook waves as he arrives on stage to deliver his keynote address at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco

Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook announced an update to the operating system for its Watch that should make apps for its latest gadget speedier and help untether it from the iPhone. The so-called “native” apps will be available to consumers this fall after an update to the watchOS.

Later in the keynote, Cook unveiled Apple’s much-anticipated music streaming service called Apple Music. The company behind the iPod and iTunes has long been a leader in digital music, but it has lost ground in recent years as subscription services such as Spotify have caught on with consumers.

“Apple Music is really going to move the needle for fans and artists,” said Jimmy Iovine. “Online music has become a complicated mess of apps, services and websites. Apple Music brings the best features together for an experience every music lover will appreciate.”

Apple Music will offer music streaming as well as a worldwide live radio station from Apple broadcasting 24 hours a day and a way for music fans to connect with their favorite artists. Apple Music will be available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Windows, Mac, PC, Apple TV starting on June 30 in over 100 countries. An Android app is coming “this fall.”

Apple Music’s $9.99 a month price takes effect after a three-month free subscription period. The company is also offering what it calls a “family plan” for $14.99 a month for up to six family members. Apple’s website indicates that the radio station will be available for free to non-subscribers as well.

Apple also announced iOS 9 with improved search, enhanced Siri, and other new features including true multi-tasking on the iPad, which will now be able to display two apps side-by-side.

Apple also unveiled the next version of its operating system for Macs, El Capitan, continuing the company’s theme of naming key updates to the software after California landmarks. The software will be available in the fall with improved Spotlight search and other performance related enhancements.

The company also unveiled new details about its Apple Pay service, saying it was already supported by more than 2,500 banks and will surpass 1 million locations accepting it next month. In addition, the company said it would roll out the service to the United Kingdom next month. Apple also said it would rename Passbook, its app for credit and debit cards and boarding passes, to Wallet.

Written with inputs from Reuters

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