Apple Weekly News Roundup: WWDC introduces iOS 9, Apple Music and more

WWDC 2015 introduces iOS 9, OS X El Capitan and more.

Most of last week's news came out of Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, which kicked off on Monday at San Francisco's Moscone Center. During the keynote, various Apple execs unveiled iOS 9, OS X El Capitan, Apple Music and WatchOS 2.

iOS 9 will launch this fall (a public beta will be released in July and beta 1 for developers is available now), likely along with Apple's next generation iPhone lineup. Among the more notable features, albeit behind the scene, is a new technology known as App Thinning, which developers can use to significantly reduce the size of their apps through a variety of mechanisms. Apple used it to reduce the iOS 9 OTA update from 4.6GB to 1.3GB.

On the surface, the design and interface are largely the same, with a few minor changes. Apple has dropped its Helvetica Neue font in favor of its new San Francisco font (which is used by the Apple Watch and will also be incorporated in El Capitan), which is crisper and has some more breathing room between characters, making it more clear in smaller font sizes. The keyboard received a function that allows you to tap and hold with two fingers to bring up a cursor that you can move around, and the shift key now changes the letters on all of the keys to reflect whether or not it is engaged.

Siri receives a major upgrade in iOS 9. The personal assistant is supposedly more intelligent, with proactive capabilities, context-sensitive searches based on location, time and historical behavior, and improved speech recognition.

Perhaps the biggest iOS 9 improvement will be enjoyed by iPad users - Apple has finally brought split-screen multitasking to its tablet. Not only does it allow you to have side-by-side independently running apps, but the new functionality allows for picture-in-picture video playing as well.

Several apps have been revamped in iOS 9 as well. Passport and Newsstand have been tweaked and and renamed to Wallet and News respectively, with the former adding support to more types of credit cards and the latter allowing you to create a personalized news feed. Notes has received a variety of improvements including a sketch pad complete with tools and the ability to insert photos and checklists. Maps has been updated to include mass transit options such as buses and trains/subways.

WatchOS 2 was also highlighted at the conference. The big upgrade here is that it will allow third party developers to create native apps for the Watch, which means they will be able to operate on the Watch without being connected to an iPhone. It too will launch this fall.

Apple Music was introduced at WWDC as well. The streaming music service features Beats 1, a 24-hour live radio station, and Apple Music Connect, a social platform that will allow users to connect with artists. The service will launch on June 30 for $9.99/month, and will be available for iPhone, iPad, Mac and PC at first, with support for Apple TV and Android coming in the fall.