Apple Music, iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan: Everything Apple announced at its WWDC 2015 developers conference

A new music-streaming service, multitasking for the iPad, straight talking with Siri and a host of other software developments debuted at Apple's annual developer funfest.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
7 min read

Watch this: Apple WWDC 2015: Everything you need to see

We expected a low-key, only modestly consumer-focused conference from Apple's WWDC 2015; what we got was a lot of new software to look forward to. As predicted, there was no shiny new hardware. But here are the highlights, including the celebrity-filled rehearsal parody video that launched the event. And a rarity for Apple, women on stage!

Apple WWDC 2015 keynote (photos)

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Interested in the stats? Here's WWDC by the numbers -- or you can always skip to the video highlights.

Apple Music

Tim Cook resurrected Apple's "one more thing" for this announcement. It's been a year since the acquisition of audio company Beats, and a relatively quiet one at that. But today, the company announced a new music-streaming service, Apple Music.

Designed to address the "fragmented mess" of music, Apple Music includes Beats 1, a live 24-hour radio station with DJs from New York, LA and London; a curated playlist feature called For You; and Connect, a way for artists to interact with fans, including direct delivery of music from outside the catalog and other content.

In addition to searching its music library, Apple Music will also allow you to search -- and stream -- music from iTunes.

Apple Music rocks on 24-7 with live DJs (pictures)

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The app has a new interface with a (hideable) mini player along the bottom, thumbnails for recently added albums, varying views, the option to add your own artwork and dragging and dropping items in playlists. You can also watch ad-free music videos.

And of course, you can talk to it with Siri, including natural language search ("Play the song from 'Selma.'")

Apple Music launches later in June on

(and a bunch of other platforms). The first three months come free, and it'll cost $15 per month for families of up to six people and $10 per month for individuals thereafter. We'll update the Apple Music review page with international pricing and availability as we get them.

iOS 9

Apple's push with iOS 9 is proactivity. It introduces a new user interface for Siri. Apple's virtual assistant seems to benefit from the natural-language interface technology in OS X, and it has more assistant-like capabilities than before. Interestingly, it sounds a lot like what Google announced two weeks ago at its own conference, I/O.

Siri's been spruced up. It can automatically process invitations with reminders, incorporate map-based information like driving directions and guess the identity of unknown callers from their phone numbers. It can suggest apps based on your actions and do video searches across sites (with direct play). And Siri can automatically add links to reminders you set up.

Plugging in your

can, say, automatically launch your music. You'll be able to scrub through photos, and find them with natural language search ("Show my karaoke photos of Eddy.").

Apple Pay comes to Discover, Baskin-Robbins, B&H Photo and more (here are all the numbers). This fall, Square will bring out a new reader with Apple Pay support and later this month you'll be able to buy pins from Pinterest via Apple Pay. Next month, it crosses the pond to the UK with a bunch of banks and brands (250,000 locations). London's public transport will also be accepting Apple Pay.

In iOS 9, you'll be able to add store cards, frequent buyer programs and reward cards in addition to event and travel tickets, coupons and the like. The growing capabilities have driven Apple to rename the Passbook app as Wallet.

iOS 9: Here's what Apple's new mobile OS looks like (pictures)

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There are enhancements to a lot of apps. Notes gets a toolbar with formatting options, automatic checklists, access to your camera roll and camera, and drawing tools. You'll be able to share a link into your notes, see thumbnails and see an attachments view.

In Maps, there's now a public transport map (Transit) with routing, and step-by-step directions with walking time. It looks a lot like the NYC MTA map, and the feature is rolling out globally for big cities.

Say goodbye to Newsstand; say hello to News , Apple's homegrown news aggregation app. It has been likened to Flipboard , and for good reason. It's an interactive platform that provides a personalized, bookmarkable news feed. There's a new Apple News format that publishers will be able to use for custom layouts. It supports animated imagery and videos and has a Photo Mosaics gallery display. It's also private; what you read is not shared or linked to other Apple services. The usual news sources will be available at launch. In his review of Apple News , CNET's David Katzmaier wrote, "Apple says 30 New York Times articles per week will be delivered free to News users. Also mentioned was ESPN and Conde Nast, and the ability to add just about any type of local content."

Apple makes News, another aggregation app (pictures)

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One of the big iPad-related updates: the keyboard is now a trackpad with a two-finger drag. The QuickType keyboard will come with shortcuts for important actions like cut, copy and paste, with additional shortcuts for connected keyboards.

And multitasking! It has split and picture-in-picture view and a visually redesigned task switcher; a swipe from the right pulls out email and swiping down brings down all your thumbnails of running apps. You can also pin running apps. However, not everything is supported on all iPads -- some are only on the iPad Air onward, and split-screen is only on the iPad Air 2.

You should see improvements in animation and scrolling on all iOS devices, and extended battery life on the iPhone. There's now a low-power mode, whichApple claims extends life by 3 hours.

Two-factor authenticaion comes to iCloud, and over-the-air updates are smaller (down to 1.3GB from 4GB of iOS 8).

The developer beta launches today and a public beta will be available in July ( here's how to sign up); the free upgrade rolls out in the fall. It will remain compatible with all iOS 8 devices.

OS X 10.11: El Capitan

OS X 10.11 has updates for frequently used applications and enhanced window management. These include making it easier to find the cursor by shaking your finger on the trackpad, email gestures, pinned sites and audio indicators in the tabs in Safari and natural text searches in Spotlight and the other applications ("documents I worked on last June"). It has swipe gestures in Mission Control and more mobile-like window behavior plus tabs in full-screen mode; you can now more easily organize two windows side by side. It has graphical thumbnails for links in Notes, and you'll be able to drag and drop windows to create workspaces.

Mac OS X 10.11 El Capitan: A first look at the next Mac operating system (pictures)

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There are also performance enhancements, including faster app launching, app switching, mail retrieval and preview. Metal, the company's game application programming interface, was announced last year. combined with moving the OpenGL stack into it, is supposed to deliver better performance. This includes upcoming performance improvements in Adobe After Effects and the Illustrator drawing engine. Game developer Epic claimed a 70 percent lower CPU usage, and demoed its upcoming title Fortnite, built on the Unreal Engine, displaying some pretty nice real-time rendering. Zombies, too.

El Capitan is available today for developers. There's a public beta in July and a free upgrade for all this fall.

Watch this: Apple's latest version of OS X, El Capitan

Apple Watch

The smartwatch's Watch OS gets native apps, which means they can be faster, better and smarter. The new version (with the Timepiece API) offers new, motion-sensing changeable faces like photos, photo albums, and a time-lapse photo face.

New features coming to Apple Watch

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The OS also gets an information-display feature called Complications, which are single-screen widgets showing weather information, sports scores and so on. The Time Travel feature will show past and future information and events when you rotate the watch's crown. It also has a new nightstand mode intended to give an optimal bedside experience.

It's easier to add friends from the Friend display. Now drawings can be multicolored, and you'll be able to reply to emails, use FaceTime audio right on your wrist and run native fitness apps (apps that work without a phone). You can start workouts via Siri and the watch can display achievements that you can share. Siri will also be able to give you mass transit directions, support talking to your HomeKit devices and bring up third-party apps like Instagram.

The new Wallet and Transit features are supported on the Watch as well.

Watch OS 2 will be available to all in the fall, but the developer preview is available now.

For developers: 'Kits, 'Play and Swift

HomeKit devices finally started shipping just last week (check out our review of the first one, the Lutron Caséta Wireless Lighting Starter Kit).

Announced at last year's WWDC, Swift -- here's our primer -- goes open-source with Swift 2. It will gain whole-module optimization, better error handling and protocol extensions.

Apple has opened up its search API, allowing deep links into applications and backlinks. If you've incorporated auto layout and size classes, your apps will automatically support the new split and picture-in-picture views.

Xcode gains UI testing and app thinning for incremental downloads, and GameKit has obstacle avoidance and other physics, plus ReplayKit for sharing gameplay videos.

HealthKit is being updated with hydration, UV exposure and reproductive health APIs; HomeKit gets updates to control window shades, sensors and security systems, plus iCloud-based management; CarPlay rolls out support for auto makers and wireless connectivity between phone and car.

WatchKit now has the logic to run apps on the Apple Watch instead of the phone and the capability to connect to known Wi-Fi networks. Developers can access the microphone, play audio on the watch speaker (or through a connected Bluetooth device), play small videos, use HealthKit and HomeKit APIs, access the accelerometers, use the Taptic engine and control parameters via the Digital Crown.

And to close things out, The Weeknd debuted a new song on stage.

12 years of WWDC product launches

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See CNET's archived live blog, and check out our complete coverage of the Apple WWDC 2015 event.