WWDC 2015: The top 3 biggest reveals

Macworld | Jun 8, 2015

Siri gets smarter. Apple Watch gets much more useful. And is Apple Music poised to kill other streaming music services by offering every feature imaginable?

From Siri, to Apple Watch, to an entirely new Music platform, Apple’s most personal products are poised to get much more intelligent. Apple’s WWDC keynote was packed with interesting software news, so let’s run down the top 3 reveals.

Number One : Siri is poised to become much more helpful and predictive. For instance, she’ll help you set reminders directly from messages. That’s perfect for when a friend sends a text with a special request.

And, soon, when you plug in your headphones, Siri will volunteer a music selection directly on your lock screen. Or if you’re in your car, about to start your commute, Siri might recommend an audio book instead. Yes, Siri is becoming very location-aware, and you’ll even be able to search for photos with natural language, by location and time. It looks to be an awesome collection of tools, and they all help Siri keep pace with Google Now and Microsoft’s Cortana.

Number Two: the Apple Watch is getting a new OS that’s packed to the brim with surprise and delight features. For example, a time-travel feature will let you scroll through the hours on your watch face. This lets you view upcoming calendar items, changes in the weather, and even where battery life should be later in the day.

Third-party apps will soon play audio from the Watch’s built in speakers. Short form videos will play on the display. And when the WatchOS is updated to version 2, you’ll even be able to control HomeKit lighting systems directly from your wrist.

Third and finally, Apple revealed Apple Music. For 10 dollars a month, you’ll be able to stream some 30 million songs, and even search for those songs with simple, plain English Siri searches.

Apple Music also includes a 24/7 radio station called Beats 1. It’s broadcast from New York, Los Angeles and London, and its DJs are real people, not algorithms. This guarantees that playlists hit just the right emotional resonance from track to track to track.

Finally, Apple Music offers a new feature called Connect. This lets artists share a wide range of extras like demo versions of songs, remixes, photos, and even behind-the-scene videos of recording sessions. It looks like fantastic vehicle for social sharing -- directly from artists to fans.

And it might just be enough to dominate the streaming music scene very quickly when Apple Music debuts later this month.
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