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Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference 2015: Watch, Music, News

Apple is expected to launch a new subscription music service and unveil updates to its iOS and OS X operating systems.

Vjeran Pavic for

Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off today at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The long-expected music streaming service was announced along with a slew of updates that’ll add better apps to all of Apple’s products, including the Watch. Taken together, the improvements appear to be more a more integrated set of features than what Google had already been offering through Android.

Here’s a rundown of the highlights:

  • Apple Music is here and Beats’ Jimmy Iovine and Apple’s Eddy Cue is here to tell us how awesome it is. The service starts June 30 and costs $9.99 a month after a free 3-month trial. A family plan for up to six people costs $14.99 a month. The service also includes “radio” stations curated by artists, including a 24-hour station called Beats 1 hosted by DJ Zane Lowe.
  • Apple Watch gets new faces based on your photo album. It’s all part of the new watchOS, which will feature a bunch more native apps, including Microphone, HomeKit, HealthKit, music and short form videos.
  • Apple’s iPad now gets true multitasking, including picture-in-picture video, more seamless app switching and expanded use of Notes, which toggles into other apps while staying open.
  • A new content discovery app called News that Re/code reported on earlier. Apple vice president Susan Prescott describes it as as “a personalized feed just for you.”
  • Apple Maps gets an improvement with Transit, which shows mass transit directions. Launches in 30 U.S. cities, including New York, and in 300 cities in China.
  • Apple Pay is expanding to include many more retailers, including Trader Joe’s, Forever 21 and Levi’s. It’s also coming to the U.K. and folks there will be able to pay for their fares using Apple Pay, which is pretty cool. The changes are part of the company’s effort to try and replace your wallet — by the way, Passport is now called Wallet.
  • Apple announces iOS 9, which can search email to try to identify who’s calling. That’s nice since Apple doesn’t allow the many, many caller ID apps to work the way they do on Android.
  • Apple’s newest version of OS X is called El Capitan, which includes improvements like better search across different programs and better tabs within Safari and email.
  • For developers running power-hungry graphics programs, Apple brings Metal to Mac, a stronger API that makes things run faster and uses less power.

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