Today was Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, place of things nobody can understand or afford — except, perhaps, Apple’s new music services, which the company described in detail after first revealing more general plans for upcoming systems.
First, as The Fader reports, Apple announced a new operating system — the OSX El Capitan, which will arrive in fall in the form of a free update. Meanwhile, the next phone will run on iOS9, featuring a more smoothly subservient Siri and a screen that automatically transitions to “Now Playing” every time you plug in your headphones. It’ll also have more battery life, as well as a “low power” mode which could save up to three hours. The iOS9’s Google Maps will take mass transportation into consideration with a “transit view” function that will figure in walking time to stations.
After all of these announcements were made, Jimmy Iovine — record biz mogul and one of the founders of the Apple-acquired Beats — took the stage to make the much-anticipated declarations about Apple’s new musical development: Apple Music. This is a multifaceted service, whose musical recommendations are “curated by the leading music experts who [Apple] helped hand pick. These people,” Iovine asserted, “are gonna help you with the most difficult question in music: when you’re listening to a playlist, what song comes next.” Apple Music will also be running a 24-hour radio station available across 100 countries. It’s called Beats 1, and former BBC Radio 1 darling Zane Lowe will be the human voice behind the massive, tech-promotional station (with Hot 97’s Ebro Darden and Rinse FM’s Julie Adenuga serving as the stations other two DJs).
The Verge notes that Apple Music will “combine music downloads, streaming radio, and a streaming music service into a single app.” The service will allegedly be available June 30, and its key competitor will be Spotify — which marks a change from iTunes.
Drake then came onstage to introduce another new service for burgeoning artists, to facilitate the uploading of their music, combined with messages and photos. It’s called Connect, and Drake claimed he’ll use this service to release his next album. With such generalizations as Apple Music being “all of the ways you love music, all in one place,” aside, they cut to the chase and announced the prices: $9.99/month per person (though the first three months will be free) and $14.99 for a family plan.
Iovine showed off some nifty ways Siri interacts with the service, proving that if you forgot the name of a song from a movie or if you wanted to play the most popular song from a certain year, she may be of service.
Lastly, just in case they were worried their new plans wouldn’t leave people in a numbed state of awe, The Weeknd gave a mesmeric performance of a song — “I Can’t Feel My Face” — whose title summed up what Apple likely wanted audiences to experience.