Anticipation for Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) annual Worldwide Developers Conference tends to build in the month's preceding the event. By the time it actually arrives the rumors in circulation range from the plausible to the utterly preposterous.
Will the company announce a new music service? Is it introducing a new Apple TV? Will it have a subscription TV service? Will CEO Tim Cook reveal himself to be a robot? All of those ideas (well, not the last one) and many more have been floated in advance of the event.
As the company kicked off WWDC 2015 Monday with a keynote address led by Cook, anticipation was high. Apple did not disappoint, though it also did not deliver on every rumor or expected announcement.
New Mac OS and Safari features are coming
After an amusing video starring Bill Hader, various app characters (including an Angry Bird), and a number of cameos, Cook took the stage to rock star-like applause. After welcoming the crowd and telling a brief baseball story, he jumped right into OS X.
"We're bringing a whole bunch of new great capabilities to the Macintosh," Cook said before bringing Apple executive Craig Federighi to the stage to talk about the operating system. Federighi told the crowd the new version of the OS would be called El Capitan.
"We focused on two major areas; experience and performance," he said. This includes improving how windows are managed on the system, adding real-language search features, and making it easier to locate your cursor with a simple shake when the screen wakes up. The new OS also includes an enhanced version of the Safari browser that offers a new form of bookmarking called "pinned" sites.
"We've optimized performance throughout the system," Federighi said before announcing that Metal -- a system that improves graphic speeds and has been used on iOS for iPhone and iPad -- would be coming the Mac. "Metal combines the computing power of OpenCL and the graphics power of OpenGL in a high-performance API that does both," he added.
That might mean little to regular users, but it should make graphics render fast, which should be exciting for game developers.
Apple's voice assistant Siri now handles over 1 billion requests per week and is "down to a 5% error rate," according to Federighi. That's a 40% improvement over last year. Continuing the improvement and making it a proactive assistant will be the goals of the latest updates.
Apple introduced a new "News" app that creates a custom content experience from a number of top partners. Users can create a personalized feed that gives them "all of their news in one place," said Apple Vice President Susan Prescott.
iOS 9 will offer true multitasking on the iPad for the first time. Apple created a new "task switcher" to allow sliding between apps with a finger touch. The new system allows for split-view use of multiple apps at the same time.
In an unprecedented move for the company (which has always kept everything it owns proprietary) Federighi announced that its programming language, Swift, would become open source by the end of the year. That announcement was met with explosive applause that blew away any other reaction at the event.
Cook took the stage back to close the keynote and announced that the company has "one more thing." He introduced a video about the history of music as a prelude to announcing Apple's new Music service.
Apple will give users a free three-month membership, after which it will charge $9.99 a month for a subscription. There will also be a family plan providing service for up to six family members for $14.99 a month.
Apple Music launches on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and PCs starting June 30. It will come to Apple TV and Android phones this fall.