Apple's 2015 Developers Conference
At a Glance
WWDC is the annual Worldwide Developers Conference held by Apple in San Francisco, California. The 2015 conference will take place from June 8–12.
- June 8–12, 2015
- New versions of iOS and OS X
- New streaming music service
- Revamped Apple TV box and new television service
- Apple Pay rewards program
When Is It?
As announced on April 14, the 2015 version of WWDC will take place June 8–12 at the conference's usual home at Moscone West in San Francisco. The conference will begin with a keynote on the first day, June 8, where Apple will make its major announcements and set the stage for the remainder of the week.
For the last several years, Apple has featured new versions of iOS and OS X at the conference, with Apple Watch taking a particular focus in 2014. This year's conference will likely be similar, perhaps with some new emphasis on the Apple TV amid rumors of a revamped set-top box with support for third-party apps and a new television service. Apple's new streaming music service is also expected to be announced, as are new details on HomeKit and Apple Pay.
Apple typically previews new versions of OS X and iOS at its Worldwide Developers Conference, in order to give developers time to get accustomed to updates ahead of their typical fall release dates. In 2015, Apple is expected to debut both OS X 10.11 and iOS 9.
iOS 9's major addition may be a new lifestyle management feature called "Proactive." According to rumors, Proactive replaces iOS's existing Spotlight Search with a richer set of search features and a new user interface that displays content from various apps, Contacts, and Maps, to help iOS users navigate through their daily activities.
Proactive might, for example, display an upcoming calendar appointment or a flight email at the relevant time. It's able to learn from a user's daily habits, so someone who checks their email right after waking up might have an email app displayed on the Proactive screen for quick access at the appropriate time.
iOS 9 may also feature some Maps improvements, including the addition of transit directions, a new "Browse Around Me" Points of Interest system, and an augmented reality view.
iOS 9 is said to include tools for Force Touch, suggesting next-generation iOS devices will support the feature, and it may also have some security important improvements. A revamped keyboard experience may be in the works, and we may also see the introduction of split-screen multitasking and a new system wide San Francisco font.
Read more about iOS 9 in our dedicated iOS 9 roundup.
Like iOS 9, OS X 10.11 may focus on introducing new security features, bug fixes, and stability improvements for Apple's Mac-based operating system.
Apple is rumored to be working on a new kernel-level security system called "Rootless," which will help curb malware by preventing access to protected system files. Apple may also convert many IMAP-based applications like Notes, Reminders, and Calendars to its iCloud Drive system to improve communication between the apps and increase security.
As far as consumer-facing features go, OS X 10.11 may gain a new Control Center that will include music controls and other features similar to the Control Center on iOS, like access to Do Not Disturb, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. OS X 10.11 may also include a new systemwide San Francisco font, which is the font Apple first designed for the Apple Watch.
Read more about OS X 10.11 in our dedicated OS X 10.11 roundup.
New Streaming Music Service
According to rumors, Apple will debut its revamped streaming music service at WWDC. Said to be a rebranding of its existing Beats Music service, the new service will likely be built into iTunes and the iOS Music app. Early rumors suggested it could be priced at $7.99, below the industry standard, but now it looks like it'll be $9.99 like other competing services.
Apple is still working on completing deals for the new music service, but it is on track for an introduction at WWDC. The service may debut at WWDC and launch a few weeks later in late June in several different countries. iTunes Radio may also be expanded to additional countries at the same time.
New Television Service
A report from The Wall Street Journal has suggested that Apple is working on a new streaming television service that could see a debut at the Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple is said to be partnering with several content providers, including ABC, CBS, and Fox. The service will reportedly offer approximately 25 channels and will be available for $30 to $40 per month.
Revamped Apple TV Set-Top Box
In addition to a new streaming television service, rumors have suggested Apple will also unveil a long-awaited update to the Apple TV at WWDC. The update is rumored to be a "significant overhaul" of the existing version, with support for Siri and an App Store for downloading apps and games.
The new Apple TV is said to feature Apple's A8 chip and a "dramatic increase" in internal storage. With the addition of Siri, the Apple TV will be able to control HomeKit-enabled home automation devices via voice.
Read more about Apple's new set-top box and streaming service in our dedicated Apple TV roundup.
Apple may make some Apple Pay-related announcements at WWDC, perhaps introducing a new rewards program for the payments service. Details are scarce on the program, but it's said to offer "perks" to those who use Apple Pay to make purchases in stores and apps. It's also possible Apple will announce an upcoming expansion of Apple Pay to additional countries, beginning with Canada. Recent rumors have suggested Apple Pay will be launching in Canada in November.
Read more about Apple Pay in our dedicated Apple Pay roundup.
Apple may announce the official launch of HomeKit, its home automation platform, at WWDC. First introduced at WWDC 2014, HomeKit is a platform that allows various connected devices like thermostats, locks, and more, to interface with iOS devices. Many companies are poised to announce HomeKit-compatible hardware in the very near future. A HomeKit app called "Home" may also be introduced as part of iOS 9.
For many years, WWDC tickets were available to any registered developers willing to purchase them, but as Apple's popularity has grown and the size of the conference has remained relatively the same due to space and staffing constraints, tickets have been much harder to come by. WWDC sold out for the first time in 2008, and by 2013 tickets for the event were selling out in just two minutes. For 2014, Apple moved to a lottery system, and the company is once again using that system in 2015.
Tickets for the 2015 conference were available for $1599, the same price Apple has charged for many years, with Apple also offering 350 conference scholarships to student developers and members/alumni of certain STEM organizations through an application process.
Lottery winners were selected on Friday, April 17 and developers began receiving order confirmations on that date.
At last year's WWDC, Apple unveiled:
- Apple Announces OS X Yosemite with Improved Cross-Device Connectivity and New User Interface
- Apple Announces iOS 8 with Interactive Notifications, QuickType, More
- Apple Announces 'iCloud Drive' and 'Mail Drop' Features for OS X Yosemite
- Apple Updates iMessage with Improved Group Messaging and Video and Audio Messages
- 'QuickType' Keyboard for iOS 8 Offers Context-Aware Predicitive Typing Suggestions
- iOS 8 to Include Support for System Wide Third-Party Keyboards
- Apple to Enhance App Store with 'Explore' Tab, App Bundles, Beta Testing, and More
- Apple to Discontinue Support for iPhone 4 in iOS 8
- Apple Announces Significant SDK Improvements with New 'Swift' Programming Language, CloudKit and More
2012's event saw the introduction of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, iOS 6 and its standalone Maps app, OS X Mountain Lion, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air updates, and a redesigned AirPort Express.