This week on AppleInsider: WWDC blowout, antitrust investigations, mystery vans & more
The lion's share of the week's Apple news occurred during Monday's WWDC 2015 keynote, when the company unveiled OS X El Capitan, iOS 9, watchOS 2, and Apple Music. The rest of the week was not uneventful however, with word of antitrust investigations and the real story behind Apple's mapping vans.
WWDC 2015: OS X El Capitan, iOS 9, Apple Music & more
El Capitan is due to launch in the fall, and will include features like better performance, natural-language search, and the Windows-like fullscreen Split View. iOS 9 will arrive in the same season with public transit support for Maps, proactive assistance with Siri, and a Flipboard-style News app meant to replace Newsstand.
watchOS 2 — another fall update — will bring native app support to the Apple Watch, along with Time Travel and Nightstand modes, new watch faces, and third-party watch face complications.
Apple Music is launching on June 30, and for $10 a month will let people stream on-demand music via iOS, OS X, and Windows. Android and Apple TV apps are due later in the year. People without a subscription will still be able to listen to Beats 1, a live radio station curated by DJs in three cities.
Apple, labels face antitrust inquiry over Apple Music deals
On Tuesday, the states of New York and Connecticut announced a joint antitrust investigation into Apple's deals with record labels, expressing concerns that Apple pressured or colluded with the labels to drop support for rival services. In particular the concern is that Apple may be trying to undermine services with free on-demand tiers, such as Spotify.
The attorneys general for both states were previously linked to an antitrust case scrutinizing Apple's e-book deals with publishers. The company ended up settling a class-action lawsuit for $450 milion, and radically altering its industry deals.
Apple dispels mapping van myths
Wednesday saw Apple confirm that vans — once rumored to have been prototypes for self-driving vehicles — are actually collecting data for future versions of Apple Maps. The company did not say exactly what its plans entail, but it appears to be creating its own alternative to Google Street View.
Apple vehicles have already made an appearance in a number of places, and an official website states that June alone will see vehicles roam across cities in the U.S., England, and Ireland.
Apple severs ties with key Campus 2 contractors
The contractors, Skanska and DPR, were reported to be transitioning off of building Apple's "spaceship" campus within the next several weeks. Skanska's U.S. chief blamed Apple's decision on parties being "unable to come to an agreement during negotiations for the revised scope of work."
Apple's future headquarters is already a year behind schedule and $2 billion over budget. The latest problems could potentially force an opening beyond 2016 and into 2017.
'iPhone 6s' could get 1080p, flash-equipped front camera
Code in the iOS 9 developer beta pointed to support for front camera features not present on any current iPhone or iPad — including not just 1080p and flash, but also 60-frames-per-second, slow-motion, and even panorama recording. The iPhone 6, by contrast, can only shoot in 720p at 30 frames per second from its front camera.
There is no guarantee that the next iPhone will get such upgrades, but multiple reports have already pointed to an improved rear-facing camera with things like a 12-megapixel sensor using Sony's RGBW technology for better low-light sensitivity.
Incredible WWDC Deals on Macs
Meanwhile, WWDC has also unleashed a flurry of deeply-discounted Macs, including the lowest price we've ever seen on Apple's mid-2014 MacBook Pro with Retina display (2.5GHz, 16GB, 512GB, 750M) model MGXC2LL/A at $1,799 ($700 off) and the new 27.0" iMac 5K (3.3GHz/8GB/1TB-HDD/M290) model ACMF885LL/A at $1,799.99 ($200 off). There's also $260 off every new 15" MacBook Pro with AppleCare. Check out our Deal Tracker and Price Guides for even more offers like a $799 11" MacBook Air, $899 13" MacBook Air, the lowest prices anywhere on 13" MacBook Pros, Mac minis, Mac Pros and more.
In this week's podcast, AppleInsider editors discuss Apple's major WWDC annoucements, as well as Metal for Mac, Swift 2.0 going open-source, and the iOS Passbook evolving into a new app called Wallet.