Key points from Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference

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Apple held its annual World Wide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco yesterday, and as usual the company that never does anything by halves, announced a whole host of new features that are coming our way.

Here’s a breakdown of everything that Apple announced:

Apple Music

Firstly, Apple are launching a new music streaming service called Apple Music that is set to rival Spotify. With Apple Music, users will be able to stream one of 30 million songs from within the Apple music library which will feature music from signed and unsigned artists. The streaming service is set to launch later this month and will be free for the first three months. Thereafter, the cost of using the service will be €10 a month, or €15 a month for up to six family members.

OS X El Capitan

Apple are rolling out a new operating system for the Mac entitled El Capitan. New features include improved Spotlight search, shake to enlarge the mouse cursor and a new way to pin websites to Safari. The browser will also include a speaker icon on the URL bar which will allow users to mute music coming from any opened tabs. El Capitan will also give users the ability to split their screen into multi-tasking windows by pressing down on the maximise button and dragging left or right.  The browser will also come with built-in metal graphics technology which is set to enhance a user’s gaming experience.

iOS 9

With iOS 9, Siri is becoming smarter and more in tune to your user behaviour. For example, if you usually scroll through Twitter first thing in the morning, Siri will be able to detect this and automatically open that app for you.

iOS 9 will come with improved battery life(+1 hour) and a new battery saving mode that will allow users to shut down non-essential features to enhance their iPhone’s battery by an extra three hours.

iOs 9 is also adding built-in trackpad to iPads which can be accessed by putting two fingers on the keyboard.

Apple Pay will officially launch in the UK and Northern Ireland in July. According to Apple, it will be compatible with nearly 70 percent of all UK debit and credit cards and you’ll be able to use it in Boots, Costa, Starbucks, KFC, New Look, Marks and Spencers, Mc Donald’s and more.

Lastly, iOS 9 will include a News app which will feature personalised news content that will automatically update anytime the user opens the app

Perhaps most importantly, iOS 9 will only require 1.3gb to install, a huge drop from iOS8’s required space of 4.48gb.

Watch OS

Watch OS is the newly improved operating system for the Apple Watch. Apps will now be able to access the microphone and accelerometer, play audio through the speakers, and even utilise the Digital Crown. HomeKit will also be made available on the Apple Watch via Siri.  A newly added watch face function called “Time Travel” will allow users to skip backward and forward to view past and upcoming events.Watch OS will also feature new watch faces, including several than can customise the watch face using a single photo or an updating photo album.

So there you have it. That’s all the main features that we can expect from Apple in the near future. Which announcement was your favourite?

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Nokia celebrates 150 years

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Nokia evolucion Finnish telecommunications company Nokia celebrated its 150th birthday this week. The company, which was founded by mining engineer Fredrick Idestam and his friend Leo Mechelin in 1865, originally began as a ground wood pulp mill before eventually switching to telecommunications in the 1960’s. In 2000, Nokia launched the 3310 mobile phone which proved to be very popular, selling 126 million units worldwide. This success was quickly followed up with the Nokia 1110 launched in 2003, which shipped over 200 million units, becoming the best selling mobile phone of all time. Prior to being overshadowed by Apple, Nokia was once recognised as the world’s largest mobile phones vendor. In September 2013, Microsoft announced that it would acquire Nokia’s mobile phone business as part of a deal worth €5.44 billion. Microsoft subsequently decided to drop the Nokia name, stating that all future mobile phones would be produced under the name “Microsoft Lumia”. In 2014, Nokia began licensing product designs and technologies to third part manufacturers in an attempt to maintain a continued presence for the Nokia brand in the consumer electronics market. On the 15th of April 2015, Nokia announced that it would acquire French telecommunications equipment company Alcatel-Lucent for €15.6 billion. Nowadays, Nokia specialises in navigation, mapping, and network technologies. Take at look at some of Nokia’s most notable mobile phones below. Happy Birthday Nokia!

Nokia 3310

Nokia 3310

Nokia 1100

Nokia 1100

nokia lumia

Nokia Lumia

Youtube launches music subscription service

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Google’s video sharing website Youtube has launched a paid monthly subscription service called Youtube Music Key.

Similar to Spotify, the service allows users to stream unlimited ad-free music videos for a fee of $7.99(€6.41) a month. Users will also be able to download videos and watch them while offline.

The monthly fee also comes with a subscription to Google Play Music.

At the moment, subscription is by invitation only but we love the “sound” of this one!

To celebrate, here’s a music video that we’re really enjoying at the moment:

Amazon announces Kindle Voyage

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Online retail giant Amazon have announced their most revolutionary e-reader yet, the Kindle Voyage. So, what’s different? Well, the key feature of the Kindle Voyage is its high resolution screen that has been designed to imitate the look of a printed page. Text on the Kindle Voyage appears at an impressive 300 pixels per inch, similar to the high resolution displays now found on most mobile phones. The Kindle Voyage is also Amazon’s smallest and thinnest e-reader weighing just 6.3 ounces, while the 3G version weighs 6.6 ounces. Prices for the Kindle Voyage start out at $199, approximately €157.

– The SoundzDirect Team