By Stephen McBride
Few surprises at WWDC, as Cupertino touches on product updates, software tweaks
Apple launched a widely anticipated streaming music service and a Watch-apps developers' kit yesterday at its WWDC, online media reported.
A monthly subscription to Apple Music will cost $9.99, following a three-month grace period where the service will be free. Also available is a group monthly plan, aimed at families, where up to six users can get access for $14.99.
Apple Music is reportedly not significantly different from that of competing businesses, such as Spotify, but as Apple had been losing ground to these rivals in the online music space, analysts considered it more important that Apple joined the streaming trend to counter the drop-off in downloads.
Apple also announced a revamped OS for its Watch wearable that would allow developers to address concerns about the future of a Watch ecosystem. Early reviews of the wrist device reported apps were running too slowly to be useful, with one pundit saying the Maps function was so sluggish that he would be quicker using a paper version.
Apple hopes the new OS will overcome such issues and others, such as concerns over too much reliance on iPhones for apps to work properly. Cupertino is confident the new setup will allow more native apps to be built, and lead to growth of the ecosystem.
The iPhone maker also used the first day of the week-long conference to talk about iOS 9, the expansion of Apple Pay and the next version of OS X, which will be called "El Capitan".