Music is launching tomorrow! Are you excited? I am. I already offered my initial impressions immediately after it was announced at WWDC 2015 and those impressions have remained unchanged. But before it launches, I want to get some additional thoughts out there.
The Beats 1 Launch
Tomorrow, June 30th, 2015, Apple Music will launch and Beats 1 Radio will broadcast live to the world for the very first time. This will mark a unique period in the history of Apple’s company and brand. Never before has there been a time in which there was a direct, constant, dynamic, multifaceted, and globally – and publicly – accessible voice representing its brand. That all changes tomorrow.
A Most Momentous Occasion
As you may know, Beats 1 will be a 24/7 global radio station produced and hosted by Apple employees Zane Lowe, Ebro Darden, and Julie Adenuga. Do you know of any other time when Apple employees did something like this? Never before has the public had access to the voices of Apple employees in this way. The only similar outlet I can think of is either Apple’s website or the Twitter accounts or personal blogs of its employees. The differences here are obvious and significant. Beats 1 will eventually be baked into every iPhone, making it more easily accessible; it will constantly be changing, and it will quite literally be composed of real human voices. When thought of in this way, its announcement does deserve the “One More Thing…”*
So much was announced at WWDC 2015. I don’t want to recap everything. There are plenty of sites that do that. I want to give you some high-level impressions from what I think are the most interesting announcements from today’s Keynote and Platforms State of the Union.
First above all, this truly is a new Apple, Tim Cook’s Apple. Apple is more open and diverse than ever before, and yet they are still moving with laser focus. Today, we saw two female Apple employees speak at the Keynote.
For the first time since 1997, Apple included female employees in one of its keynote presentations, with Senior Vice Presidents Jennifer Bailey and Susan Prescott.
Apple also announced that store loyalty/rewards cards are coming to Pay & Wallet (formerly Passbook). This may seem small, but this requires at least some openness to allowing third party access to one of Apple’s most holiest of holies, its customer’s data and payment information. Neverthless, I am sure Apple is permitting this in a way that respects its walled garden to the max.
Apple then announced native third party watchOS apps. This was not surprising, but the fact that third party developers can create Watch face complications is, or at least that Apple has opened up that API so soon. Apple also announced Search APIs that allow content witching third party apps to be discovered on a system search level, i.e., Spotlight.
Lastly, Apple has Opened Sourced Swift. Developers in the room went nuts. Apple will also be accepting source code contributions.