While the tech giant’s new music streaming service Apple Music garnered most of the attention at its Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, the company also revealed a new app called News that already has 20 publishers — including Condé Nast, Hearst Magazines, The Economist, The New York Times and Time Inc. — signed on. News replaces Apple Newsstand, which is going away, and means that publishers will no longer be able to input their own apps into Apple Newsstand. Instead, the News app culls information from everything from global media firms to local newspapers and bloggers. Users are presented with a news feed that chooses articles based on personal preferences, or can use the Explore function to find articles on a particular subject.
The launch of the News app follows similar moves by firms such as Facebook, which last month introduced its own app, Instant Articles, to enable publishers to create news content for mobile applications, or Flipboard.
Also on Monday, Apple revealed continued growth of Apple Pay, which will be part of Pinterest’s buyable pins launch.
The digital wallet unveiled new retailers, including Forever 21, Express, J.C. Penney and Levi’s. Discover will be added to Apple Pay, bringing with it more than 50 million card members. Apple Pay is also set to launch in the U.K. in the fall with an eight-bank rollout and retailers such as Marks & Spencer and Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s Boots U.K. participating.
But Apple Music was the big reveal from the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology firm and entertainers Drake and The Weeknd, along with Beats cofounder Jimmy Iovine, made appearances to reveal details of the new service. Apple Music rolls out June 30 as the company makes a push into the highly competitive music streaming landscape in which it will compete with Tidal, Spotify, Pandora and others.
“I’m here because in 2003, the music industry was a map of confusion,” Iovine told the audience during Monday’s WWDC keynote.
Users will pay $9.99 a month for Apple Music and the company is offering the first three months for free. Families can pay $14.99 to have up to six people use Apple Music in which each person will have access to their own account and music library.
The reveal answers the question of what the technology company’s plans are for Beats by Dre, which it paid $3 billion for last year.
Included in Monday’s keynote is the new radio station, called Beats One, which brought on New Zealand radio DJ Zane Lowe as one of the station hosts. Beats One will broadcast live radio shows from New York, Los Angeles and London 24/7.
Other features of Apple Music include Connect — a social media-type platform that allows artists to upload music, videos, photos and any other content for fans to then like or comment on.
Apple saved its music announcements for the back half of its more than two-hour long opening remarks and the opening presentations were just as full with an onslaught of updates and new features for the developer world.
Native apps for Apple Watch are coming. This means apps running on the watch won’t need an iPhone to actually run.
Operating system updates are also on the way in the form of OS X El Capitan and iOS 9.
“This has been a jam-packed morning,” Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook told attendees at the close of the keynote. The 26th annual WWDC runs through Friday in San Francisco.