Following the launch of Apple’s next operating systems for its devices, the company has now revealed new features and improvements coming to almost all of its services.
Apple’s services such as Apple Maps got a mention at the WWDC keynote, and the new announcement repeats some details seen there, or in the subsequent beta releases of iOS. But Apple says it will be releasing those features, and a lot more, in a series of updates later this year.
“Apple’s services enrich millions of users’ lives every day, so we constantly strive to deliver the best experience possible,” Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, said in a statement. “Not only do we want to make services more powerful for users, we also want to make them more fun.”
“And I think the teams have done an incredible job with the lineup of new features we’re delivering this fall,” he continued, “from Collaborative Playlists in Apple Music, to offline maps in Apple Maps, to new experiences in Apple Podcasts.”
That Collaborative Playlist feature lets family and friends create mixtapes together, “and even ad emoji reactions to specific songs.” At the same time, Apple Music subscribers will be able to see themselves on Apple TV, alongside lyrics, as they perform karaoke together.
As previously announced, SharePlay is coming to Apple Music, specifically for car drives. “When users are in a car and listening with Apple Music, other trusted iPhone devices will automatically suggest joining the session,” says Apple.
Significantly, all listeners in a group can control the music, “even if they don’t have an Apple Music subscription.”
Apple is adding the whole of its Apple Music radio shows catalogue to Apple Podcasts, letting people subscribe to their favorite series.
Then Apple Music will also provide much more information about artists involved with tracks, and when attending a concert, iPhone users will be able to present an ID that confirms they are old enough. The same feature is intended to be used for buying alcohol, or rent cars.
Apple Cash and Apple Maps
As well as spending money with one-off purchases, from the fall iPhone users with Apple Cash will be able to set up regular payments. Parents can set an regular allowance, or friends can pay each other back for regular payments such as rent.
For users travelling in electric vehicles, Apple Maps will be able to show “real-time charging station availability filtered by charging network, plug type, and more,” says Apple. Users will also be able to specify which charging network they prefer.
Whatever vehicle users are in, Apple Maps will now be available offline. While still online, there will be ab option to “easily select an area,” and then download it with a tap.
The intention is to both save on data charges, and to ensure that users have accurate maps even in low-data coverage areas.
Apple Maps is also going to add detailed information for park trails in parks across the US. Through “place cards,” users will be able to see hiking elevation, trail length, and so on.
Apple Watch, Fitness+, and more
There are also updates to the Apple Watch and its health features, including the ability to create a custom workout or meditation schedule. Users who regularly go directly from one workout to another, will be able to queue them all up in advance and quickly progress through their fitness regime.
Also coming this fall, Apple News+ on iOS 17 will include daily crossword puzzles, and these have already been spotted in the beta release. Apple News+ will further expand its audio stories, with “professionally narrated” pieces “from the world’s leading magazines and newspapers in Apple Podcasts.”
Apple Books is also getting some improvements, with an emphasis on helping readers find the next book — either in their current series, or in related titles.
As yet, Apple has not specified when any of the new services features will be launched, and it has said that some “features, applications, and services may not be available in all regions or all languages.”