Everything you need to know about how Apple plans to stay top dog

Lynsey Barber
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Apple Worldwide Developers Conference Kicks Off In San Francisco
Tim Cook took to the stage for WWDC in San Francisco (Source: Getty)

Could Apple have made any more announcements at its big developer conference? Probably not. But one thing's clear, while the nitty gritty details of all those updates are being sifted through, the tech giant certainly set out its ambitions to stay on top of its rivals.

Apple is opening up several major parts of its operating system to encourage greater development of new services and apps, including voice assistant Siri, iMessage and Maps, in a bid to see off rivals such as Facebook and Google.

The firm's developer conference brought a host of new feature announcements that included new operating systems across all its major products - iOS 10 for iPhones and iPads, WatchOS 3, tvOS and a newly named MacOS.

Apple boss Tim Cook has led a minutes silence to remember the victims of a mass shooting in Orlando Florida on Sunday, which killed more than 50 people and injured scores more in the worst mass shooting in US history, before making his keynote speech at the Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC).

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iPhone users could order food as a group via a food delivery app integrated with messaging, in one of the demonstrations on stage, while another showed cash being transferred.

Payments were also top of Apple's list as it announced that iPhone users will soon be able to use Apple Pay online, on websites viewed on the iPhone or the Safari browser on Mac desktops.

The biggest announcement of the night was a major change to messaging, such as scribbling notes and stickers, which brings it more closely into competition with the likes of Facebook, Snapchat and WhatsApp. The addition of so-called emojification was a crowd pleaser, a feature which automatically suggests emoji replacements for the text in a message.

Apple's voice assistant Siri also got an upgrade and will be available on the Mac with the new update, bringing it to the desktop for the first time.

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"The changes to Siri should make it substantially more useful and effective as an assistant, and keep it competitive with alternatives from Google, Amazon, and others. Siri will also now be available on the Mac, but in a way that’s customised for the desktop experience," said Jan Dawson. chief analysts at Jackdaw Research.

A host of new user features were brought to the Apple Watch along with a makeover, designed to reignite interest in the device which has recently lost the affections of even some of the most avid Apple fans. It also boasts a reduction of app loading time of between 10 and 15 seconds.

However, opening up the iPhone to third party apps also potentially means opening them up to competitors.

City AM What did you think of the WWDC announcements?

"iMessage apps, Siri apps, Maps apps, dialler aps. Apple is opening up a whole lot more hooks for Google, Facebook and Amazon," tweeted Andreessen Horowitz's Benedict Evans.

Also mentioned were an Apple Music makeover and Apple News breaking news alerts.

While the conference is traditionally free of hardware announcements (no iPhone 7 here) and focussed on software, last year brought the significant launch of Apple Music and Apple Pay.

This year, Apple managed to squeeze in a huge number of small updates across its growing ecosystem, that while not as headline-friendly as an entirely new product, is likely to give developers - and therefore users - enough new features to look forward to ahead of a new device expected to be announced toward the end of the year.

The updates will be fully available this Autumn.

Apple's WWDC 2016: Everything you need to know

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