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Apple unveils music-streaming app

Published 09/06/2015

Apple CEO Tim Cook (AP)
Apple CEO Tim Cook (AP)

Apple has unveiled its long-awaited music-streaming service to rival the likes of Spotify and Deezer, as it announced its mobile payment system will arrive in the UK next month.

The technology giant said the new app, Apple Music, which was built by the team behind the Beats Music service, will combine music streaming, live radio and a new social network called Connect.

It was launched at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco, where the firm also revealed more details of Apple Pay, which allows users to pay for items by touching their iPhones to contactless payment points.

Apple Music will launch in more than 100 countries on June 30, costing 9.99 dollars (£6.50) per month, but free for the first three months for one person, or 14.99 dollars for families of up to six people.

Introduced at WWDC by US rapper Drake, the service allows people to stream any of the 30 million songs in the Apple Music library and will expand to Windows and Android later this year.

Former Radio 1 DJ Zane Lowe will also front a new 24-hour radio station called Beats 1 as part of the service, which will broadcast from Los Angeles, New York and London.

Ian Fogg, head of mobile at analyst firm IHS Technology, said Apple Music coming to Android was a significant step.

"This will be the first Apple-branded app or service to reach Android and is a strategic shift for Apple in its approach to the main rival smartphone platform," he said.

Marc McLaren, technology expert and editor of Stuff.tv, said: "Apple Music was obviously the big story and with good reason. While as a service it doesn't seem to offer that much over the likes of Spotify, the fact that it will be preinstalled on millions of iPhones and iPads gives it a huge advantage over its rivals."

Apple Music's For You section will see playlists built and suggested based on user tastes, while Siri has also been integrated into the service, with the voice-based assistant able to play any song on demand, as well as from certain years, movies, or charts.

Working much like Instagram, the social network Connect enables artists to post images, video, audio and more for fans to interact with.

Meanwhile, the technology firm revealed Apple Pay will work on the London transport system, as well as in stores including Boots and Marks & Spencer.

The introduction of reward cards into Apple Pay was also confirmed, with the Passbook app being renamed Wallet, and it will now house credit cards and reward cards in one place.

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