Apple’s long awaited annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC17) is finally here! Held at San Jose from June 5-9, we hoped to see major upgrades in the iMac, iPad, iOS and more! So when Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, along with key executives Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller, took the stage to announce 6 big announcements, we were at the edge of our seats. So without much further ado, let’s check out WWDC17’s top 6 announcements at Apple’s keynote.
As expected, Apple announced its HomePod speaker to compete with Google Home and Amazon’s Echo. But additionally, it wants to take on Sonos, to become the top home entertainment speakers. Available in 2 colours – black and white – and integrated with Siri, it will control your home devices, check the weather and update you with news. Furthermore, by using spacial awareness, 6 in-build speakers and powerful subwoofers, it will optimise sound effects to bring you an unmatched, immersive musical experience. Priced at $349, we expect it to be out this December for customers in US, UK and Australia, and worldwide sometime next year.
MacBook, iMac and iMac Pro
Apple announcements for the Macbook Pro were mostly hardware related. For starters, the Macbook will harbour a new beast inside: Intel’s Kaby Lake processors. The MacBook now will go upto 1.3 GHz, while the 13 inch MacBook Pro will hit 3.5 GHz and the 15 inch 3.1 GHz. Additionally, the Macbook Air is also getting a boost.
Apple also updated its iMac with Intel’s new powerful Kaby Lake processors, brighter Retina display with 4K resolution, 3 times more powerful graphics and USB ports with Thunderbolt 3. They will also support graphics for VR content creation! Most importantly, it’s available for orders today, and will be in stores on Wednesday, priced starting from $ 1,099 for the 21.5 inch model.
Lastly, the tech giant introduced its new iMac Pro, focusing on improving processing speeds, enhancing display and upgrading graphics. It’s scheduled to ship in December, with 27-inch 5K Retina display with improved cooling, 8-core Xeon processors (upgradable to 18-core), up to 4TB of SSD and 128GB of ECC memory, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports and 22 Teraflops of graphics computation power. The iMac Pro starts at $ 4, 999.
iOS 11 for iPhones will have several upgrades primarily for Siri. It will now have the “Do Not Disturb” mode for driving, improved speech ability with Deep Learning and the on-device learning to suggest actions. Furthermore, it will now be able to translate in Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Apart from Siri, iOS 11 will see a redesign of the control center, an updated Music app with new features and more. The camera will have better performance in low lighting, while Live Photos will offer new editing tools and features. Lastly, you will now be able to send and receive money through iMessages.
On the iPad, iOS 11 will ease multitasking. Now you will be able to drag and drop folders, files and photos like you do in MacBook. But one of the coolest upgrades announced was: you can now search for handwritten text! So when you make notes with the Notes app using an Apple Pencil, the software will use deep learning algorithm to find the keyword you are searching for. iPad’s filesystem will have an improvement, making it easier to access files and folders. Lastly, the iPad Pro will be available in 3 sizes, with a new 10.5 inch released priced at $649.
Seeing the success of Mickey Mouse on the watchface, Apple’s smartwatch will now have new characters, notably Woody from Toy Story! As health awareness is rising rapidly, WatchOS will include monthly fitness challenges by tracking and monitoring wearer’s activity. Partnering with the leading gym equipments, WatchOS will give more accurate updates on calorie loss and activity information. Moreover, you can now find and play music through the new integrated Music App to pump you up in your workouts and daily activities.
This was the coolest demo of the keynote. ARKit will now enable developers to easily develop advanced augmented reality applications such as Pokemon Go. On stage, Apple provided a live demo, by adding a lamp and a coffee cup on the scene and showing several functionalities. With an impressive quality of image, this demo was an instant hit.
Apart from these six, Apple announced the new macOS, called High Sierra, which comes with updates for Safari to block autoplaying videos and site trackers. Additionally, there were other updates on the hardware. AppleTV had just a tiny mention: Amazon Prime videos will now be available on it. Overall, the WWDC17’s keynote made it clear that Apple is working hard to stay on top of the tech industry.