One of the biggest events for Apple is the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and the 2017 edition just started yesterday. Apple made a long list of announcements on the day one itself and many of the earlier leaks and rumours turned out to be true.
While the event is more about software and apps, this year saw a number of product launches including the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the HomePod speaker. If you missed the massive launch event, here are all the things that Apple announced during the WWDC 2017.
The tvOs barely got a mention at the keynote and the only major thing that Apple had to say about Apple TV was the availability of Amazon Prime Video on the platform. It was already known that a dedicated Prime Video app will be launched for the Apple TV and that’s a great thing for the users with a Prime subscription.
Apple’s watchOS is now in its fourth generation and the update would be more of an incremental update over the previous generation. A number of watch faces were introduced with the new update that will provide you with more relevant information according to your location and time of the day. This Siri-based feature uses machine learning and will further improve over time as it will better understand your usage.
Besides the new watch faces, Apple will make the Watch a better health tracker. The watchOS update will inspire you to workout with monthly goals based on your past achievements and inform you how close you are to your goals. The workout tracking has also become smarter and you can now choose a playlist that will automatically start when you begin your workout.
macOS High Sierra
As its name suggests, the macOS High Sierra will again be an incremental update as Apple is focusing on perfecting all the amazing features that the OS already came with last year. The bigger change of all was in Safari browser that will now prevent any of the websites from auto-playing videos.
Your privacy will also be maintained using the “intelligent tracking prevention” that will keep the ad trackers at bay. You will now be able to organise your photos and videos in a better way along with improved editing tools. APFS file system also makes way to the macOS that significantly improves the performance.
The graphics engine has also been improved upon with the introduction of Metal 2. The OS will not only be able to provide better graphics performance, but the VR capabilities of the Macs will be improved manifold. The fact was made clear by a demo that Apple displayed at the WWDC.
Updated Macs and The All-New iMac Pro
The entire Mac range was updated with latest processors and graphics cards during the keynote. The 21.5-inch base model of iMac has Intel Iris Plus Graphics and the 4K variant of the same sized iMac now has a Radeon Pro 555/560 with up to 4GB VRAM. The 27-inch iMac range will get Radeon Pro 570/575/580 GPUs with up to 8GB VRAM.
Along with the iMacs, the MacBook range also got the Intel Kaby Lake processors and the new Radeon Pro graphics card for an even better performance. Their SSDs have also been improved to support faster transfer speeds. The long-forgotten MacBook Air also got updated with new 1.8Ghz processors.
The biggest Mac announcement was the iMac Pro that will launch later this year. It is going to be the ultra-high-end iMac with its base model costing as much as $4999. The iMac Pro will be available in a new Space Grey finish and will come with 8/10/18-core Intel Xeon processor and will have AMD Vega graphics card with up to 16GB of VRAM.
Being a software event, iOS 11 got a lot of attention at the event with many new features exclusively for iPad. Siri got a facelift with some visual changes and it will now make better use of machine learning to provide you with better results. Siri will not only understand you better but will also sound more like a human.
Apple has redesigned the Control Center, Messages screen, and the App Store. On opening the App Store, you will be greeted with Today tab and there will be a dedicated tab for games. The new design will help the users discover newer apps daily.
iPad’s incredible performance will also be put to use by the ARKit, which is an AR API that will help the developers create the best quality AR content. Drag and drop feature has been integrated into the OS that lets you seamlessly move links, images, and other stuff from one app to the other. A new dock for apps and the new Files app will make the iOS much better for the iPad tablets.
iPad Pro 10.5-Inch
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro was long rumoured and has finally been made official at the conference. The size of the tablet is exactly what the 9.7-inch one had and the larger screen has been incorporated by reducing the bezels on all the sides. Both the front and rear cameras of the tablet will be the ones we had seen on the iPhone 7.
Besides improved performance, the 10.5-inch iPad Pro will now come with ProMotion that makes everything look smoother and more responsive with an incredible refresh rate of 120Hz. The base model of the tablet starts with 64GB of memory going all the way up to 512GB. The pricing will start at $649.
Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo came in the form of HomePod, which is a new Siri-powered smart speaker that, according to Apple, also sounds good. The ‘Hey Siri’ hotword works here too you can ask the speaker to do anything that you would normally say to the Siri in your iPhone.
The company is calling the speaker a breakthrough product as it is intelligent enough to detect its space and improve the audio experience for the people in the room. HomePod runs on the A8 chipset so it is quite powerful and is entirely based on Apple Music with access to over 40 million songs. It will be available later this year and will cost $349.
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