Apple’s Annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) kicked off again last night. Announced were changes to the Operating Systems (OS) used to run on the many Apple products including: iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Along with those were updated and new product announcements.
To start out they announced that tvOS will have support for Amazon Prime later this year, and that’s it. They announced nothing else about tvOS.
They announced some new watch faces along with watchOS 4. A Siri watch face that automatically displays what’s most relevant to you: reminders, photo memories, dynamically updated whenever you raise your wrist! There are also sunrise/sunset features, home app features, news app updates, and coaching for Activities. A Kaleidoscope face, that shifts and moves and creatures unique, custom designs based on the photo you choose to use. Even more Disney with Jesse, Woody, and Buzz Lightyear watch faces with different animations.
With watchOS 4, new activity features remind you how to reach goals/what you need to do to reach your goals every day. There will also be new monthly challenges that help you beat or accomplish something! New animations show smaller celebrations for everyday successes, and larger ones for every time you reach a bigger goal (aka, adorable little fireworks on your wrist!) You can also pick a playlist that automatically starts with your workout. If you’re a fan of swimming with your Apple Watch, there are new swim features for when you’re sitting on the side of the pool, relaxing. On top of that, there’s also high intensity interval training monitoring.
They redesigned the Music app “Automatically sync music for you based on what you want to listen to.” This new redesign is aimed to make AirPods and Apple Watch a “a true magical experience”.
WatchOS 4 will support native core Bluetooth for the ability to link and work with smaller wireless products: things like continuous glucose monitoring, info from your surfboard as you’re in the water, and so, so much more.
2-way data exchange with gym equipment thanks to partnerships with some of the biggest equipment manufacturers in the world! “Your heart rate is read by the watch and is sent to the equipment, and info – like data and speed – is sent to your watch.” Oh! And there’s also going to be a new flashlight in the control center that can be used as a safety light during an evening run.
This version of watchOS 4 is expected to launch in fall of 2017.
The next major version of macOS is called macOS High Sierra, which comes with a range of improvements and refinements to the operating system.
Apple’s head of software, Craig Federighi, said that the latest, updated OS improves the Safari browser to make it the “world’s fastest desktop browser,” with an “80 percent faster performance than Chrome.” In addition, the latest OS includes auto-play blocking and intelligent tracking prevention for enhanced security, using machine learning to keep your browser history safe — rather than as a way simply to block advertisements. Do you ever have this experience where you go to buy something on the web, you complete a purchase, and it seems to follow you around? No longer, Safari has intelligence tracking prevention.
MacOS High Sierra also includes split-view features for composition windows, a new persistent sidebar, and a new view that has all your photos in chronological order for photography fans, as well as improved Faces software.
The Apple File System (APFS) has also been added to macOS as a new default. This includes instant file and directory cloning, built-in crash protection and native encryption, as well as up to 40-percent better compression when video coding, otherwise known as High Efficiency Video Coding (H.256).
The newest Macs will also enjoy hardware acceleration via Metal 2, an upgrade to the Apple’s API for high-performance graphics. Virtual reality support is also being brought to Metal.
MacOS Sierra brought Apple’s Siri to the desktop, allowing the voice assistant to perform similar tasks to the iOS version including conducting web searches, sending messages, and updating your calendar and events schedule. The update also supports Apple Pay on the web and auto-login across multiple devices.
The name of the latest macOS version was likely to be a Californian landmark. The iPad and iPhone maker has long abandoned using the names of big cats — such as Puma, Jaguar, and Leopard — and instead moved to names that point to the companies headquarter locations, such as El Capitan, a summit in California, and Sierra, named after a county in the region. The name, High Sierra, is a continuation of Sierra, perhaps as a hat-tip to users who wanted to see improvements to the OS, rather than a completely new setup altogether. MacOS High Sierra is available to developers today and will be released as a public beta in June. During the WWDC keynote, Apple CEO Tim Cook said there are now 16 million Apple developers registered worldwide.
Apple has announced a refreshed iMac range with emphasis on improved processing power and displays. Apple has included three new models to the main product line: An iMac 21.5-inch, a 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display, and a 27-inch iMac Retina with 5K display.
John Turnus, VP of hardware engineering, said at the conference that the iMac range will now include improved displays of 500 nits, or a total of 43-percent brighter than the previous generation. They will support up to one billion colors. The full line is moving to Intel’s 7th generation Core processor, Kaby Lake, at up to 4.2 GHz with Turbo Boost or up to 4.5 GHz. The 21.5-inch model can now be purchased with up to 32GB RAM, while larger sizes, such as the 27-inch, can be customized with up to 64GB. When it comes to storage, the executive said SSD options will be up to 50-percent faster and users can request up to 2TB in storage space. Entry-level iMacs will come with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, which is up to 80 percent more powerful than the previous generation, while the new Radeon Pro 500-series graphics with up to 8GB of vRAM is also available.
Ternus said the new 21.5-inch system will be up to three times faster than its predecessors when it comes to graphics support and rendering, while the 27-inch model will enjoy graphics improvements of up to 50 percent. Apple’s 4K iMacs will include an AMD Radeon discrete GPU, suitable for content creation, VR, and gaming. The iMac range will also include two USB-C connectors with Thunderbolt and a Fusion drive as standard.
The iMac 21.5-inch’s starting price is $1099, a 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display will set you back $1299, and a 27-inch iMac Retina 5K’s cost begins at $1799.
In addition, Apple revealed the iMac Pro, created for “power users,” which will ship with a 5k Retina display, 8-core Intel Xeon processor, 10-core Xeon processor, or 18-core processor, AMD’s Radeon Vega graphics, and up to 16GB of VRAM with 22 teraflops of half precision and built-in 10GB Ethernet.
Per Turnus, with those specs, you could easily “hook up two 5K displays and two RAID arrays.”
However, the model won’t come cheap, with a starting price tag of $4,999, although the executive said that to build your own comparable model, you could expect to pay upwards of $7,000.
The iMac Pro will be available in December.
Apple also updated the MacBook and MacBook Pro with faster processors, added faster SSDs to MacBook, and introduced a new $1,299 13-inch MacBook Pro.
The new 13-inch MacBook features a Kaby Lake processor up to 1.3GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4 GHz, and up to 50-percent faster SSD storage. The 15-inch model goes up to 3.1 GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz, and it has improved graphics, better video memory, as well as Apple’s new Touchbar system and Retina display.
To wrap up the refreshed product ranges, the tech giant has also updated the standard 13-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8GHz processor.
Announced was iOS 11, the OS found on their most popular products like iPhones and iPads.
Apple Pay now supports person-to-person payments in iMessage. That’ll be Available on all iOS devices and Apple Watch.
Siri comes packaged with a new voice she gained from using deep learning and she’s sassy as ever! Siri can also translate right on your device now – English, Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish supported so far. Siri is learning topics that interest us so she can give us ideas on what to learn or do next. Siri’s data is accessible on all devices, but kept private.
Camera came with a few updates, HEVC video encoding on iOS 11 mean videos take up less storage. The all familiar JPED is getting replaced with HEIF for better images at half the size – freeing up more of that precious storage on our iPhones. Live Photos can be trimmed and can be marked at specific points to use as the main photo.
Control Center has a whole new look! No more swiping between pages in Control Center if you want to skip a song or change music volume. Single page Control Center is back… and it looks good! 3D Touch allows for more controls within Control Center.
Lock Screen and Notification Center allows for easy scroll up to see all notifications
Photos got a small update too.
Messages got a little love, Siri now learns words from searches and guesses when we use them in messages. As discussed earlier Apple Pay is now supported and there are new Stickers.
Maps has got some features I’m looking forward to! Maps now include layouts of malls and airports (probably only for bigger cities for now). Lane guidance shows you which lane to use for your next move. And a new ‘Do Not Disturb While Driving’ feature that honestly is a fantastic idea but let’s be honest. How many of us will actually turn that feature on? Basically, you turn this on and people who text you get a notification that says you’re driving. But the person can override this by adding an ‘urgent’ to get through to you – you know, in case there is an emergency.
HomeKit is something I’ve never used… but apparently, speakers are being added to HomeKit which allows you to play music on select speakers… I could’ve sworn this has been a feature with Airplay for a while now. Whatever. Although you can join all your friends on one playlist.
Apple Music now has 27 million customers using this app, me included. Now we can see what friends are listening to. Developers get access to cloud services. And now, Shazam can add songs to your collection.
Apple announced a new iPad Pro with a 20% larger screen but the body size was kept the same. iPad Pro now has a full screen keyboard layout and is packaged with a true tone display that’s 50% brighter, something I’ve thought was impossible to achieve. Have you ever tried to look at your iPad screen after just waking up? Might as well be staring at the sun at high noon… The refresh rate of this new iPad is now 120Hz allowing for buttery smooth video and crystal clear movement. Depending on what you’re doing the iPad will auto adjust the refresh rate to relieve strain on the battery – aiding to battery life.
Supports USB-C and storage goes from 64GB all the way up to 512GB!
iOS 11 on iPad allows for a docking feature that’ll allow you to get access to the dock form any screen and gives you app switching. You can also swipe to switch between apps. The all familiar drag and drop feature found in almost every computer now comes to iPad Pro with iOS 11. We can now drag URLs, photos, text, etc, from app to app.
Apple will now offer a Files App. All your file in one place on your iPad. iPad Pro Supports iCloud and all major third-party drives and clouds. I don’t know about you but this is becoming more and more of a touch screen Mac? Could it be in a short few years we’ll be seeing a bridge between the iPad and Mac markets?
A new product by Apple! Apple announced a HomePod, very similar to the Amazon Echo. It comes packaged with Siri and is a speaker for the home. This product comes in White and Space Gray. It has a 7-tweeter array on bottom with a 4in. subwoofer. This fancy new speaker comes packaged with the A8 chip. It also detects the space it’s in to balance the audio and take advantage of both big and small spaces. Siri-enabled for song requests and directions, also use Siri for anything you would use it for on your phone with HomePod. All that said, I think the $349 price tag is a little too high.