Apple HomePod, iOS11, and Other Big Announcements at the WWDC 2017
The 2017 Worldwide Developers Convention (WWDC 2017) was packed not only with attendees but also with exciting announcements from Apple.
The much-anticipated WWDC 2017 was a favorite topic in the tech sphere before it even happened on June 05, and will continue to be in the weeks to come thanks to all the new hardware and software upgrades from the tech giant. In case you weren’t able to watch WWDC 2017 live, here is a roundup of all the new great things we can expect from Apple this year.
Many were wondering when Apple would join the game of “the best smart speaker in the world”. Finally, the company is introducing their star player—say hello to the HomePod. The less than 7-inch, $349 speaker is powered by an A8 chip, 7 beam-forming tweeters, an upward-facing 4-inch woofer, and six microphones.
It is able to adjust the sound based on the size of a room and its location in the room. The technology and engineering of the HomePod are designed to give you the ultimate listening experience.
It is also fitted with Siri and can help you with everyday and general information, such as the news, weather, and traffic. Aside from that, it can function as a smart home assistant.
Apple was particular in advertising their smart speaker primarily for its awesome acoustic quality. And perhaps that is a wise move since Siri still has a lot of catching up to do when it comes to the smart assistant arena. So can the HomePod really compete with the Amazon Echo and Google Home? Time will tell as more people get to buy and test it upon its release this December.
This new software update for Apple mobile devices brings a lot of exciting new features. One of it is the “Do Not Disturb while Driving” mode, which turns off all notifications and stops the screen from lighting up when your iPhone detects that you’re behind the wheel. Another neat feature is the ability to do peer-to-peer payments within iMessage through Apple Pay. There will also be more photo editing and organizing options, a customizable Dock, and a new Control Center. iOS 11 is rolling out to the public this fall but is already available for beta testing to developers.
iPad Pro 2
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro has a slightly bigger and lighter successor—the 10.5-inch iPad Pro. But design isn’t the only difference between the two. The new iPad Pro is also more powerful, with an Apple A10X Fusion chip, a CPU that is 30% faster, and a GPU that is 40% faster. The display is brighter and more colorful, with HDR support.
It has the same front and rear camera as the iPhone 7 and comes with bigger storage space (64GB, 256GB, and 512GB). A full-sized Smart Keyboard and a more responsive Apple Pencil (20-millisecond latency) can be bought separately to complete your premium mobile computing device suite. If you need more real estate, then go for the upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro. It carries the same features as its 10.5-inch counterpart.
The new macOS update, High Sierra, has loads of improvements and refinements. So many, in fact, that it has made Safari the fastest web browser (80% faster than Chrome) according to tests conducted by Apple.
One of the most appreciated improvements will most likely be the auto-play blocking feature for videos on websites, which is customizable in the settings per site according to the users’ preferences. High Sierra also uses the Apple File System (APSF), providing faster, larger, and more secure file storing and organizing. Photos, Mail, and virtual reality capabilities have also been tweaked.
The Apple Store was totally redesigned “to make discovering apps and games easier than ever before.” There is now a tab for “Games”, “Apps”, and “Today”. The third one will contain top picks from editors, as well as helpful or interesting information about the apps, like guides and behind-the-scene stories.
iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook and MacBook Pro
The iMac range is getting a makeover, with all models receiving faster graphics processing, brighter screens, double maximum memory, and two USB Type-C connectors. Apple also revealed its most powerful computer, the Space Gray colored iMac Pro. Its 5k Retina display, 10GB built-in Ethernet, up to 18-core Xeon processor, up to 16GB of VRAM, up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation, and AMD Radeon Vega graphics will cost you $4,999.
The MacBook and MacBook Pro are also getting upgrades, such as improved SSDs and new 7th-gen Intel Core processors.
watchOS 4 comes with a whole load of new features, but perhaps the biggest one is the new Siri face. It displays important information (like your calendar, events, location, and time) and is integrated with other watchOS apps. You can now also use a kaleidoscope or one of three Toy Story characters as your watch face.
The new Apple Watch OS also delivers Bluetooth connection with compatible health monitoring devices and gym equipment. It offers more workout options as well. The Music app has also been redesigned with watchOS 4. Playlists and mixes will automatically be generated based on the user’s preferences, and music will automatically start when the wearer begins a workout.
The millions of Amazon Prime subscribers will be most happy with the news of Amazon Prime Video coming to Apple TV later this year.
Which of Apple’s big announcements at WWDC 2017 are you most excited about?