Apple WWDC 2017 - Announcements
Apple held a special event on June 5, 2017 at San Jose Convention Centre and announced new iPad Pro, iOS 11, iMac, MacBook Pro and MacBook, iMac Pro, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4, HomePod and App Store.
HomePod is Apple’s answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home speaker. It is powered by Siri and can play 40 million songs from Apple Music. Powered by Apple-designed A8 chip, it features a woofer, six microphone array and seven-tweeter array.
HomePod can learn the music taste of the user and therefore, when the user allows Siri to choose music, it can automatically select the preferred music content.
HomePod can take voice commands like, ‘Hey Siri, please play some hip hop’ or it can also respond to touch inputs as the top side of the speaker can be used to play/pause/adjust volume.
HomePod can sense its position in the room and adjust the sound for immersive audio experience. Further, even when you say voice commands from the other end of the room, it can respond. When multiple HomePod devices are used, the sound gets adjusted to provide good listening experience.
With the introduction of HomePod, let’s hope Apple’s HomeKit with IoT devices integration grows further.
The new iPad Pro for 2017 comes with 12.9-inch Retina display with 120Hz, 600 nits brightness, and P3 wide color display. This is the best display that iPad has ever got, in Apple’s history. The 2017 iPad Pro is also offered in a new 10.5-inch display size.
iPad Pro 2017 runs on the latest iOS 11 with redesigned multitasking. The latest A10X chip and ISP (image signal processor) designed by Apple can edit 4K video on the go. The battery life is claimed to be 10 hours. When compared with the last year’s iPad Pro, the 2017 model’s CPU speed is 30% faster and the Graphics speed is 40% faster.
iOS 11 and Apple Pencil, will make the iPad Pro 2017, more useful when it comes to free hand drawing and writing. The new iPad Pro costs $649 (starting price) for the 10.5-inch display and $799 (starting price) for the 12.9-9 inch display will be launched this fall (September - December).
Apple previewed the upcoming iOS 11. iPad Pro 2017, which runs on the iOS 11, gets new Files app which allows to search and organize different files even from iCloud Drive, Box, Dropbox, all in one place.
iOS 11 brings a new Dock in the iPad Pro 2017, allows to switch apps without going back to home screen. The Dock also lists the most recently opened apps and the last app you had opened in your iPhone or Mac, for continuity.
The app switcher allows to multitask easily. Whether it is split view or slide over, both apps can run parallely. iOS 11 also features drag and drop wherein we can drag an image from the file app and put it into the email and send it. iOS 11 also brings QuickType Keyboard in which, if you press and drag the key, it toggles automatically.
Apple Pay in iOS 11 allows to pay in chat from person to person or using Apple Pay Cash. The Live Photos get three new features, Loop, Bounce and Long Exposure. Similarly, the camera app gets compression technology wherein full image quality can be captured at half the file size. Along with iOS 11, Apple has redesigned the App Store.
Siri, Apple’s virtual assistant, can translate languages, act as Personal DJ by fetching your favorite music files, suggest news based on your topics of interest and QuickType suggestions. While using Safari, it can also prompt the searches based on what you had been reading recently and also suggest whether to bookmark flight or appointments in travel websites.
iOS 11 also provides ARKit for augmented reality. In the coming months, we can expect lot of apps that provide AR experience in iOS devices running on iOS 11.
Apple has unveiled the iMac for 2017. The 21.5-inch iMac with 4K retina display, is now priced at $1299. The iMac is equipped with Intel Core i5 and i7 processor and the update in graphics with new Radeon Pro 500 makes the iMac edit videos 1.8 times faster. Similarly, when it is 1.7 times faster in both gaming and 3D graphics. When it come to storage, the new Fusion Drive offers up to 3TB storage.
iMac runs on macOS Sierra which brings Siri to the mac computers. macOS Sierra ensures continuity among all your Apple devices including the watch.
Just like ARkit, Apple steps into VR by enabling iMac to edit 360-degree video and also make 3D VR content. iMac also includes Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port that can transfer data at the speed of 40Gb/s.
With regard to ports, the iMac provides Gigabit Ethernet port, four USB 3 ports and one SDXC card slot apart from two USB-C ports. The 2017 iMac can be connected with two 4K displays or with one 5K display as well.
Apple did preview the watchOS 4 and macOS High Sierra with minor improvements. Overall, the 2017 WWDC event is packed with lot of announcements and it only shows that Apple has realized the potential of AR and VR, by providing a platform for developers to create apps. The iOS 11 focuses much on multitasking and continuity. This year, the most awaited announcement from Apple will be the upcoming iPhone 8, which also marks the 10th anniversary since iPhone’s launch in 2007 for which we need to wait till September 2017.