WWDC 2017: Here's everything that was announced at Apple's largest developer conference

As a developer, Apple's WWDC (Worldwide Developer Conference) is one of the most important events for the year. It sets the template for the future of development an Apple's many platforms, and considering that Apple's devices attract the top developers in the world, everyone watches the event very closely.

Traditionally, WWDC is also where Apple announces updates to their software and Mac hardware. It's the developers, after all, who need to worry about such things.

At the outset, Tim Cook promised that this would be the largest WWDC ever. Considering the number, and magnitude of the announcements, this was no understatement.

In brief, here's everything that the iPhone giant unveiled at the keynote:

The iMac: Slightly faster than before

Apple iMac

The iMac line received some minor updates, notably the bump up to seventh generation Intel Core processors. These processors not only improve performance in every department by a around 5-15 percent, they also include new features like hardware HEVC support, which can dramatically cut down on the resources needed for 4K video playback and rendering. Of course, Kaby-Lake also means that Macs can now support more than 16 GB of RAM.

The iMacs all get Kaby-Lake processors, brighter displays, Thunderbolt 3, faster storage, and in the case of the 4K and 5K iMacs, discrete GPUs. Prices start at $1,299. The new SSDs are said to be 50 percent faster.

The 4K and 5K models will support Radeon Pro-500 series of graphics chips.

MacBook and MacBook Pro: Slightly faster, again

The new MacBooks get a bump up to Kaby-Lake. The same benefits that we mentioned in the above section still apply here, with the added mention mobile devices can get more battery life out of Kaby-Lake devices.

Prices start at $1,299.

In better news, Apple has finally decided to see sense and has updated the MacBook Air.

All the devices are available for pre-order today, except in countries that aren't the US, UK or Australia.

watchOS 4: More play, less work

Apple Watch Siri Face

watchOS 4 is getting a bunch of new updates to make your watch smarter, faster and easier to use. The biggest update is the Siri Face, which, there's no other way to put it, places Apple's version of Google Now on your Watch face. Cards will give you information that's relevant to you, including news, appointments, etc.

Workout and Activity apps are getting updates to make them smarter and to provide better information. Music will now also be easier to control during a workout.

Apple also announced a bunch of new Watch faces.

App Store: A much needed refresh, but is it useful?

Apple iOS 11 App Store

The App Store is getting its first major overhaul since its inception nine years ago. To put it simply, the Store will carry forward the design language hinted at in the new Music, News and TV apps. Bold cards will provide more information about a fewer number of items, in part to bring more focus to the store.

A number of new tabs have been added, including one dedicated to games.

macOS High Sierra: Flying high

macOS High Sierra

The latest build of macOS, unveiled at WWDC today, is to be called High Sierra. Think of it as a more refined macOS Sierra. Apple simply took the best bits of the OS and refined it a bit more.

Notably, you get HEVC support and a brand new file system.

The default Photos app gets a some tweaks and now includes better editing options. Safari gets a bunch of useful updates, including the ability to prevent sites from auto-playing content and to prevent tracking.

A newly announced Metal 2 API finally adds support for external GPUs, though these are limited to specific AMD model cards for now, which is very restrictive and unnecessary.

iOS 11: Everything's changed

There are enough new features in iOS 11 to warrant a separate press conference on the announcements.

We're not going to delve it into detail here, but you can read all about it on our website.

Essentially, iOS 11 gets a serious design overhaul, adds true multi-tasking capabilities and borrows features from Microsoft's Ink.

10.5-inch iPad Pro: It's different

ipad-pro-retina-thin

The new iPad Pro is, well, different. It's running on A10X SoC, so it's more powerful than the A10 powered iPhone 7 devices that we're carrying. It also features a new design with slimmer bezels. Speaking of displays, the refresh rate on the 10.5-inch iPad's display can vary from 24 Hz to 120 Hz. This should mean smoother animations. Pencil response time has been brought down to 20 ms.

With the A10X and iOS 11, the device is certainly making a compelling argument for a tablet in 2017.

The base model will sell for $649 and offer 64 GB of storage.

HomePod: They didn't call it the Siri Speaker

HomePod

For whatever reason, it didn't cross anyone's mind that Apple would choose to give their fancy new speaker a blindingly obvious name like HomePod.

The HomePod is a Google Home like speaker that functions like the Echo, but offers incredible music quality, relatively speaking.

The speaker looks like a mesh-encapsulated Mac Pro and features directional tweeters and a 4-inch woofer.

The device apparently uses spatial recognition technology and machine learning to tune the audio output to the listening environment. Multiple HomePods can work together to further enhance the audio experience.

These devices will support Siri and will retail for $350 later this year.


Published Date: Jun 06, 2017 04:45 am | Updated Date: Jun 06, 2017 04:45 am