Apple’s yearly, week-long WWDC event is where it announces the latest updates to the software running on its Macs, iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, Apple TVs and other devices.
Other news included the best features of the upcoming iOS 11, a 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and enhanced MacBook and iMac computers. Here’s a round-up of everything new Apple announced at WWDC 2017.
Apple’s upcoming mobile software iOS 11 includes a more helpful Siri, phone-to-phone payments within iMessage and a control centre that collates all functions in one place.
WWDC is primarily a software event. This year, like every year, Apple showcased the next major update for iOS for the iPad and iPhone: iOS 11.
There are a few big changes in iOS 11, but we’ll stick to some of the highlights here.
Siri has had a facelift: it sounds more natural thanks to machine learning and it’ll use on-device learning to improve your iOS experience. It’ll learn your interests and suggest related topics in News, or will add related words to your QuickType suggestions, for example.
The Control Center has been redesigned too, a much needed upgrade. It now displays all controls on a single sheet, and features 3D Touch-enabled toggles that provide more control than ever before. The annoying sliders have been redesigned too!
The App Store has also been redesigned for the first time in its 9-year history. It features a design similar to that of Apple Music and offers a Today tab for app discovery, along with dedicated tabs for Games and general apps. The apps on offer will change on a daily basis, making finding new and interesting games and apps easier than ever.
macOS 10.13, also known as macOS High Sierra, brings improvements to the Mac experience. For starters, Safari offers Intelligent Tracking Prevention that’ll stop annoying adverts from following you around the internet. That means that you should stop seeing product-focused adverts after you’ve bought the product, for example.
Photos has also had a bit of a facelift: it offers new filtering options that make it easier to find the photos and videos you’re looking for, along with a range of advanced editing pools including curves to fine-tune the brightness and contrast in images.
watchOS 4 and TV OS:
Apple has announced macOS High Sierra for its computers. The new software comes with a refined, faster Safari that blocks videos from playing automatically and stops websites from tracking users. It is compatible with virtual reality for the first time and features tweaks to Mail, Photos and file storage.
Although with that being said, tvOS 11 barely got a mention at all. The company highlighted that Amazon Prime Music is coming to the Apple TV, and that was about it!
Along with the Siri watchface comes a fleet of Toy Story-related watchfaces. Expect to see Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear on your Apple Watch later this year!
There are also a handful of new exercises in the Workout app, and a redesigned menu that allows you to control your music playback without leaving the app.
Apple’s latest product is a 7-inch high speaker called the HomePod that is fitted with an A8 chip that adjusts sound based on the shape and size of the room its on and respond to commands. It is fitted with Siri and has been designed to rival the Amazon Echo and Google Home speakers.
t features spatial awareness and can intelligently detect the space around it and improve the audio accordingly, and can be paired with an additional HomePod for stereo playback.
While the focus is on the Apple Music support and its library of 40 million songs on-demand, Siri can also handle a range of standard requests like answering queries or sending iMessages.
It’s not due until December 2017, and will cost $349 (around £349 in the UK). It’ll be limited to the US, UK and Australia at launch, with availability in other countries coming next year.
10.5-inch iPad Pro:
The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro has a retina display and weighs just 0.45 kg. The screen is large enough for a full-size keyboard and it can attach to a smart keyboard. The update replaces the 9.7-inch iPad Pro, having increased the screen size while only marginally increasing the size of the tablet itself.
The latest addition to the iPad Pro line-up has an A10X fusion chip rather than the A9X, giving it a faster refresh rate when using the Apple Pencil. It also has an enhanced display that preserves battery. It joins the 9.7-inch iPad, which was released in the UK in April, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which will also receive a display upgrade.
The iMac range has had a significant upgrade, and will now feature discreet graphics cards that can provide impressive graphics performance. In fact, it’s so impressive that SteamVR and VR headsets like the HTC Vive can be powered by the new range.
The 21.5in iMac gets Intel Iris Plus Graphics while the 21.5in iMac with 4K display gets a either Radeon Pro 555 or 560 with up to 4GB VRAM. The real improvement is with the 27in range, offering a Radeon Pro 570, 575 or 580 with up to 8GB VRAM.
The iMac Pro has a 5K screen and comes in space grey. Apple says it is the “most powerful Mac” it has made and will cost $4,999. The new desktop computer will be available from December and features a 1080p FaceTime camera and real-time 3D rendering.
As well as the new iMac Pro, Apple has updated its whole iMac range with 7th generation Intel Core Kaby Lake processors, as well as improving memory and graphics card performance.
Apple also refreshed its MacBook laptop and iMac desktop computers. The bump in performance will see the MacBook Pro range include the latest 7th generation Intel Core Kaby Lake processors and offer 50 per cent speed boosts on their solid state drives.
The entry level MacBook Pro will come in at $1,299, a drop in price of $200 from its current price and the same price as the 12-inch MacBook. In the UK, the new price for the MacBook Pro is £1,249.
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