Apple CEO Tim Cook addressed the start of the annual developer conference, WWDC 2017. Apple announced a range of new hardware products and software upgrades during the conference. The biggest announcement being the HomePod, a Siri powered speaker designed to compete against the Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home.
iOS 11 was the limelight of the event including other updates like the macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4 and tvOS 11. Along with this, there are upgrades to the iPad Pro, MacBook Pro, MacBook, iMacs and new iMac Pro as well. These updates are expected to roll out around September and the MacBook starts shipping tomorrow while the iMac Pro will start to ship in December.
Now let’s just dig a little deeper into the new features and upgrades which Apple shared.
HomePod speaker – It is a 7-inch high speaker fitted with an A8 chip that can deliver high quality sound adjusting to the shape and size of the room it’s in and it integrates with Siri to respond to your commands and queries. It is packed with a 4-inch woofer, 7 beam-forming tweeters and 6 microphones. Apple has priced it at $349 and will be available in two colors.
iOS 11 – the new iOS comes packed with multiple new features like a more helpful Siri, a control center that collates all functions in one place and a “Do not disturb while driving” feature which turns your phone screen black and does not allow you to reply to messages. A phone-to-phone payment option and a collage feature called ‘Memories’. Also, the new upgrade will bring HEVC for video recording which means better quality in lesser size and the same applies to still photos via HEIF feature in place. There are many more tweaks here and there with an App Store design overhaul, updates within Apple Maps, AR kit for iOS11 and much more.
iPad Pro – Apple announced a new 10.5-inch variant to the iPad Pro which is 20% larger and is powered by a 6-core CPU and 12-core GPU. The new devices will have fast charging and upto 10 hours of battery life. The variants available are 64GB for /4649 and 512GB for $849.
watchOS 4 and TV OS – The new macOS is now called High Sierra and it comes with new file system, better photo and video editing and organization features, a faster safari browser with intelligent tracking prevention and autoplay blocking. The beta version will be available in June. Apple also unveiled a new software for the iWatch called the watchOS4 which includes a Siri face that can offer personalized advice throughout the day.
MacBook, MackBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro – The MacBook 2017 is packed with the new Kaby Lake processor (up to 1.3GHz Core i7, with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz), up to 50 percent faster SSD, and support for up to twice the RAM. The 13-inch MacBook Pro will also receive the Kaby Lake upgrade (3.5GHz Core i7, with Turbo Boost up to 4GHz), while the 15-inch model goes up to 3.1GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.1GHz; the latter now comes with more powerful graphics and more video memory.
Apple has also launched the all-new iMac Pro with 27-inch Retina 4K display, up to 18-core Xeon processor, up to 128GB RAM, up to 22-teraflops of graphics computation, and up to 4TB SSD. The base variant of iMac Pro will launch in December at starting price of $4,999.