Yesterday, thousands of developers and enthusiasts gathered in San Jose, California to see what Tim Cook’s Apple would announce at the WWDC. Usually, a software affair, this year proved, that’s not always the case. As along with the expected firmware updates came a few speculated hardware updates and an entirely new product. If you missed it, here’s a recap, of what we think were the WWDC highlights. For us, that includes Apple’s Home Pod, iOS 11, the iMac Pro, WatchOS 4, and iPad Pro.
Apple’s WWDC Highlights Recap
Has 2017’s event been the biggest? Prior to Apple opening its conference center doors rumors had been running rife about what we were about to see. Some, had this event pegged as the place Apple would finally announce that the iPhone 8 is real. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen; however, prediction of a Siri smart speaker were almost correct. And that’s where we will start with this recap:
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Those who pre-event dubbed the then called “Siri Speaker” as Apple’s answer to the Amazon Echo and Google Home may be disappointed. If there’s one thing that the event did reveal, it’s that Apple is not entirely happy with the state of Siri. Yes, it has a more naturally sounding voice and is capable of a few more tricks. However, Apple chose to focus more on its audio capabilities rather than Lord Siri’s smart abilities.
What is HomePod? Putting it concisely, it’s an internet-connected speaker with an emphasis more on sound than smartness. Yes, thanks to HomeKit, it will offer all of the Smart Home functionality that is available via an iPhone or iPad. But compared to its apparent rivals, audio qualities may not be enough to make it a hit. Especially when you consider that it’s price is almost twice that of the Echo’s at $349 USD, compared to $180.
Widely predicted to make an appearance at this years event was iOS 11, and as one of the WWDC highlights, it surely won’t disappoint. This new firmware it first appears is geared towards being more social, and fortunately, Siri is better too. With it now being able to translate sentences into different languages, which is extremely useful if you travel abroad.
However, more important is the redesigned interface, which has seen the app drawer change. Now, as requested by many an iOS user, it features horizontal scrolling, a redesigned control center, plus 3D Touch compatibility. As for the old boring lockscreen that is going to be replaced by one that will be able to show notifications of a users choosing!
As for the much-anticipated update to the iMessage App, it’s messages, can now be stored in the iCloud. Meaning that messages that have been deleted from your iPhone or other hardware can be retrieved. Additionally, you can receive and send payments via iMessage, so no additional third-party apps are required.
Regarding iOS 11, and this WDDC Highlights article, there’s so much to tell you, that you should check out our full firmware breakdown which is coming soon.
A huge surprise and not a product we ever expected to be included in a WWDC highlights article is the iMac Pro. Yesterday Apple announced that it would ship a new version of the computer, it’s, most powerful ever by the end of December. As for what is on offer, to start with there’s improved cooling, plus, an 18-core Xeon, chip, and Radeon Vega graphics. Now, if that’s not enough to wet your appetite, there’s also going to be 128GB of ECC memory and up to 4TB of SSD storage capacity. Of course, a powerful computer such as the iMac Pro won’t come cheap, so don’t be surprised that the price starts at $5,000 USD.
In addition to this top of the line update, iMacs as a whole are getting some upgrades. These consist of improved displays biggers storage options, and 2x Thunderbolt/USB-C connectors. Additionally, there;s the introduction of the Intel Kaby Lake chipset the 7th generation if it’s kind. It’s hoped by Apple that upgrades like this to the more standard all-in-one iMacs will help them to compete with similar Windows 10 devices.
With rumors circling about a new Apple Watch Series 3 on the way, we expected to see something of WatchOS 4 at the WWDC. As far as those rumors are concerned, they had predicted that this new smartwatch firmware could come with Siri integration. The fact, that it does proves that Apple may not be able to keep a lid on this highly anticipated update.
As for what’s new, WatchOS 4, will provide new watch faces, along with more detailed information. This information will include, but not be limited to, Siri reminders, and visual ones, that feature characters from popular films. Additionally, there’s an increasing focus on health within WatchOS 4, with fitness challenges being set for owners. These challenges could include increasing the number of sets completed at the gym. Plus, there will be a more accurate reading of vital statistics, such as heart rate, calories burning, etc.
Long thought to have been almost forgotten by Apple is the iPad. However, this last item on our WWDC highlights list seems to have once again been thrust into the limelight by its creator. Why? Because, this new iPad Pro model, gets the rumored 10.5-inch in a 9.7-inch body that had been rumored. But, overall, there’s so much more on offer here that’s new, it’s an exciting time to be an iPad user.
To start with, all iPad pro’s including the older 9.7-inch model are getting improved displays. These new windows into the world of iOS will are a revolution, by those who’ve been crying out for better. As for what it will entail, that True-Tone, DCI-P3 gamut, plus 600-nit brightness and extremely low reflectivity. Additionally, the refresh rate of the displays has been increased to 120Hz.
Moving on to internal upgrades, there’s an A10X chip, plus a 12-core GPU, which means performance all round is better. As for the camera, there’s a 4K sensor with a wide-gamut, plus USB-C for even faster charging.
So, there you have them, what were for us the WWDC Highlights worth recapping. That’s the new Apple HomePod, iOS 11, iMac Pro, WatchOS 4, and last but not least the iPad Pro. What do you think of Apple’s latest announcements? Come and share your thoughts with us below.