Apple WWDC 2017 Review!

Today is Apple’s annual Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC)!

This is everything we know so far!

Tim Cook starts off the event with developer statistics and mentions that today’s WWDC will feature 6 massive announcements, and a little glimpse into tvOS.

 

And coming at some point this year Apple TV will officially support Amazon Prime Video. More will be revealed about TVos later on this year.

Onto the major announcements now though!

1: WatchOS 4

There is talks of a new Siri Watch Face which will automatically update with reminders, traffic, sunset times, HomeKit controls and much more all using Siri proactive intelligence.

Some new watch faces were announced including a new Kaleidoscope with various styles and also some Toy Story character faces, including Woody, Jessie, and Buzz Lightyear.

New monthly activities are coming to iWatch alongside an enhanced Workout app. The Music app is also getting a overhaul, which will make using it a really great experience from adding album arts to playlist images and even support for multiple playlists.

In watchOS 4 you will be able to pick a playlist that automatically starts when you start doing a workout, also when in the middle of a workout you can swipe to the left and control the music without the need of your phone.

Their will be a new vertical Dock for the iWatch, with more things to come later on.

Tim Cook re-enters the fray to discuss the Mac, “At the heart of the Mac experience is macOS, I invite Craig Federighi on stage” who is here to talk about number:

2: macOS High Sierra

The first thing revealed about macOS it the name High Sierra. Kevin then goes on to talk about Safari and one of it’s changes which incorporates autoplay blocking. Safari will detect sites which autoplay videos and will block playback. Also incorporated into Safari will the Intelligent Tracking Prevention, it will use machine learning to identify trackers and segregate the cross-site scripting data. It’s not about blocking adds, but helping to protect your privacy.

Next up is the addition of full screen Split view for the mail app.

Then Photos app is talked about which will have some new organizational and editing tools, and a New import view in chronological order that can be filtered.

For the past 30 years apple have used their HFS (Hierarchical File System) but a lot has changed since then. Storage and file sizes have gotten bigger, Apple have decided it’s time for a newer, more modern file system, and so Apple File System (APFS) is announce, and will be the default file system on High Sierra.

High Sierra is also building in hardware and software acceleration for H.265 encoding for video. Also for newer Macs HEVC hardware acceleration. Then Metal 2 is announced which will give new optimizations and API’s with upto 10x better draw call throughput. A Metal developer kit with a TB3 enclosure and AMD Radeon RX580 + USB-C hub is available starting today. As-well as Metal for VR in High Sierra. macOS High Sierra is available as a developer beta today, with public beta available in late June, a free upgrade will be available in the autumn of this year.

3: iMac, Macbook and iMac Pro

Coming on the back of macOS announcement their also the reveal of new iMac models! The Best Mac displays ever up to 43% brighter with one billion colours. The newest Intel Kaby Lake processors with 10-bit HEVC decode. The new iMacs will have up to 32gb RAM on the 21.5inch macs, with up to 64GB ram on the 27inch models. Fusion Drive will be standard on all 27-inch iMac configurations and high-end 21.5-inch iMac. Fusion Drive will give up to 50% faster SSDs with up to 2TB storage. 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports on the back, and Next generation graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 (integrated graphics) up to 80% faster than previous generations.

27-inch iMac 5K models will also gain upgraded AMD Radeon Pro chips (570, 575, and 580 GPUs) with up to 8GB of VRAM

Pricing was announced with the 21.5-inch iMac starting at $1,099. 4K 21.5-inch iMac starting at $1,299. 5K 27-inch iMac starting at $1,799

It wouldn’t be an Apple announcement without the talk of their notebooks. The inclusion of Intel Kaby Lake processors coming to new 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro. Up to 50% faster SSDs. Faster standard graphics on new 15-inch MacBook Pro. The pricing has been revealed to be:

  • 12-inch MacBook starts at $1,299.
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys starts at $1,299
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar $1,799
  • 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar starts at $2,399

All new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models begin shipping today.

A brand new iMac Pro! Perhaps the most powerful Mac ever. It will have workstation-class performance. Greather than 80% increase in cooling capacity yet still “quiet”. Up to 18-Core Xeon Processor, Radeon Vega graphics. Up to 16GB of VRAM. Up to 400 Gbps of memory bandwidth. Up to 11 Teraflops of single-precision computation. Up to 22 Teraflops of half-precision computation. With it also being configurable with up to 128GB ECC RAM, 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, and a built in 10GB ethernet port. In addition to the above there will also be 1080p FaceTime camera. VESA mount option. Real-time 3D rendering. High frame rate with immersive VR. Real-time 4K video & Audio effects. Faster code compiling.

The pricing a relase date have been revealed and it’s a pretty pricey coming in at $4,999.

4: iOS 11

Up first is a redesigned iMessage with an included app drawer that makes it easier to use apps and stickers, and also getting optimized device storage and smaller and faster backups on iOS and macOS with messages stored and synced in the cloud across devices.

Siri will be gaining a new voice powered by deep learning techniques. Plus Siri will be getting a beta Translation feature! English to Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish, with more language combinations to follow in the months to come. It’s also going use and on-device learning. Meaning It’ll basically better understand what you want and be able to syncs across all of a user’s Apple devices with end-to-end encryption.

New Depth API for developers. Portrait Mode gets  some new features including a new update to Portrait mode to help improve image quality, and developers will have access to a depth API.

Photo Library is getting smarter and will be able identify more kinds of events, like weddings, baby showers, and more. Control Centre will now be on a single page. As well as a slightly redesigned Lock Screen. Some improvements are coming to Live Photo’s including memories being able to identify photos and videos of pets.

Siri will be getting smarter, I.E. it will be able to recommend stories in Apple News tailored to the individual.

An update to Apple Maps including being able to display posted speed limits, as well as lane guidance. In addition detailed floor plans for shopping malls in Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, and several other major cities, with more to follow. Alongside that detailed floor plans for major airports.

Whilst driving a new feature called Do Not Disturb While Driving with the aim of preventing a distraction whilst driving.

HomeKit support will be coming to speakers with Apple’s new AirPlay 2 protocol, which has multi-room audio. A “Shared Up Next” feature for AirPlay 2 where multiple users can create a playlist for a party.

With the music theme in mind up next is Apple Music. A new MusicKit for developers will be released.

App Store will be undergoing a complete redesign. A brand new Today tab to discover apps and read stories about the developers who created them. A brand new dedicated Games tab, including a tab for non games.

Apple will be releasing a new set of APIs to make it easier for developers to incorporate machine learning into their apps. Deep neural networks, support vector machines, and other models. On-device processing with data privacy across iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

5:Ipads

An all new Ipad Pro, with a slimmer left and right bezels, with the 10.5inch model weighing just 1 pound, a full on-screen smart keyboard that supports more than 30 languages at launch. Display is being uplifted with True Tone display, wide color gamut, ultra-low reflectivity and HDR video. All iPad Pro models getting a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, up from 60Hz.

The new iPad Pro’s will be in 10.5inch and 12.5inc sizes with the following specs: A10X Fusion chip. It’s a six-core CPU with three high-performance cores and three high-efficiency cores, a 12-core GPU with up to 40% faster graphics performance, 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera and 7-megapixel front-facing FaceTime camera. Upto 10-hour battery life. USB 3.0 support for fast charging and data transfer. Both 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will start with 64GB of base storage. 10.5-inch iPad Pro will start at $649. 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $799. 256GB and 512GB storage capacities available for both models. Both models will be available next week.

The Apple Pencil now has industry-best 20ms latency.

Up next will be iOS 11 for iPad, this includes The Dock which can be summoned from the bottom of the screen to easily switch apps, with apps being pulled out from The Dock into Slide Over view. A new re-designed app switcher. Ipads will also be getting drag-and-drop! You will be able to drag images, text and URL’s. The new QuickType keyboard is more productive. Flick your finger on keys to get punctuation and more.

Apple are intrducing a bran new iPad app called Files (we touched on this earlier) Files will also support third-party cloud storage providers such as Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive. Files has been designed to look a lot like Finder on the Mac. If you take a screenshot on the iPad there will be a little icon in the corner that you can tap to open markup right away for editing.

Notes will now have a built-in document scanner that can correct perspective and contrast. It can then be marked up with Apple Pencil. Inline drawing support in Notes and Mail.

If you want to get the iOS 11 Developer preview it’s available today. Public beta will be available in late June.

Last but not least number:

6: HomePod

Apple has been working hard on a breakthrough home speaker, and it’s called HomePod!

The speccy bit:

  • A8 chip
  • 7 beam-forming tweeter array
  • Precision acoustic horns with directional control
  • Apple-designed woofer

HomePod has been designed to work with Apple Music and supports Siri commands for playing music and also ‘Hey Siri’. It will also work with HomeKit. “Turn off the lights in the bedroom. Apple have said that the HomePod is not listening or communicating with Apple until you say “Hey Siri.” and even then the Data is encrypted. HomePod will cost $349, and will come in 2 colours White and Space Gray, and will start shipping in December to the U.S., U.K. and Australia.