WWDC 2017 – What We Got

At Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference, Apple released iOS 11, MacOS High Sierra, WatchOS 4, tvOS, Siri Speaker and some new iPad and Mac models. First, Apple CEO, Tim Cook opened the show talking about Apple’s achievements (after a funny sketch about the importance of apps.) before handing over to the rest of the Apple team for the top 6 things Apple will release. Lets start by talking about these.

1 -TV

Tim Cook very quickly told us about tvOS and the main point – Amazon Prime is coming to Apple TV. A feature that many people wanted.

2 – Watch

Not the biggest update of the day but it was really interesting to see what Apple had

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Siri AI watch face

come up with. My faviourite, A Siri-powered watch face, which automatically displays relevant information that’s personalised just for you, was released by Kevin Lynch, VP of Technology. Other Watch Faces included a kaleidoscope face – not one I particularly like – and Toy Story faces to go with Minnie and Mickey.

 

A redesigned workout app, was also included in this update with some new supported workouts including pool swimming and high-intensity interval training. Also in the category of Health, Kevin told us about personalised activity notifications, which will motivate you to complete your Apple Watch Activity Circles. When you are working out, you can actually add a playlist to automatically play when you work out.

3 – Mac

Craig Federighi told us about the latest software for Mac. He cracked some jokes about the name before telling us some new features in the area of Mac.

He first told us about Safari, the fastest ever desktop browser. MacOS High Sierra brought some new updates to apple’s browser, upgrading speed, autoplay blocking, (which stops videos from automatically playing when you go to a website.) and Intelligent tracking prevention to stop ads following you around the web.

Mail on Mac can be put in to ‘split view’, one half for composing an email and one other for reading, making multitasking even easier on the mac.

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Photo Editing Software

Photos got some small updates, facial recognition was updated and can be synced with all your devices. There is even photo editing software inside the app, upgrading the simple crop and colour features.

 

Metal also got upgraded to version 2 which will upgrade speed and include a faster debugger, The main thing Apple said about Metal was the fact that developers could now create VR apps on a Mac.

Federighi also talked about a new file system that Mac would run on, which was so much faster and more secure.

Apple is improving iMac displays, making them brighter and making CPUs faster as well as memory and storage. iMacs also now come with USB-C.

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iMac Pro

 

Then the surprise announcement of Apple’s iMac Pro, only available in Space Grey. This will be “workstation class performance”, and the “most powerful Mac ever”: with up to an 18 core processor according to John Ternus, the president of hardware engineering.

In December, when released, it’ll cost around £3880 – a bargain, Ternus says, compared to the £5,500 it would cost to spec a PC to the same level.

4 – iOS

Tim Cook started off talking about iOS 10, which 86% of iPhone users run on, compared to Android’s low of 7% currently running on their latest OS, Android 7. He handed it over to Craig Federighi once again to talk about what iOS 11 will do for iPhone and iPad.

 

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Person To Person in Messages.

Messages got the first update with a redesigned app draw so you can find your apps and stickers better, as well as automatic sync of message history through iCloud on both iOS and macOS.

 

Apple Pay got the feature most people wanted, Person to Person payments in messages, this will totally rival apps like PayPal. Of course, this is only available to Apple users. Apple pay also has it’s very own virtual card to use where you can get money sent and received to you via before transferring to your account.

Siri gets a new, more natural-sounding voice, it can translate, offer multiple answers to some questions you ask and SiriKit can now hook into more apps, more easily.

JPEG is also being replaced in the area of photos, instead using HIVC. Apple promises it’ll still be easy to share compatibly with others. Memories now has portrait movies, better changes for live photos, letting you change their keyframe and edit their length, with GIF-like effects with looping.

Maps gets detailed floor plans of shopping malls and airports (only London in Britian.) and lane guidance and speed limits for driving directions.

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New Control Centre

The Control Centre is now a single pane, letting you control everything by swiping up, once. For more controls, you can 3D Touch the face on iPhone 6s+.

 

Apple later introduced Do Not Disturb While Driving, optionally, it’ll automatically mute notifications while you’re driving the car, and even auto-reply to texts saying “I’m driving”.

HomeKit got an update for speakers and updating AirPlay to version 2 for remote playing.

 

The App Store got totally refreshed as well with a new ‘Today’ tab, showing the best apps of the day, games and apps have been separated with their own tabs.

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Today, Games and Apps tabs

ARkit (Augmented Reality) is released, developers can now create apps and games using AR.

5 – iPad

iPad got its own section in WWDC, due to the new models and complete diffferences in iOS 11.

Apple are releasing yet again new iPad Pro models, a 10.5 inch screen on the same size model of the previous 9.7 inch model and the 13 inch Pro got new displays with 120Hz refresh rate. The new CPU’s are 30% faster and the GPU’s 40%. The new iPads will have 10hr battery life and have a camera which extends from the actual body, similar to the iPhone 7.

Apple says iOS 11 is a huge leap for iPhone and a monumental leap for iPad, which makes sense considering the differences of the iPhone iOS 11 version and the iPad one:

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The iPad now has a Mac-like dock, where you can add the apps you use most to for easy access. It can even be used during multitasking. And it makes it easier to drag and drop between apps.

It’s also getting an app called Files, it’s kinda self explanatory.

Notes is getting a built-in document scanner too, replacing apps like ScanBot and Microsoft Lens.

iPad Pro got some new updates in the area of the Apple Pencil, you can draw on screenshots and PDFs and some more cool features on the way.

6 – HomePod

The last thing on Tim’s list was reinventing home music, this of course, like many people were hoping for, A Siri smart speaker. We got a quick ‘sneak peak’ of this device, it’s called the HomePod.

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HomePod

Phil comes back and says the HomePod aims to ‘Rock the house’ and has a ‘Musicologist’ living inside it (of course, referring to Siri.)

Apple say it’s like combining the quality of a Sonos Speaker and Amazon Echo, but making it better.

The sound quality is apparently amazing; the HomePod has seven tweeters, a 4-inch woofer and an A8 chip which determines the size of the room you are in.

 

 

Of course, Siri is there to answer all your questions, including music ones; a feature I particularly like is the ability to ask ‘who is playing the drums’ and Siri will tell you. He/She can set reminder, read the news and a lot more.

 

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It even responds to your touch

So HomePod finished off the main 6 and Tim was back on the stage to tell all the developers that Michelle Obama would be coming to on Tuesday morning.

 

MacOS, iOS, WatchOS and tvOS will be released around September. The developer betas are out now and a public one at the end of June.

The HomePod will be available in December for around £270, just in time for Christmas.

It’s been a great WWDC this year and I’m sure many people will be excited for the new updates.

 

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