Last week at the opening keynote of WWDC 2017, Apple announced updates for all its software offerings and also unveiled new hardware products and in an unusual move even teased some upcoming new devices from it.
Usually, WWDC from Apple has been all about software but this time around, the company also announced some new hardware devices. In fact, the company had so much to announce that none of its executives wasted a single minute during their presentation on stage and raced through their slides.
With so many announcements from Apple in just a week, which was the announcement from WWDC 2017 that got you the most excited? Before you take part in our poll, below is a quick rundown of all the announcements made by Apple at WWDC this year.
Apple did not really give much time to tvOS 11 at its opening WWDC keynote. It just mentioned that Amazon’s Prime Video app is coming to tvOS 11 and proceed to other major announcements it had. tvOS 11 does come with a revamped App Store, the ability to switch automatically to dark/light theme, custom sound support, and more. However, compared to other announcements that Apple made at WWDC 2017, tvOS 11 release feels like a minor release.
Alongside tvOS 11, Apple also unveiled watchOS 4 with some major improvements to the Activity and Workout app and new watch faces. watchOS 4 also comes with a new Apple Music app that let’s one sync their New Music Mix, Favorites Mix, and more with the smartwatch. Apart from these new features, watchOS 4 also comes with plenty of new APIs that will allow developers to create more powerful apps for the smartwatch.
While a bigger release when compared to tvOS 11, watchOS 4 is still a relatively minor update and only brings about usability improvements to the table.
macOS High Sierra
Barring the weird name, macOS High Sierra brings a lot of new things to the table for developers. With High Sierra, Apple is finally getting around to adding native support for AR and VR content to the OS. It has also announced relevant updates to its professional apps to add AR/VR support to them. In addition, macOS High Sierra brings native support for H.265 (HEVC) video, Metal 2 which brings about even more performance improvements, and APFS support. These changes will make macOS High Sierra run visibly faster than any other version of the OS.
As for user-facing changes, Apple is making major improvements to Safari with High Sierra. This includes native ad blocking, automatic Reader mode, a reworked Photos app with Memories feature, facial recognition support, and more.
When you look at all the software announcements made by Apple at WWDC this year, iOS 11 easily takes the cake and rightfully so. The latest release of iOS comes with a number of new features and changes, some of which were much needed. This includes redesigning the lock screen and merging it with the notification center, a redesigned Control Center with customisation options, redesigned Messages app and iMessage Apps Drawer, Do Not Disturb while Driving, and much more.
Siri also got some much-needed attention with iOS 11 and will now sync your personal data across all your iOS devices to offer the same experience on all of them. Its voice is also getting an upgrade and now sounds more natural, with a Male voice also being added to the table. Siri will now also be able to natively translate languages and recognise QR codes.
Apple also gave the App Store its biggest upgrade right from its inception with a huge redesign. The new App Store now features a Today tab, with Apps and Games getting their own tabs as well. Apple Pay also got an upgrade with iOS 11 and now supports person to person payment transfer that will be received in Apple Pay Cash, the company’s own virtual debit card.
As if the above changes were not already enough, iOS 11 is the biggest release from Apple aimed at the iPad, and it completely transforms the device into a multitasking beast. On the iPad, iOS 11 offers a Dock, a redesigned Recent Apps view, and a Files app for easier multitasking.
These are just the major changes that Apple has introduced with iOS 11 though. Overall, the OS comes with over 100+ new features, with the new APIs being introduced with the OS also allowing developers to create more powerful apps for the platform.
iPad Pro 2
Apple launched a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and refreshed its 12.9-inch iPad Pro at WWDC this year as well. The new iPads come with faster internals, a new screen with varying refresh rate, while still offering the same 10-hour battery life. As a bonus, Apple also doubled the internal storage of the new iPads across the lineup.
Apple unveiled its much-anticipated Siri-powered speaker, dubbed HomePod, at WWDC as well. While the speaker will not launch before the end of this year, Apple gave everyone a sneak peek at it during the event. Unlike Google Home and Amazon Echo, HomePod puts equal focus on sound quality and its AI-powered engine. It is clear that Siri is not as powerful and smart as Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa, Apple is using the sound card to push the HomePod to consumers. This also shows in its price as the HomePod is priced at $399, significantly higher than that of Amazon Echo and Google Home.
Many people have their own reservations about the HomePod since its powered by Siri, its lack of multi-user support and screen. And we agree with them.
Apart from the HomePod, Apple also gave a sneak peek at the iMac Pro, its upcoming new iMac aimed at professionals. While the iMac Pro has the same design as the regular iMac, it comes with significantly more powerful internals. In fact, Apple calls the iMac Pro its most powerful Mac ever.
Apple will be launching the iMac Pro in 8-core, 10-core, and 18-core configurations, up to 128GB RAM, 4TB SSD, and powerful AMD Vega Pro GPUs. The base variant of the iMac Pro will start from $4,999, with the maxed out variant likely costing upwards of $15,000+. Similar to the HomePod, Apple will be launching the iMac Pro towards the end of this year.
As you can see from above, Apple made quite a few announcements at WWDC this year. Out of all though, which one are you most excited about? Take part in our poll below and let us know!