Earlier today, Apple held their WWDC 2017 keynote, where they announced a few new products, as well as several updates to existing ones.
The newest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, iOS 11, was announced at today’s event, which offers a variety of new features and adds some new functionality.
Specific the the iPad, iOS 11 will feature a new Files app, which will enable users to view all of their files in one central location. Additionally, users will be able to view files that are in other apps, on other iOS devices, on iCloud, and on services like Dropbox.
The iPad will also be receiving a new dock with iOS 11, which will be available from any screen – similar to the way the dock works on macOS. Users can bring up the dock by swiping on their screen, and can then launch and switch between apps using this new feature. This leads to improved multitasking capabilities, with users being able to open a second app from the dock.
Multitasking on the iPad is also improved with iOS 11, with users being able to open a second app from the new dock. Multiple apps can be viewed simultaneously in either “Slide Over” or “Split View”. Users will also be able to drag-and-drop files from one app to another.
With iOS 11, users will be able to use Apple Pay from within the Messages app, which can be used to send and receive money from friends and family members. Once a user has received money via Apple Pay, it is stored as Apple Pay Cash, and can be sent to others, used with Apple Pay, or transferred to one’s bank account.
Live Photos will also be receiving an update, with users being able to turn them into loops and “bounces” – or to create a long exposure effect. The camera also includes a variety of filters, as well as new compression technology that enables one to take photos that are half the size as before.
An upgraded App Store is another update that will come with iOS 11, and will featured a refactored tab listing, which includes “Today”, “Games”, “Apps”, “Updates”, and “Search”.
The Messages app will also be updated, making it easier to access stickers, emojis, and games right from within a text message. All the user has to do in order to access the aforementioned things is swipe across the redesigned app drawer.
Siri will also be receiving an update, which includes the ability to ask for a translation, improved abilities when it comes to music, the ability to learn about which news topics you’re interested in, suggestions when you’re typing, as well as suggested searches in Safari.
The Control Center is another area of iOS that will be receiving an update in the newest version of the OS, with the ability to customize it to feature the “things you do most”.
Apple Maps also receives some improvements in iOS 11, including indoor maps and lane guidance while driving.
The new QuickType keyboard allows users to more easily type with one hand, and can be enabled by holding the emoji key and selecting the “One-Handed Typing” option.
Another new feature of iOS 11 is Automatic Setup, which allows users to quickly import settings and other information from an existing device, including another iPhone or Mac. This is done in a manner similar to how one would pair an Apple Watch with their iPhone, by positioning an image in front of the camera of another Apple device.
Apple announced a new version of the iPad Pro, featuring 10.5 inch Retina display with a resolution of 2224 x 1668 pixels. This version will replace the previous 9.7 inch model. The upgraded Retina display in the new iPad Pro supports a 120Hz refresh rate (2x the standard LCD refresh rate), making things look smoother and allowing for a more responsive experience.
Both iPad Pro models (10.5 and 12.9 inch) will include Apple’s 64-bit A10X Fusion chip, with an embedded M10 coprocessor, which is 30% percent faster than the chip in the previous version of the device.
Additionally, the device will see an upgraded camera – the same 12 MP camera that is used in the iPhone 7. As such, the iPad Pro will be able to record 4K video at 30 frames per second. The device also features a 7 MP FaceTime HD camera, capable of recording 1080p HD video.
The iMac lineup also received some upgrades, with an improved Retina display, a new Radeon Pro 500 graphics card and seventh-generation Intel processors.
The iMac will also feature a Fusion Drive (standard on all 27-inch iMac models, optional on the 21.5-inch model), which stores frequently used apps and files on flash storage, while keeping other files on a high-capacity hard drive.
Along with the hardware updates, VR will be coming to the iMac, with users being able to edit 360-video in apps like Final Cut Pro.
The iMac will also come with two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, allowing for quick data transfer, as well as four USB 3 ports so that users can connect multiple accessories and devices simultaneously.
The iMac line will now feature a new device – the iMac Pro.
This new version of the iMac will have a 27-inch 5K Retina display, which contains 14.7 million pixels and supports one billion colors.
The computer features up to 18 processor cores (users can opt for an 8, 10, or 18 core Xeon processor) and will also include a Radeon Pro Vega graphics card. Additionally, the device can hold up to 128 GB of RAM and up to a 4 TB SSD. The machine will also include four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and 10 Gb Ethernet.
Unlike previous versions of the iMac, the iMac Pro will come in space gray, with the option to get space gray accessories, including the Magic Keyboard (with numeric keypad), Magic Mouse 2, and the Magic Trackpad 2.
MacBook and MacBook Pro
The MacBook and MacBook Pro lineups will also be seeing some updates, with improved performance due to new seventh-generation Intel Core processors (Core m3, i5, and i7).
macOS High Sierra
Updates to Apple’s desktop operating system, macOS, were also announced during today’s keynote, with updates including the introduction of the Apple File System, HEVC (H.265) video compression, Metal 2 graphics, virtual reality, improvements to various Apple apps (including Photos, Safari, Mail, Siri, FaceTime, Messages, Notes, etc.), and the ability to choose an iCloud plan for the whole family (plans include either 200 GB or 2 TB of storage).
The newest version of watchOS was also announced – watchOS 4.
This new version of the Apple Watch’s operating system will feature improved Activity and Workout apps, as well as an improved music experience. Like with iOS, the Apple Watch will be receiving improvements to Siri functionality and will also feature a new Siri complication.
Additionally, watchOS 4 will include some new watch faces, including a Siri watch face, a Kaleidoscope face, and a Toy Story watch face that can display Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Jessie.
Perhaps one of the most interesting announcements as this year’s WWDC keynote is Apple’s new HomePod – a speaker that features Apple Music and Siri functionality.
Apple’s new HomePod features seven speakers, allowing for 360 degree sound playback, and also features a six-microphone array. The device also includes an Apple A8 chip, which will act as the “brains” behind the device.
The HomePod will be able to sense where it is in the room, and will be able to adjust its acoustics accordingly. Should a second HomePod get added to a room, the two devices will be able to automatically detect and balance each other.
If there are HomePods in multiple rooms, they can communicate with each other using the new AirPlay 2, allowing users to play the same music throughout all of the rooms where the devices are present.
The top of the HomePod can be tapped to play, pause, or adjust the volume of the music that you’re listening to, and also lights up to show when Siri is listening.
Like other devices in this market, the HomePod can also be used as an assistant, with the ability to use Siri to find the answer to a question, set a timer, get news, weather, traffic, and other information, and to control the various devices that one might have within their home.
For more information about the announcements that were made at Apple’s WWDC keynote address today, please feel free to check out the WWDC17 Keynote Address page on the Apple website.