Apple brought their WWDC17 Keynote Address from the San Jose Convention Center on June 5th, with announcements across a variety of existing products including iPad Pro, iOS 11, iMac, iMac Pro, MacBook and MacBook Pro, macOS, and watchOS 4, as well as the highly anticipated HomePod smart speaker. Here’s a breakdown.
Apple has announced the HomePod smart speaker that integrates Siri voice interaction and adapts to its environment to provide high quality audio. The speaker features a seven-tweeter array, six-microphone array, high-excursion woofer, and Apple A8 chip for processing, all housed in a seamless mesh fabric-covered design. The HomePod, long overdue considering Amazon Echo and Google Home already saturate the market, will release in December.
As was expected, iPad Pro is available in a new 10.5-inch model with an A10X Fusion chip and updated cameras. The screen is 20-percent larger than the 9.7-inch model and displays a full-size onscreen keyboard. The screen’s new 120Hz refresh rate not only improves video but also enhances Apple Pencil with smoother input.
iOS 11, coming this fall, includes new features for both iPhone and iPad, opening up capabilities for iPads and improving the iPhone OS. For one, both devices will be able to process augmented reality functions in games and apps.
iMac & iMac Pro computers now have improved Mac Retina displays, more memory, and more powerful graphics. The 21.5-inch model with 4k display starts at $1299. The iPad Pro, releasing in December, is what Apple calls “the most powerful Mac ever,” with up to 18 cores and Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.5GHz.
MacBook and MacBook Pro house new seventh-generation Intel Core processors for faster performance and boast 50-percent faster SSD storage. The MacBook Pro 13” and 15” models feature up to 4.1GHz Turbo Boost, as fast as 3.2GB/s SSD read speed, 500-nit Retina displays, and up to 10 hours of battery life.
Mac OS High Sierra will launch this fall with faster performance, improved use of graphics processors, and a new Apple File System with 64-bit advanced architecture for better security and responsiveness.
watchOS 4 will be released sometime this fall and bring smarter activity workout features, a better experience with iTunes Music, and other enhancements such as Achievement Progress to help with individual goals and Siri intelligence for displaying information you need right away.
In addition, the Apple App Store has been redesigned and will launch with new features in the fall that help with finding new apps and games.
Finally, Apple made it official that Amazon Prime Video will be available on Apple TV. We’ll learn more about the app, already available in limited form for iOS devices, when Apple announces new features for the tvOS “later this year.”