WWDC 2017: Apple’s biggest announcements this year

Every year, Apple and their team kick off their Worldwide Developers Conference, showcasing all the latest and greatest from what Forbes considers the world’s most valuable brand. Here are the six big pieces of titillating news that debuted in San Jose, California yesterday.

1.) tvOS

The shortest of the items presented, Apple was very excited to announce that the home entertainment source for many families will be able to access their Amazon Prime Video now through the device. No longer will you have to jump from device to device to be able to watch episodes of The Man in the High Castle or Bosch. Now, users can access all their favorite programming all through one device…later this year.

2.) watchOS 4

As many of you know, when it comes to any Apple device, the one thing that never stays the same is the operating system (OS). Apple announced that users of the Apple Watch will get to upgrade their firmware to the new watchOS 4 later this fall.

The OS will include a few new features from its predecessor, starting with a new Siri-powered watch face that utilizes machine learning to allow for more curated daily content. This includes reminders, traffic information, news, smart home controls, and so on.

Apple has teamed with Disney to include a few of their famous characters to stand in as waiting icons on your Apple Watch. You can have any one of your favorite characters tell you your time, from Minnie Mouse, to the whole Toy Story gang!

Other features of the new OS will include a fitness feature, boasting smarter workout controls, more goal prompts, and a two-way function to exchange data between yourself and certain gym equipment, giving you more of a readout of your workout than you’re used to.

Finally, the Apple Watch will be able to connect better with out items, via Bluetooth, that will help monitor your health.

3.) macOS High Sierra

Marijuana jokes aside (yes, they were made at the conference), the “perfected” operating system for the company’s staple product was no joke, according to Apple SVP Craig Federighi. One of the new updated items was to Safari, Apple’s standard web browser. No longer are the days of videos instantly playing loudly on news pages and other non-YouTube sites, as Safari now will include video blocking for users. It will also incorporate “intelligent tracking prevention” to stop ad trackers from sending you carefully curated advertisements.

The new OS boasted a few other things, but one of the most notable items it will now have the capability to handle now is support for the Unity and Unreal gaming engines, drawing a huge round of applause from the audience. Now, Apple will have a piece of the pie in the PC gaming world, even if it’s a small piece.

4.) iMac Pro and MacBook Pro and Air updates

Apple unveiled their new line of iMac’s, and they look pretty sweet! With a better looking display, upgraded processors and graphic performance, the new lineup look pretty great. But they’re not the only ones who are getting a upgrade.

The Macbook and MacBook Pro are getting the upgraded package as well. The MacBook line will be getting new SSDs that are 50% faster, and faster standard graphics on the MacBook Pro 15-inch model.

Apple also showed off a sneak peek at a new, high-performance version of the iMac — a 27-inch, darker gray iMac Pro, with up to 18 processor cores — that’s shipping in December.

5.) iOS 11, with AR Kit and iPad features

The announcements began to build with Apple’s most utilized platform: their iOS. With the unveiling of iOS 11, many skeptics became instant fans after seeing what the brains at Apple have cooked up.

Siri will now have the ability to translate questions into other languages, such as Spanish, Chinese, and French. Now travel inquiries will be made easier with the just a push of a button. With the help of third-party apps via the SiriKit developers kit, support will be made to include more languages, and give users a more robust selection to choose from.

Also unveiled new features for the iPad through iOS 11, including a new dock for apps, drag-and-dropsupport for a new Files app, and many other functions. The iOS will also incorporate easier cooperation with the Apple Pencil stylus.

Finally, Apple announced to developers a new AR Kit for augmented-reality apps. The new kit will offer many new opportunities for developers, including functions such as fast and stable motion tracking, scale estimation, and Xcode app capabilities.

6.) iPad Pro 10.5-inch and HomePod

Lastly, Apple announced their final two products of the conference, with as much gusto and bravado that they could muster: the new iPad Pro and HomePod. The new iPad Pro boasts a 10.5-inch, stating that this tablet was optimized for the professional user experience. Sporting thinner borders around its edges, the iPad Pro will still have a home button, and will support a full-sized keyboard cover.

Also included in the iPad Pro unveiling was the deeper and richer color, and their latest feature called ProMotion, which allows the iPad to update its content 120 times per second, giving users a more responsive and easier experience.

Wanting to join the ranks of the Amazon Echo and Google Home, Apple revealed HomePod: a new “breakthrough home speaker” that is stated to be powerful, yet compact. The speaker will sense the shape of your room, giving you a customized experience that fits your surroundings. With the ability to be paired with a second HomePod, you can create a surround sound effect in your home with its 7 beam-forming tweeter array speakers and precision acoustic horns.

One of the highlight features of the HomePod is Musicologist, which will respond to “Hey, Siri,” and play music from you Apple Music account and answer questions about the music it plays. In similar Siri fashion, the HomePod will also answer other queries, such as news, weather, messages, and other things.

So what are you most excited about unveiled by Apple? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!



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