WWDC 2017 Highlights

Here are the highlights announced at this year’s Worldwide Developers Conference ( WWDC 2017).

WWDC 2017 – tvOS

Amazon Prime Video is coming to the TV app and all Apple TVs later this year.

WWDC 2017 – watchOS 4

  • A variety of new watch faces:
    • Siri watch face. The watch face dynamically updates with reminders, traffic, sunset times, HomeKit controls, and more, all using Siri proactive intelligence.
    • There is also a new kaleidoscope watch face in multiple styles.
    • Toy Story character watch faces including Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear.
  • New monthly activity challenges.
  • Redesigned Music app. Beautiful album art and playlist images. Support for multiple playlists. watchOS 4,  allows you to pick a playlist that automatically starts with your Workout. When you’re in a Workout, you can swipe to the left and control the music directly in the app.
  • Now has screen autorotate.
  • Added a flashlight in Control Center.
  • Introducing a new vertical dock.

WWDC 2017 – macOS

macOS - High Sierra

  • Next version of macOS is called High Sierra.
  • Safari now has autoplay blocking. It detects sites that autoplay video and blocks playback.
  • Safari also has Intelligent Tracking Prevention. It uses machine learning to identify trackers, segregate the cross-site scripting data. It’s not about blocking ads, the web behaves as it always has, but your privacy is protected.
  • Mail app now has full-screen Split View.
  • Photos app has new organizational and editing tools. New imports view in chronological order that can be filtered.
  • The Mac file system has its roots in HFS from 30 years ago. Apple is bringing the Apple File System (APFS) to macOS High Sierra as our new default file system on Mac.
  • macOS High Sierra is building in hardware and software acceleration for H.265 encoding for video.
  • HEVC hardware acceleration for newer Macs.
  • Metal 2. New optimizations and APIs. Up to 10x better draw call throughput.
  • A Metal developer Kit with a TB3 enclosure and AMD Radeon RX 580 + USB-C hub is available starting today.
  • Apple is also introducing Metal for VR in macOS High Sierra.
  • macOS High Sierra is available as a developer beta today. A public beta will be available in late June and will be a fee upgrade for everyone in the Fall.

WWDC 2017 – New Mac Hardware

  • New iMac models
    • Best displays ever – 43% brighter with one billion colors.
    • Intel Kaby Lake processors with 10-bit HEVC decode.
    • Up to 32GB RAM on 21.5-inch iMac, up to 564GB RAM on 27-inch iMacs.
    • Fusion Drive standard on all 27-inch iMac configurations and high-end 21.5-inch iMac. Up to 50% faster SSDs with up to 2TB storage.
    • Two (2) Thunderbolt 3 ports on the back.
    • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 (integrated). Up to 80% faster than previous generation.
    • Discrete graphics in 21.5-inch iMac include AMD Radeon Pro 555 & 560 GPUs with up to 4GB VRAM in the 4K model. Up to 3x faster than previous generation.
    • 27-inch iMac 5K models will also gain upgraded AMD Radeon Pro chips (570, 575, and 580 GPUs) with up to 8GB of VRAM.
    • 5-inch iMac starts at $1,099. 4K 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,299. 5K 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799.
  • New Mac Notebooks
    • Intel Kaby Lake processors coming to new 12-inch MacBook and MacBook Pro. Up to 50% faster SSDs. Faster standard graphics on new 15-inch MacBook Pro.
    • MacBook Air getting a “bump in megahertz” too.
    • 12-inch MacBook starts at $1,299. 13-inch MacBook Pro with function keys starts at $1,299 or $1,799 with Touch Bar. 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar starts at $2,399.
    • All new MacBook, MacBook Pro, and MacBook Air models begin shipping today.
  • iMac Pro
    • The most powerful Mac ever.
    • Workstation –class performance.
    • Space Gray finish with a 5K display.
    • Up to 18-core Xeon processor
    • 80% increase in cooling capacity but still quiet.
    • iMac Pro is configurable with up to 128GB ECC RAM.
    • Four (4) Thunderbolt 3 ports. Built-in 10Gb Ethernet port.
    • 1080p FaceTime camera.
    • VESA mount option.
    • Real-time 3D rendering. High frame rate with immersive VR.
    • Real-time 4K video & Audio effects.
    • Faster code compiling.
    • iMac Pro starts at $4,999 and will be available in December.

WWDC 2017 – iOS 11

  • iMessage is getting a redesigned app drawer that makes it easier to use apps and stickers.
  • iMessage is also getting optimized device storage and smaller and faster backups on iOS and macOS with messages stored and synced in the cloud across devices.
  • Apple Pay person to person payments in coming in iOS 11, integrated into Messages as a Messages app.
  • Siri is gaining a new voice powered by deep learning techniques and will sound more natural.
  • Siri is getting a beta Translation feature with English to Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. More language combinations will follow in the months to come.
  • Siri will now use on-device learning to better understand what you want. Syncs across all of a user’s Apple devices with end-to-end encryption.
  • Portrait mode is being updated with improved image quality, and developers will have access to a depth API.
  • Photo Library will be able to identify more kinds of events, like weddings, baby showers, and more.
  • Live Photos is getting improvements. Memories can now identify photos and video of pets.
  • Control Center is now a single page.
  • Redesigned lock screen.
  • Improvements to Apple Maps.
    • Detailed floor plans for shopping malls in Boston, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, and several other major cities, with more to follow.
    • Detailed floor plans for major airports.
    • Adding lane guidance.
    • Will display posted speed limits.
    • Introducing an optional Do Not Disturb While Driving feature to prevent distracted driving.
  • HomeKit support is coming to speakers with Apple’s new AirPlay 2 protocol, which has multi-room audio.
  • The App Store is getting an update.
    • Getting a new Today tab to discover apps and read stories about the developers who created them.
    • Getting a dedicated Games tab.
    • Monument Valley 2 is available today.
    • Apple is releasing a new set of APIs to make it easier for developers to incorporate machine learning into their apps. Deep neural networks, support vector machines, and other models. On-device processing with data privacy across iOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS.
    • Apple has a new augmented reality platform (ARKit) for developers.
  • iOS 11 developer preview is available today.  Public beta will be available in late June.

WWDC – iPad

  • Introducing the new iPad pro.
    • 5-inch screen with thinner left and right bezels.
    • Weighs less than 1 pound.
    • Full-size on-screen Smart Keyboard that supports more than 30 languages.
    • Maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, up from 60Hz.
    • True Tone display, wide color gamut, ultra-low reflectivity, up to 600 nits brightness, and HDR video.
    • Apple Pencil now has industry-best 20ms latency.
    • 5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro getting A10X Fusion chip. It’s a six-core CPU with three high-performance cores and three high-efficiency cores.
    • 12-megapixel rear-facing iSight camera
    • 7-megapixel rear-facing Facetime camera.
    • iPad Pro still has 10-hour battery life.
    • USB-3.0 support for fast charging and data transfer.
    • iPad Pro is getting a Dock at the bottom of the screen to easily switch apps.
    • Redesigned app switcher.
    • Both 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will start with 64GB of base storage. 10.5-inch iPad Pro will start at $649. 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $799. 256GB and 512GB storage capacities available for both models.
    • Both iPad Pro models can be ordered today and will be available next week.
  • iPad is getting drag-and-drop function. Drag images, etxt, URLs. Drag and drop supports multiple gestures for switching between apps when dragging and dragging multiple items at once.
  • Introducing a brand new app called Files
    • Supports third-party cloud storage providers such as Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.
    • Files on the iPad looks a lot like the Finder on the Mac.
  • New Create PDF option supports Markup for any app that supports printing.
  • Notes now has a built-in document scanner that can correct perspective and contrast.
  • Inline drawing support in Notes and Mail using Apple Pencil.

WWDC 2017 – HomePod

Introducing a “breakthrough home speaker” called HomePod.

  • Looks like a smaller version of the 2013 Mac Pro with a mesh outer surface.HomePod Colors
  • A8 chip.
  • 7 beam forming tweeter array to direct sound.
  • Precision acoustic horns with directional control.
  • Apple designed woofer.
  • Spatial awareness.
  • Designed to work with Apple Music.
  • Supports Siri commands for playing music.
  • Works with “Hey Siri” for more than just miusic.
  • Works with HomeKit for commands like “Turn off the lights in the bedroom.”
  • Comes in White and Space Gray.
  • Starts shipping in December in the U.S., U.K., and Australia.
  • HomePod will cost $349.

What are you most excited about from this year’s WWDC?  Why not join the conversation and leave a comment below.

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