Apple’s annual developers’ conference has kicked off on 5th June and the first day itself was an action packed day for the company as well as for the Apple fans. Let’s come straight to the WWDC 2017 keynote, and trust me there are so many things coming up from Apple’s kitty. Hold on your breath, and meanwhile, let’s just check out few of the main big-picture takeaways from Monday’s Apple presentation…
Yes, we wrote about it few days back and now we know the exact name. It’s HomePod which would compete with the likes of Google Home and Amazon Echo. Apple’s home hub, the smart speaker would respond to voice commands using Siri and is integrated with Apple’s Music services. HomePod is able to sense the size of the room using acoustics. It is compatible to work with Apple services such as Messages and its smart home appliance platform, HomeKit. The HomePod also provides information on news, general knowledge, weather and sports scores. What makes it stand out amid its contemporaries is its sound quality. It is priced at $349 and the shipping begins in December.
2. Amazon available on Apple TV
Good news for Apple TV customers who like to watch Amazon Video. All these while, Amazon’s library was kept off the Apple set-top box, thanks to a feud between the two brands. But the firms appear to have buried the hatchet a little. That’s something to celebrate, cheers!
3. High Sierra
Apple’s next operating system for Mac is called High Sierra and will be a free update to the current Sierra system.
4. Macs are refreshed
Apple also gives Mac a fresh makeover and a stock of fresh updates to the Mac lineup. The new desktops comes with higher memory capacity and stronger graphics performance. The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,099 (roughly Rs. 70,720); a 21.5-inch, 4K-capable iMac Retina will cost $1,299 (roughly Rs. 83,590); and a 25-inch iMac Retina 5K goes for $1,799 (roughly Rs. 1,15,770).
Apple does refresh its notebook series too – the MacBook and MacBook Pro is coming up with faster processors and faster solid-state hard drives. The 15" MacBook Pro is also getting faster graphics. Apple is also cutting the basic price for the MacBook’s 13-inch model by $300 (roughly Rs. 19,300).
A new iMac Pro at $4,999 (roughly Rs. 3,21,670) is also announced to be available in December.
5. iOS 11 gets redesigned
- Control center: Apple is revamping the control center on iOS – the panel that pops up to let you control volume, brightness, etc. – by enlarging it and spacing out some of the functions.
- Apple Pay: The company also introduced a person-to-person payment feature to Apple Pay.
- Voice assistant: Siri will speak (a little) more naturally in female and male voices and use some sort of machine learning to suggest apps that you may want to use.
- GPS: Maps has a couple of updates, including indoor maps for places such as shopping malls etc.
- App Store: The store is getting a makeover, too, with tabs for games, apps that are notable that day, and a tab just for nongaming apps.
- AR: Apple is also bringing more machine learning and augmented reality capabilities to the iPhone, which will help developers create apps with these features.
6. iPad Pro Line updated
Apple has updated its iPad Pro line, upping the basic screen size of the higher-end tablet to 10.5 inches, rather than the 9.7-inch screen. The 10.5-inch model will start at $649 (roughly Rs. 41,700), with the bigger 12.9-inch model starting at $799 (roughly Rs. 51,400). Apple is also doubling the storage space on these models, and the larger model will have a version with 512GB of storage.