Every year, Apple holds its Worldwide Developer’s Conference where its top players announce crucial updates to all of its flagship products and apps. This year, Tim Cook and other key executives previewed changes to the iPhone, MacBook, its iOS software system and more. For Apple fanatics and the tech world this was a highly anticipated year, considering the company has endured criticism about its recent stagnant growth and lack of game changing innovation.
This year’s WWDC had all kinds of exciting updates coming from Apple, notably its smart speaker trying to give Amazon a run for its money. It looks like 2017 is shaping up to be an impactful year for the company. Here are six announcements from today’s conference we’re looking forward to testing out.
AMAZON PRIME AND APPLE TV
According to Recode, Apple is looking to supplement the Apple TV platform with a new source of content called tvOS. As Amazon Prime video is set to come to the platform later, Tim Cook briefly mentioned this platform. After years of weirdness and Amazon politely declining to even submit a Prime Video app in Apple’s TV App Store, this is a huge move for both brands.
Apple has long been salivating at the opportunity to dethrone Venmo, and now Apple Pay is making its play to monopolize the payment-app service for Apple devices. Now, iMessages can be used to transfer Apple Payments between devices. A whole string of new emoji will be available, exciting all those who love the cute digital-age hieroglyphs. Photo and video files will be compressed to allow for more space to be freed up on your device. Siri will also now translate questions into other languages, which will be incredibly useful for global adventures.
One of the more concretely new features is a “do not disturb while driving” mode which will actually auto-inform those who text you that you are currently driving. It also displays a blank screen and silence notifications.
And yeah, the App-store is getting a total overhaul, and an Assisted Reality Kit will be released for App developers looking to expand the AR landscape. iOS 11 will debut sometime this fall.
MACOS HIGH SIERRA
Rather than a full Mac operating system overhaul, Apple has updated the features of the current operating system in an attempt to solidify the platform further. Included in the update is better photo editing capabilities (for those who don’t have Adobe Photoshop), ad tracking prevention and support for the Unity and Unreal game engines. Probably the coolest update though is its ability to support virtual reality.
There’s also a new shiny 27-inch iMac Pro with an 18 core processor on the horizon. This new Silicon Valley behemoth is supposed to hit stores sometime in December.
IPAD PRO 10.5-INCH
The sleeker update of the iPad will have thinner borders, a full-width keyboard and a new touch screen feature called ProMotion. As you use the iPad, ProMotion updates its results 120 times per second, allowing for more precise touch screen response. The Pro version also has double the memory of the previous iPad, clocking in with a solid 64 GB data storage. This bad boy starts shipping next week.
Beyond the Venmo conquering, Apple also has its sites set on the home speaker market. The Homepod will start selling in December for $349; it comes in black and white. The speaker reportedly analyzes the audio landscape of your room and determines how best to project audio into it. As a home speaker, it will offer the expected features, along with a new “Musicologist” feature that will inform listeners about the music playing.