While the entire week should be full of groundbreaking demos and innovative speaker sessions for attendees, Monday’s keynote told us everything we wanted to know in terms of new product updates and releases.
For those who couldn’t make it to San Jose or tune into the live stream, here are the can’t-miss announcements from Apple WWDC.
macOS High Sierra – As an improvement to the Sierra OS, Apple is upgrading with High Sierra, which is all about “deep technologies” and innovation. Safari is now the fastest desktop browser at 80 percent faster than Chrome on High Sierra. Other features include autoplay blocking, intelligent tracking prevention, Mail and Photos app updates, Apple File System, and VR support. With these Safari and Sierra updates, Apple makes their dedication to quality over quantity clear by improving current software and hardware to perfect the user experience.
iMac Pro – We know the iMac, the Macbook, and the Macbook Pro, but the newest product release among Apple desktop offerings is the iMac Pro. With a Retina 5k color display, workstation-class performance, 18 processor cores, VR support through Vega GPU, the iMac Pro has a beautiful space gray design and will be “the most powerful Mac ever.” Start saving now, though, because iMac Pros begin at $4999.
iOS 11 – Apple iOS updates never disappoint, so it’s no surprise that iOS 11 is one of the most buzzed about topics. With a redesigned app drawer, synchronized messages between devices, Apple Pay integration into iMessage, a more human Siri voice, new Photos editing features, and a “Do not disturb” option while driving with Maps, we can’t wait to get our hands on this update. Where 86 percent of customers are on iOS 10 as of now (compared to a noted 7 percent on Android 7), it’s apparent that Apple users will be quick to hop on new iOS updates as well. And yes, we appreciated the jab at Android fragmentation.
App store – The iOS App store enjoys 500 million weekly users, has supported 180 billion downloads, and has paid over $70 million to developers. This clearly reaches Apple’s goal of making the app store a trusted and safe place for users while simultaneously being a great opportunity for developers. Now, Apple is doing “something we’ve never done before” and completely redesigning the app store for iOS 11. The new Today tab will provide even greater visibility for app developers by giving consumers more ways to discover apps and read stories from the developers who created them with features like how-to content and app recommendations. Additionally, there will be separate Games and Apps tab to organize and focus the buyer journey.
iPad Pro – The new 10.5 inch iPad Pro is 50 percent larger and 30 percent faster with 40 percent GPU increase, and still only weighs one pound. With a nicer camera equivalent to the iPhone 7, a full-size on-screen keyboard, and a brighter display, the iPad Pro provides an advanced tablet experience that rivals many PCs.
HomePod – HomePod is Apple finally going up against Amazon Echo and Google Home. The smart speaker has ambient audio, spatial awareness, Siri integration, and even a musicologist to help craft playlists through Apple Music. Unfortunately, this means Spotify users will have to look at their options elsewhere.
watchOS 4 – The most popular smartwatch is getting even smarter with more intuitive workout features, redesigned music app, new Siri face, and timely content like photo memories and news stories you can save for later.
Product Updates – While the iMac Pro was the most exciting product release, Apple also announced a few updates to the current MacBooks and iMacs including a faster processor, better graphics, and more memory. Additionally, iPads will be getting a dock, a file browser, and a drag-and-drop feature.