Apple’s 2017 developer conference delivered what we expected, a mix of software updates (iOS, macOS, and WatchOS) and a few new devices as well (HomePod, 10.5in iPad Pro, iMac Pro). Apple usually doesn’t introduce new devices at WWDC, so this was a first. So now that we had a few days to let it all sink in, what exactly did Apple announce?
- HomePod – Think of HomePad as Apple’s version of Amazon Eco and Google Home. However, HomePod is aware of the room and environment it is in so that it can tune the sound based on the space. Also, unsurprisingly, it is integrated with Apple Music and Siri. Prices will start at $349.
- MacOS (High Sierra) – Safari probably received the most interesting update – it can now block site trackers and annoying autoplay videos. Nicely done Apple! Also, the new OS will support VR headsets, APFS (new/faster file management system), and HEVC (video compression standard).
- iOS 11 – There are a lot of features to list, but here are our top four: 1) Ability to pay and receive payments with iMessage, 2) A safety feature that recognizes when you are driving and automatically turns on Do Not Disturb, 3) Improved multitasking (on iPads), and 4) New Control Center.
- iMac Pro – Starting at $4,999 iMac Pro has a new architecture, Intel Xeon processor, 10Gbps Ethernet, 6 Thunderbolt 3 ports, 3 Standard USB 3 ports, etc. The most powerful Mac ever is probably only for the most high-end users.
- 10.5in iPad Pro – As you would expect, it received some spec upgrades. However, the coolest feature is its 120Hz refresh rate (doubles the previous rate).
- ARKit – lets developers build augmented reality apps for the iPhone.
- Updated iMac Desktops – improved Retina display, updated processor, memory, usb-c ports, and graphics card to support Virtual Reality content. Prices start at $1,099.
- Apple Watch (watchOS 3) – No big announcements, just a smarter Apple Watch.
- Apple TV – Also, no major announcements. By the way, Amazon Prime video is coming to Apple TV.
- MacBook Pro Updates – received a regular update (i.e. faster processor and SSDs).
In summary, WWDC17 was packed with announcements (software and hardware). However, we are struggling to think of a feature or product which will be discussed around office water coolers. We may have to wait for Apple’s next event (October/September) to see real innovation.
For more information: Apple’s WWDC 2017