iOS Development

Apple WWDC 2017 keynote

It’s begun in San Jose, California. The tech giant has started its annual developer conference, which is taking place in the so-called ‘Capital of Silicon Valley’ after 2002. During the last WWDC here, founder Steve Jobs took the stage at the keynote, where there was a mock funeral for Mac OS 9.

Here’s a Summary of the Eight Most Important Announcements.

  • iOS 11 is here – nearly
    • WWDC is perhaps best known for Apple revealing its latest mobile operating system, and 2017 was no exception.
    • iOS 11 was unveiled, with Apple talking up a slew of fresh features, from the all-new Apple Files directory to a bigger dock, improved app switcher, and the addition of Apple Pencil smarts in the Notes app.
    • As usual, Apple released the developer preview of iOS 11 right away, with a public beta set to be made available later in the summer, ahead of a final release alongside the iPhone 8 in September.
  • New 5K iMac Pro – VR Ready
    • The most surprising reveal, in our opinion, saw Apple unwrap a new 5K iMac Pro for 2017.
    • It’s a VR-ready beast that will come packing up to 18-cores, 16GB of vRAM, and AMD Vega graphics – a Herculean configuration, even by 2017 standards.
    • This is an update we’d been hoping to see for a while but had nearly given up hope on. By the looks of things, Apple has excused itself.
  • HomePod is Apple’s – Siri Powered
    • As expected, Apple announced a Siri-powered smart home speaker, which it ended up dubbing the HomePod.
    • Daft moniker aside, the Apple HomePod differentiates itself from its competition – namely Google Home and Amazon Echo – by focusing on audio functionality, rather than your innate desire to never lift a finger again.
    • It features a 4-inch up-firing woofer, plus seven tweeters, with the whole show being powered by an A8 chip – last known sighting, the iPhone 6.
    • On top of the new hardware, Apple also unveiled an updated AirPlay 2 protocol, which should see Apple’s proprietary multi-room tech play nicer with all your existing expensive audio gear.
  • MacBook Pros get Kaby Lake boost
    • The show may have been stolen by the new iMac Pro, but Apple gave its MacBook Pros an important refresh, too, upgrading them with Intel’s new-gen Kaby Lake chip.
    • Many MacBook Pros will now also be getting Apple’s Fusion Drive by default, and they’ll be available to buy immediately.
    • Make no mistake; the new 2017 MacBook Pros are set to shoot straight to the top of this year’s laptop class.
  • MacOS Sierra goes to pot
    • The latest version of Apple’s desktop operating system was announced at WWDC as macOS High Sierra, and it’s kind of a big deal.
    • For starters, Apple says that the new OS will make Safari the world’s fastest web browser – though we’ll have to test this claim for ourselves – and that it’ll be matching Chrome’s recent efforts by enabling ad blocking by default.
    • More exciting still, HTC Vive VR gaming will be supported by High Sierra, as will external graphics docks – a pretty killer combo.
    • The macOS High Sierra beta will available immediately, with a public beta set to launch “later this month”.
  • WatchOS 4 set to land
    • The latest version of Apple’s wearable platform, WatchOS 4 will be launching later this year – in the mysterious “fall’, as Apple likes to phrase it.
    • Some of the improvements touted at WWDC include a new proactive Siri watch face, an overhauled Activity app, and a revamped Music experience.
  • iPad Pro 2 breaks cover
    • Back to the hardware front and Apple unveiled a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro – which for all intents and purposes, amounts to the oft-rumoured iPad Pro 2.
    • Its main competition? Apple’s upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which gets the same new A10X Fusion chip found in its little sibling.
    • Both new iPad Pros are available to buy immediately. The 10.5-inch model starts at $649 or £619, while the larger 12.9-inch version starts at $799 or £769.
  • Amazon Prime Video comes to Apple TV
    • TvOS, the unloved ginger stepchild of the Apple family, finally got some TLC at WWDC, with news that Amazon Prime Video would be landing on the Apple TV.