APPLE has introduced a series of hardware and software products at its “Worldwide Developers Conference” (WWDC) in the United States.
At the event on Monday morning, Apple previewed High Sierra, the latest version of its desktop operating system, delivering new core storage, video and graphics technologies that it says will pave the way for future innovation on the Mac.
macOS High Sierra brings new storage, video and graphics technologies to the Mac.
Coming out this autumn as a free software update in the Mac App Store, macOS High Sierra offers an all-new file system, support for high-efficiency video coding (HEVC) and an update to Metal, Apple’s advanced graphics technology. The update also includes refinements to Photos, Safari and Mail.
Key new features include the Apple File System (APFS), which promises enhanced performance, data security and reliability. Apple says APFS makes common operations such as copying files and directories instantaneous, helps protect data from power outages and system crashes, and keeps files safe and secure with native encryption.
High Sierra adds support for creation of virtual-reality content for the first time, enabling developers to create immersive gaming, three-dimensional and VR content on the Mac.
Apple also gave a sneak peek at the next-generation iMac Pro, which is scheduled to ship in December starting at US$4,999. It features a 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 teraflops of graphics computation in a new space-grey enclosure.
iMac Pro — with stunning 27-inch Retina 5K display and workstation-class performance — comes in a new space gray design.
Moreover, Apple has updated its iMac line with up to three times more powerful graphics, faster processors, Thunderbolt 3, faster storage options and brighter Retina displays, and added a Retina 4K display and discrete graphics to the $1,299 21.5-inch iMac.
Apple has also refreshed its MacBook and MacBook Pro lines with faster Kaby Lake processors. The MacBook now features up to 50 per cent faster solid-state drives and supports up to twice the memory. The 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes standard with more powerful discrete graphics, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro adds a new $1,299 configuration.
Mac notebooks deliver the world’s best portable computing experience.
Access to 40M songs
One of the highlights was the launch of HomePod, a wireless speaker for the home that delivers quality audio. HomePod is designed to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to more than 40 million songs and deep knowledge of personal music preferences.
At just under 7 inches tall, HomePod can be placed almost anywhere in the home and is available in white and space gray.
HomePod is also set up to be a home assistant, to send messages, get updates on news, sports and weather, or control smart home devices by simply asking Siri. HomePod will be priced at $349 and will be available starting in December, initially in the US, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Apple also launched the all-new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro featuring an advanced display with ProMotion technology and high performance with the new A10X Fusion chip. The new 10.5-inch model reduces the borders by nearly 40 per cent to fit into a compact package that still weighs less than half a kilogram.
Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard help users be even more creative and productive.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro comes in a 64-gigabyte version priced at $649, 256GB for $749, and 512GB for $949, while a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro also comes in 64GB for $799, 256GB for $899, and 512GB for $1,099. They will be available next week.
Apple also launched new latest version of its mobile operating system - Apple’s iOS 11, which comes with a new advanced featured that bring the macOS experience to the phone.
Apple’s iOS 11 comes with a new advanced featured that bring the macOS experience to the phone. It makes multitasking on an iPad more powerful with a new customisable Dock that provides quick access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen, and a redesigned app switcher that makes it easier to move between pairs of active apps, used in Split View and now Slide Over.
iOS 11 brings powerful features to iPad and hundreds of new features to iPhone this fall.
The new Files app keeps everything in one place, whether files are stored locally, in iCloud Drive or across other providers like Box, Dropbox and more, and with drag and drop available across the system, moving images and text is easier than ever. Apple Pencil is more deeply integrated into iPad with support for inline drawing, and a new Instant Notes feature opens Notes from the Lock Screen by simply tapping Apple Pencil on the display.
With iOS 11, Apple introduces a new technology called high-efficiency image file format (HEIF) that reduces the file size of every photo taken with an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus.
Additional features include the ability to pay friends using Apple Pay, a “Do Not Disturb” feature while driving to help users stay more focused on the road, more intelligence and a new voice for Siri, and new professional capabilities for Photos and Camera.
Apple iOS 11 will be a free software update for iPhone and iPad this autumn.
Do Not Disturb while driving helps drivers stay more focused on the road.
The company also previewed watchOS 4 for the Apple Watch at WWDC. The update features an enhanced Workout app and introduces GymKit, a technology platform that will offer customers connected workouts with cardio equipment.
With GymKit, customers using their favourite cardio equipment will soon be able to pair their Apple Watch directly to treadmills, ellipticals, indoor bikes or stair steppers from manufacturers such as Life Fitness and Technogym with a simple tap.
Apple Watch users will soon be able to pair their device with cardio equipment.
In what Apple says is an industry first, data not previously communicated between smart watches and fitness machines will sync seamlessly – including calories, distance, speed, floors climbed, incline and pace – resulting in highly accurate measurements with little device management.
WatchOS 4 also features a proactive Siri watch face that displays the information users need most throughout the day, personalised activity coaching and a new music experience, the company says.
The new Kaleidoscope watch face creates an array of captivating patterns.
Moreover, Apple unveiled the all-new App Store, redesigned to make discovering apps and games easier than before. The redesigned App Store includes original stories and editorials, updated daily in a new Today tab, as well as new Games and Apps tabs.
More than 180 billion apps have been downloaded from the App Store by its 500 million weekly visitors.
App Store customers have now downloaded more than 180 billion applications, and Apple has paid out more than $70 billion to developers since the store launched in 2008. More than 500 million unique customers visit it every week.