1New iMac Pro, iPad Pro Tablets Top Apple Hardware Lineup at WWDC 2017
Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) has, in years past, been a rather subdued affair, with talk focused almost entirely on software. But WWDC 2017 has caused a stir thanks to some big new hardware announcements. This year’s show (of course) featured talk about updates to iOS and macOS, among others, but was capped off by a new smart-home hub called the HomePod. Apple also discussed a new iPad Pro model and announced its MacBook Pro and iMacs are getting big updates. Apple officials described the new iMac Pro that will ship by the end of the year as its most powerful desktop computer yet. This slide show will discuss all of Apple’s biggest WWDC 2017 announcements, including the hardware that made this year’s show far more interesting.
2Apple’s macOS Has a New Version – and New Features
Apple at WWDC 2017 announced a new version of its macOS operating system, called High Sierra. The OS includes a new file system called Apple File System (AFS), designed to deliver far better file and folder support than the company’s current Hierarchical File System (HFS). High Sierra also has better video and graphics support and includes several tweaks to help built-in apps such as Mail work better.
3Apple iMacs Get a Boost
Apple’s iMacs finally received an update at WWDC 2017. The new 21.5- and 27-inch iMacs have faster Intel processors and improved AMD graphics support, their screens are brighter and their storage is more efficient, allowing for easier access to data. The new iMacs start at $1,099, while the iMacs with 4K resolution start at $1,299.
4MacBook Pro Getting Latest Intel Kaby Lake CPUs
Like the iMacs, Apple didn’t update the design of the new MacBook Pro. However, Apple changed the processors to Intel Kaby Lake chips and included faster solid-state drives. The 15-inch MacBook Pro is also getting better graphics support. Pricing on the 13-inch model starts at $1,299, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro starts at $2,399.
5Apple Creates ‘Most Powerful’ iMac Pro
At the end of its Mac discussion, Apple unveiled what it calls “Its most powerful Mac ever.” The iMac Pro will support Intel processors with up to 18 cores and offer a built-in 27-inch, 5K display. The iMac Pro will ship with up to 128GB of memory and offer a 4TB solid-state drive for storage. It also will support AMD’s Vega line of GPUs. Pricing will start at $5,000 when it’s released later this year.
6Apple’s Long-Awaited iPad Pro Update
Apple’s business-minded iPad Pro also received updates. Chief among them is a bump in screen size to 10.5 inches for the 9.7-inch model, which Apple achieved by reducing the size of the bezels around the screen. The latest iPad Pros will have 30 percent faster CPU performance and 40 percent faster graphics, with a brighter screen. The 10.5-inch version starts at $649 and the 12.9-inch version has a starting price of $799. The new iPad Pros start shipping next week.
7Apple to Release iOS 11 This Fall
Apple’s iOS 11 took up the most time at WWDC 2017. The OS received a few minor design tweaks but several improvements to its features, including a redesigned Control Panel that puts all a user’s app controls in one place. Apple’s mobile OS also includes indoor mapping support in Maps and a scan-and-sign feature in Notes. iOS 11 launches this fall.
8Apple Building iPad-Specific Features Into iOS 11
Apple noted iOS 11 will include features designed specifically for iPads, including a redesigned dock that can accommodate more applications than the iPhone dock. The OS also includes a Files app that can house files and folders, as well as improved multitasking that lets users do more than one thing at once. Apple Pencil support also is improved, with better annotation support among other features.
9Apple Also Updating watchOS
Apple also included watchOS 4 at this year’s WWDC. The OS will include new watch faces that are intelligent enough to identify what a wearer might want to see and display only that information. Fitness tracking has been improved, and now includes customized workout plans. Users can even send money to others through the OS. It will be available this fall.
10Apple’s Unveils Siri-Driven HomePod Smart Hub
There’s another smart-home hub on the market. At WWDC 2017, Apple unveiled the HomePod, a $349 device that will be available in December. The HomePod is powered by Apple’s virtual personal assistant Siri and features high-quality sound. Users will be able to control their smart homes, search the web, set tasks and more. Apple plans to release more information on the HomePod later this year.
11Apple’s Staggering Reach Around the World
Apple shared some impressive data points during its keynote. The company said its App Store has 500 million weekly users with 180 billion downloads since its launch in 2008, while Apple’s Photos users take more than 1 trillion photos per year. Apple also announced it’s launching an augmented-reality development kit for iOS that it says will immediately make it the world’s biggest augmented-reality platforms.