WWDC is upon us! Time to forget all the rumours and get into the real news. Here’s our WWDC 2017 Live Report!
The show opened with an apocalypse scenario posed on a world without apps.
Stats 16m registered developers, an increase of 3 million in the past year. This year’s WWDC included developers from 75 countries, including 10 year old Aussie with 5 apps already published, and an 82 year old Japanese developer who just published her first app.
There are now 50 partners integrated into the TV App, with Amazon joining later this year.
Incredible growth in Apple Watch again. Number 1 in sales, and number 1 in customer satisfaction.
New Siri watch face. Information displayed based on learning, with face dynamically updated each time you raise your wrist. A new kaleidoscope and Toy Story faces join the mix. The Toy story face includes 3 characters who interact.
There are improvements in the workout app, with additional info at the the end of an exercise, and the ability to jump to a new activity and the end of the current one. There is a new feature of live interaction with Appel Watch compatible Gym equipment.
The Music Apps is updated to include multiple playlists. Playlists can automatically start with a workout activity. A new News App joins the watch.
There’s a new flashlight in the control centre that can act as a light when running.
News sensors can connect to measure glucose and exercise.
The new release will be named High Sierra.
Safari is enhanced, and claimed to be the world’s fastest browser, and introduces Autoplay Blocking. Improvements include Intelligent Tracking Prevention with deep learning.
Mail includes Spotlight searches and a new Split Screen editing mode.
Photos has improvements including a new view with all recent imports and new filter function. Improvements in face recognition include synching across devices.
New editing tools include curves, and selective colour. Edits in editing apps now synch back to Photos. Printing services can link to outside services.
Apple File System now becomes the default. Speed improvements in file duplication.
Video will be standardised on H265 for 4k video with 40% better file compression.
Graphics sees the introduction of Metal 2 with a 10 times improvement on OpenGL throughput. Metal for external graphics introduced to work with external GPU cards. A developer kit is available with AMD GPU.
Metal is designed to work with VR.
There’s new 500NIT with 10 bit dithering displays.
CPU moves to Kaby Lake. Maximum memory 21.5 – 32GB, 27” 64GB
Fusion Drive on high end 21.5” and all 27”
2 x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C connectors.
21.5” – Intel Iris 80% faster
The 21.5” with 4 K display Radeon Pro GPU
27” Radeon Pro 500 series with 8GB DRAM.
Industrial Light and Magic demoed their VR application running at 90 FPS
There will also be a new 27” iMac Pro shipping at year end in Space Gray. It is claimed to be the fasted Mac ever with 8, 10 and 18 Core Xeon processors will be offered with Radeon Vega graphics with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 128 GB DRAM and up to 4TB SSD.
10 GB Ethernet and 4 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports join the action.
80% increase in cooling capacity.
It comes with a full size Bluetooth keyboard with numeric keypad in Space Gray (also available separately in silver, replacing the current wired unit)
Apple again stiffs user, with no user upgrade options!
While Apple have managed to shoehorn some seriously impressive kit into the iMac Pro, they have taken a foolish stand on non-upgradable RAM and Storage. While the RAM appears socketed in the cutaway, there is no hatch on the rear casing to allow user upgrades. Customers spending this significant amount deserve the ability to upgrade memory and storage. Anything less constitutes a betrayal.
Price will start at $4999 USD, however users had better be certain the specify in line with any anticipated memory and storage requirements as their only option down the track without impacting warranty would appear to be to take it to an authorised service provider and pay whatever they choose to charge, or to sell the unit, loosing money in the process, and purchase a new unit with the required spec. Poor!
MacBook and MacBook Pro
50% faster SSD, and MacBook Pro 13” starting at $1299 USD
MacBook Air, minor spec bump.
iOS 11 will release later this year.
Messages. Now including messages in iCloud.
Apple Pay – person to person payments as an iMessage App.
Siri – The voice has been changed to a more natural voice, with a new male voice. Siri can now translate for you. English, Chinese, French, Italian, Spanish languages to start.
Siri learning will synch across all devices.
Camera – H265 compatibility. It requires less storage space on device. HEIF image compression replaces JPEG. Low light photo improvement. A new API will be made available to developers.
Portrait mode now moves to video
Control Center is redesigned.
Photos – Live photos can be edited to select a different frame. A new long exposure feature joins.
Memories is enhanced.
In messages, if you receive a message you owe money, the keyboard brings up the pay option for quick payment.
Maps includes internal layout support for major malls and airports. Lane guidance joins navigation.
DND while driving will use Bluetooth, wireless and Doppler, that will offer a DND driving mode. Special people can be selected to break through the DND feature for urgent messages.
HomeKit now includes speakers with multiform audio.
Apple Music includes a developer API
App Store There’s a phased release option for developers.
The App Store has a complete new deign.
Machine learning is expanded within Core ML and can be used in apps with vision API and Natural language API
AR – Augmented Reality – introducing AR Kit for developers.
Peter Jackson’s new AR venture Wingnut AR demoed some amazing effects.
The rumours were correct – The iPad Pro 10.5 was announced with slimmer borders, replacing the 9.6” device.
Both sizes now start with 64GB memory. Maximum storage will be 512GB with LTE options. The displays are improved on both models.
ProMotion – introduces 120Hz refresh and with the Pencil reduces latency to 20mS
The processor on both devices changes to the A10x with 6 cores.
Affinity Photo for iPad was demoed to show the performance of the new Chip
Camera’s are update to match the iPhone7 camera.
iOS 11 for iPad includes a larger dock and drag and drop. Punctuation and numbers display on the on screen keyboard.
Files, a last minute rumour was introduced for iPad supporting Box and Dropbox. It brings true file management to the iPad for the first time.
Notes now incorporates a document scanner.
Integration of Pencil with notes. Tapping on the lock screen with Pencil opens notes. Handwriting is now searchable.
The rumours were true –
The focus is on quality music and incorporates spacial awareness.
Incorporating clues from the MacPro, the HomePod is 7” tall with 3D mesh covering. 7tweeters, and upward facing 4” woofer drive the sound, controlled by an A8 processor. Two can work together to make the most of a room acoustics.
An array of 6 microphones integrates with Siri. Apart from controlling musing, Siri and HomePod can work with Maps for traffic information, and HomeKit.
Any interaction to Apple generates an anonymous ID to preserve privacy
Price is $349 USD, available in white and Space Gray, available in December in US, UK and Australia.
A final note, Michelle Obama will join a fireside chat June 6.
You can watch the keynote at https://www.apple.com/apple-events/june-2017/