At its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple announced a number of new big products — its most powerful iMac ever, updated models of its MacBook Pro and iPad, and its first smart speaker to rival Amazon Echo. The Cupertino company also unveiled over 100 new features coming to iOS 11 (coming Fall 2017), including a more natural-sounding Siri assistant, a new Files app to manage content, and an improved Control Center for your iPhone. Below, you’ll find the most important announcements from this year’s WWDC.
Apple’s Most Powerful Computer Ever
Boasting “the most advanced graphics ever in a Mac,” the iMac Pro is an insanely powerful machine, and was a slightly unexpected announcement from the conference — most thought the desktop Mac Pro would receive an update. This all-in-one beast of a computer comes in a matte “Space Grey” color, and is likely at the top of many wish lists for the holiday season.
A Near Bezel-less iPad Pro
Complete with the same cameras as the iPhone 7, the iPad Pro also features a slightly larger display, thinner bezels, and a host of new features thanks to the new iOS 11 operating system (more on that below).
Purported to “reinvent how we enjoy music in our homes,” the HomePod is Apple’s take on the smart speaker. Will it be able to compete with the competition from Sonos, Google, and Amazon?
Finally, a Full-Sized Wireless Keyboard
In our Deputy Photo Editor’s words, “they finally, finally, finally did it.” This is the first time Apple has made its full-sized keyboard wireless.
Airplay 2 Adds Speaker Support to HomeKit
Apple wants to control your multiroom speakers. iOS 11 will see an updated HomeKit with speaker support. Instead of opening up a separate app, like with Play-Fi, you’ll be able to control all your speakers via HomeKit. At the start, you’ll be able to control a number of wi-fi speakers, by the likes of Bose, Naim, Devialet, Bang & Olufsen, Beats and McIntosh.
A Venmo Rival
Peer-to-peer payments are coming to iMessage, allowing iOS users to request payments via a simple iMessage. The update is an extension of Apple Pay, so it will encourage people to use Apple’s mobile wallet.
Amazon Prime is Coming to Apple TV
Later this year, Apple TV will support Amazon Video. Apple and Amazon have been rivals in the world of video streaming for years, and Apple only touched on this announcement for a minute at the very beginning of the event.