WWDC 2017 Overview
The Apple WorldWide Developers Conference (WWDC) is the tech world’s most anticipated events, held every year in California with more than 5,000 people attending and millions of others watching the live stream in awe. It’s a stage Apple sets for itself to showcase its latest lineup of products and technologies. Like every year Apple strives to bring innovation to its most coveted products and like every year people hold their breaths as the surprise unfolds.
While the WWDC of 2016 saw a fundamental shift in the vision of Apple and its support for developers, the WWDC of 2017 was pretty focused on bringing back the dead to life with its desktop series and upgraded devices. It’s primary goal being to make its current devices smarter, faster and more competitive and so while there wasn’t an official product launch of sorts, there were announcements of the iMac Pro and the HomePod both of which will be launched by December 2017.
The Things that Matter
It would be a mammoth task to cover the 2 hours WWDC in its entirety, so we’ll try to talk about the major innovations and product launches discussed at the event. We’ll be discussing the things that matter to any Apple fan and to any tech enthusiast out there. So what is it that was revealed and why are we so excited? Read on and find out.
Bringing Back to Life the Mac Desktop
The star of this year’s series is the long forgotten Mac desktop. Not only has Apple satisfied Mac users with new bumps to the devices, but it also dropped the bomb for the next mega monster of the decade - the iMac Pro, with 18 core Xeon processors, high-end Radeon graphics, a 4-terabye SSD, and 128GB of memory and a starting price tag of $4999. Now that is a revelation worth waiting for. The current Macs get a 21.5 inch and a 27-inch screen boasting of 4K and 5k displays, optimum performance with a Fusion drive (a mix of SSD and HDD) and a Kaby Lake processor all while running on the much-awaited iOS 11 the High Sierra. If you’ve not upgraded your desktops for a long time, this is the right time to do it and if you recently got one, then wait until next year to experience the new iMac Pro.
New Age Music Speakers with the HomePod
Apple’s HomePod is a work in the making - or to be precise, it’s a device Apple’s still tweaking and perfecting until its launch in December 2017. The HomePod is a cute but highly powered speaker that is positioned as Apple’s music-streaming device capable of producing heavenly sound, of connecting to Siri and of automatically adjusting the sound to match the space it is in. Pretty neat huh? Of course, we had Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Sonos as big players of the market, but the HomePod beats the competition with its ultra-advanced features. It’s priced at $350 and should make a wonderful Christmas gift this year!
Getting Larger than Life with the iPad Duos
Three months ago, in March 2017, Apple released the 9.7 inch iPad, which it has now bumped up to 10.5-inch. So by December, you’ll be expecting a 10.5 inch iPad and a 12 inch one too (are we moving towards TV here? ) with no extra weight. The increased refresh rates, lower latency for Apple Pencil and True Tone color adjustments may not make much of a difference to an average user, but to a tech pro, it means enhanced graphics and a more appealing display. The average user will definitely love the camera that follows the iPhone 7 model and the 12MP rear sensor. Still, want more? 512GB is the highest capacity this iPad boasts of. Happy.
Be More Smarter and Collected with the iOS 11
Not a major update, but enough to get expectations up, the iOS 11 will be launched in August with upgrades such as a phone to phone payments via iMessage, a much hyped and talked about, drive mode that prevents you from using the phone while driving and tidbits as a more helpful (should we say smarter?) Siri who can now translate French, Spanish and Chinese. The OS also includes an upgrade to the media gallery with an addition of the Memories feature that creates collages of videos and images. If you use the TV OS and the watch OS, expect an upgrade to them too as new content will be added to the TV OS and new features to the watch OS. All in all, Apple is spending this year making its OS smarter and better to match with its new hardware.
There wasn’t much discussion about the Macbook range of laptops especially since the iMac took the limelight, but all the Macbook series will be enjoying new Kaby Lake processors, faster processing times and enhanced graphic displays, and of course with a more powerful OS.
The WWDC this year may not have been as exciting as seen in 2016, 2005 or 2002 when the latest OS, iPhones, and MacBooks were announced, but it was surprising with the announcement of the iMac Pro. Apple has been facing criticism for its neglect of the desktop version especially since the last few years saw the company focusing on iPhones, iOS, and Macbook pros, but nothing for the Mac. This along with the smart and intuitive HomePod made the WWDC of 2017 quite a thrilling experience. People were reported to have left the conference with eager anticipation for the new systems and OS which will be launched by August this year. So hold any purchases you may have to make and wait until August to have a powerhouse collection of your favorite Apple products!