Yesterday, Apple’s WWDC17 started with a bang. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc knocked the socks off the crowd by announcing several refreshes of their popular products, along with a few new products. Here are our picks of the products that enticed us:
Apple announced refreshes for their popular products. For the iMac, Macbook and Macbook Pros, they will now be equipped with the seventh-generation of Intel Core Processors. Along with the upgrade of processors, these devices will also be seeing the latest OS for mac machines – the macOS High Sierra. The new OS is poised to improve performance and to give you more features. On the wearable side, Apple Watches will also be updated with watchOS 4, which will provide you with more intuitive ways to interact with your smartwatch.
Coming soon this Fall (September), you will be able to update your iPhones and iPads with a new os, the iOS 11. The iOS 11 features a few changes as per usual from the current iOS 10, such as easier multitasking on an iPad and making the tablet more intuitive to use. It will also categorise your files, making it less of a hassle to dig through them, as well as change up the way you use the Apple Pencil. Document Scanner will also be present on this new OS, making it easy for you to scan and sign your documents easily.
As for the iPhone, you will be able to send and receive money through iMessage by using Apple Pay. Then, you can either keep or use the money for Apps, physical purchases or online purchases, all using Apple Pay Cash. iMessage will also be equipped with a newly redesigned app drawer, enabling you to utilise more apps, all within iMessage. iOS 11 will also be upgrading the camera performance of your iPhone by enabling more features such as an improved Live Photos, professional-quality filters, and more natural skin tones.
The App Store has also redesigned to give you a fresh new perspective of apps that suit your tastes. Features such as Tips and Tricks makes its way onto the new App Store, giving you some up-to-date ways to catch the rarest Pokemon and so on.
Moreover, Apple has deemed fit to upgrade Siri so that it will sound more natural and be more helpful. For example, it could now give you on-the-fly translations. Besides that, Siri will learn more about you, to help you more by showing you topics that you are interested in and so on. The Lock Screen, Control Center, AirPlay, Apple Music, Maps and so much more is also redesigned to give you a better experience using Apple devices.
Refreshed from last year’s iPad Pro, we now have a new iteration of the Pro tablet, which will be available in 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch sizes. Each display comes with a few versions, similar to the iMac. Capacity wise, the device can be fitted with a choice of 64GB, 256GB and 512GB. The 10.5-inch’s dimensions are 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm, while the 12.9-inch measures at 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm.
With no major difference aesthetic wise, the major changes are more towards specs. Both displays come with a Retina LED-backlit Multi-Touch display, as well as an A10X Fusion chip and an embedded M10 co-processor. Camera wise, it sports a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 7-megapixel front camera. This time, the iPad Pro is equipped with AR capabilities and will also feature a full size onscreen keyboard.
A new feature now available on the device is the presence of an app dock at the bottom of the screen, similar to a Macbook or iMac. It supports up to 120Hz refresh rate, making it one of the fastest display on a tablet. The Apple Pencil will also make its way back to the iPad Pro with improved features. Apple have mentioned that with the new refresh rate, the Apple Pencil will be more responsive and feel like a more natural tool for you to draw and write on your iPad Pro with.
The iPad Pro will also feature iOS 11 in future updates. Prices start from RM2,999 for the 10.5-inch version, while the 12.9-inch version will start at RM3,499, with added prices depending on storage and connectivity. It also comes with a few colours, namely Space Grey, Gold and Silver, and a Rose Gold exclusive for the 10.5-inch iPad Pro.
The iMac Pro is built for professionals and is the most powerful iMac to exist and will come with top-notch specs. It’s equipped with 8 to 18-Core Processor, 32GB of 2666MHz DDR4 memory, which can be upgraded to 128GB, 1TB of SSD that can be configured to 4TB, and will be running on a Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU with 8GB of HBM2 memory. If that’s not enough, it can also be upgraded to a Radeon Pro Vega 64 that comes with 16GB of HBM2 Memory.
Display wise, it sports a 27-inch 5K Retina display that’s capable of 5120 x 2880 resolution. In addition, you can spot four Thunderbolt 3 ports and four USB 3 ports at the back of the iMac Pro. Saving the best for last, the iMac Pro does not come in a regular Silver colour. Instead Apple is packaging it with their one of their most popular finishing – the Space Grey. The Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse that’s packaged with the iMac Pro is in Space Grey as well.
Scheduled to ship come December, it is priced at a hefty starting price of $4,999 (RM 21,305 converted), it is not a price that your regular Joe would be willing to pay, but for professional graphics artists, 3D artists and VR creators, this could be the ultimate machine.
This year’s WWDC has been a story about refreshes, but we were also greeted with a breath of fresh air with the introduction of the HomePod, which looks awfully similar to the Mac Pro. Shaped like a cylinder, the HomePod is a speaker that is designed to deliver top audio quality throughout the room, no matter where it is located.
It is made up of a high excursion woofer at the top with Apple’s very powerful A8 chip, a six-microphone array, and a seven-tweeter array – all of it covered with a mesh fabric. With its powerful 20mm diaphragm, seven horn-loaded tweeters that are both equipped with their own custom amplifier, and coupled with the A8 chip, this speaker will be able to deliver impeccable sound and bass throughout the room with relatively low effort.
In addition, with AirPlay 2, you can control the HomePod easily. If you wish, you can also have multiple HomePods in a room, all of which can automatically detect each other and deliver a lifelike sound. This device is also able to automatically analyse the acoustics of the room and adjust the sound accordingly, no matter where it is placed.
Navigating music on the HomePod is also a piece of cake with the presence of Siri on the speaker. If you wish to play a certain song, or know more about the artist of the song, all you need to do is communicate with Siri.
When coupled with other devices on Apple’s HomeKit, you can even talk to your HomePod to have it turn off your lights or control the temperature of your room. It is as simple as that! The HomePod is measured at 172 x 142 mm and only weighs 2.5kg. It will be available this December in two colours – Space Grey and White – and is currently priced at $349 (Est. RM 1,494 ).