Everything you should know from WWDC 2017!

A look into what kind of hardware we can expect from Apple in the coming months.

One of the biggest developer conventions of the year is Apple’s World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC). While much of the focus is on developers here, Apple takes the opportunity to announce new products at their opening keynote. Having just concluded this year, let’s take a look at everything that is new.

iMac

Support for faster SSD speeds and updated internal hardware
  • The iMac now features faster Kaby Lake processors up to 4.5GHz with Turbo Boost alongside twice the memory compared to the previous generation. Fusion Drive is a standard for all 27-inch models as well as the highest end 21.5-inch model with 50% faster SSD storage options and Thunderbolt 3 support.
  • All iMac configurations will have the new Radeon Pro 500-series GPU with upto 8GB of VRAM delivering three times faster performance for the 21.5-inch variant and a 50% performance boost for the 27-inch variant.
  • The Retina display on the iMac is now 43% brighter at 500 nits with support for 1 billion colors for a more vivid experience.
  • Available now starting from Dh4399.

iMac Pro

Workstation-class at a fraction of the price
  • The latest iteration to the lineup, the iMac Pro aims to bring workstation-class performance in the traditional and sleek iMac design with the help of an all-flash architecture and a new thermal design for an 80% higher cooling capacity.
  • It employs the most advanced Radeon Vega graphics with up to 16GB of high-bandwidth memory for an amazing 11 Teraflops of single-precision compute power and 22 Teraflops of half precision computation.
  • iMac Pro supports up to 4TB of SSD storage, 128GB of ECC memory and up to an 18-core Xeon processor with I/O options including 4 Thunderbolt 3.0 ports to connect two high speed RAID arrays and two 5K monitors simultaneously.
  • For the first time on iMac, 10Gb Ethernet support for upto 10 times faster networking speeds.
  • Available starting December 2017 in a new space gray color.

MacBook and MacBook Pro

No design changes, just updated internal hardware with native VR support via external GPU
  • The MacBook now comes equipped with the newest Kaby Lake i7 processor at 3.6GHz with Turbo Boost supporting a 50% faster SSD and twice the memory.
  • MacBook Pro also sees the upgrade to the newest Kaby Lake i7 processor for performance up to 4.0GHz on the 13-inch variant and 4.1GHz on the 15-inch variant both with Turbo Boost. This comes standard with more powerful discrete graphics and more video memory.
  • The MacBook lineup will now support virtual reality (VR) just like the iMac lineup through a newly announced external GPU to stream SteamVR and Valve/Unity content via the HTC Vive.
  • Additionally, the 13-inch MacBook Air sees a refresh with a processor clocked at 1.8GHz.
  • MacBook and MacBook Pro available now starting from Dh4399.

macOS High Sierra

  • Native support for VR with the help of the more efficient Metal 2 to tap into GPU power and provide a more immersive gaming and 3D experience.
  • High efficiency video codec support (H.265) and support for 4K video streaming at high quality yet at a 40% smaller file size.
  • Introduction of Apple File System for enhanced performance and reliable data transfer even with larger storage capacities with minimal crashes.
  • Redesigned editing support for Photos with increased options and an always-on sidebar providing albums and organizational tools.

iPad Pro

Reduced bezels up front with a best in class ProMotion display at a refresh rate of 120Hz
  • A new 10.5-inch variant alongside the 12.9-inch one with the new 64-bit A10X Fusion processor and a border reduction by up to 40% to provide a compact form factor.
  • iPad Pro features an advanced Retina display with ProMotion technology delivering refresh rates of up to 120Hz for smooth scrolling and an industry best 20 millisecond latency when using Apple Pencil.
  • It provides a 30% increase in CPU performance and a 40% increase in GPU performance compared to the A9X processor for room to edit 4K and 3D video all with one day battery life.
  • Four speaker audio system coupled with the same 12-megapixel primary camera and the 7-megapixel front facing HD camera found on the iPhone 7 to complete the multimedia package.
  • Available from next week at a starting price of Dh2499.

iOS 11

  • Apple’s largest software update brings the biggest AR platform in the world to both iPhone and iPad using their in-built cameras, powerful processors and motion sensors.
  • Siri now provides a more natural and expressive voice and machine learns preferences to best suit the user. Even more so, English speech can now be translated to Chinese, French, Spanish and German natively.
  • Support for optical image stabilization, HDR and True-Tone flash in Portrait Mode as well as enhancements to Live Photos and the ability to take long exposure pictures. Alongside this, Apple’s new High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) reduces file storage size for every photo.
  • Apple Pay can now be used to send and receive payments securely and directly to your new Apple Pay Cash account for further purchase or transfer to a bank.
  • Overhauled applications and App Store redesign to ease discovery of new applications and games.
  • Introduction of a custom dock for iPad users for quick access to applications and enhanced multitasking capabilities between them. The new Files app allows for easy storage while there is greater integration for note taking within applications and from the home screen with the help of Apple Pencil.
  • Available free of cost for supported devices currently enrolled in the iOS Developer Program with a public beta program scheduled for later this month.

HomePod

HomePod is how Apple will tackle home assistant technology
  • Comes at just under 7-inches tall and is powered by Apple’s A8 processor to redefine the music listening experience at home.
  • Features an upward-facing woofer, seven individually amplified tweeters, a six microphone array with advanced echo cancellation and automatic room-sensing technology to optimize the music listening experience.
  • Siri integration for news and weather updates, home automation as well as the discovery of new music through a natural voice activated search.
  • Available in space grey and black in December starting at $349 (Dh1281) in Australia, the UK and the USA.

watchOS 4 

  • Intelligent Siri support for information about daily routines, reminders as well as news headlines from around the world.
  • Support for auto-sets for swimming pool workouts and newer motion and high intensity interval training (HIIT) algorithms for a more accurate calorie count.
  • New watch faces inspired from Pixar’s Toy Story characters including Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear as well as a Kaleidoscope watch face to turn static images into mesmerizing patterns.
  • New vibrant Sports Bands, a bright yellow Classic Buckle and Nike Sport Band options.
  • watchOS 4 software update available this fall for free for Apple Watch paired with iPhone 5s and later on iOS 11.

While many of the new announcements came in the form of internal hardware upgrades, products like HomePod, the iPad 10.5-inch and the iMac Pro were welcome surprises. These are products that have great potential and only time will tell how they get on. Let us know what you are most excited about down below.