At Apple’s 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) this week, they unveiled a new Siri-powered smart-speaker (Alexa killer?), a new 10.5 in iPad Pro, and some very cool new features in their new updated operating systems.
Siri Takes on Alexa, Google Assistant, and Sonos
To date, Siri has lived mostly in our pockets and on our bedside tables as our very own virtual assistant. Coming later this year, Siri will be battling head-to-head with Alexa and Goold Home with Apple’s first smart speaker, the HomePod. Using six microphones, you can ask Siri HomePod to play music, set alarms, or to control smart gadgets (like your lights and shades in your house) with HomeKit. The speaker itself is expected to rock with seven tweeters and plenty of bass, could this be the first real “smart” competitor to Sonos? With Apple’s acquisition of Beats a couple of years ago, we wouldn’t be surprised if these speakers kicked $%#. The HomePod is $349 and will start shipping in December.
iPad Pro = Laptop Replacement?
The 9.7-inch iPad Pro was super-sized to a 10.5-inch iPad Pro thanks to a thinner bezel. It is rumored Apple is feeling the heat from the Microsoft Surface line and wanted to develop a more laptop-like piece of hardware. The new iPad Pro has a faster processor and a better graphics with “True Tone” display on which is 50% brighter than the previous iPad Pro. The camera gets a bump too to the same 12-megapixel camera found on the iPhone 7 and 7-megapixel front-facing camera. The iPad Pro will have a starting price of $649 for the Wi-Fi version and $779 for cellular-enabled hardware.
BIG Changes in iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, tvOS, and watchOS 4 this Fall
Apple announced all new software updates across their platforms; we definitely have some great features to look forward to later this year:
- Siri will have more natural male and female voices. Siri can also translate English, French, German, Mandarin, Spanish, and Italian.
- Messages app will upload to iCloud, making it faster to sync across all your
- Pictures and videos will take up less space on your device without jeopardizing quality.
- Live photos are editable, allowing you to create gif like photos.
- The 2-page control center is compressed into one full-screen control center.
- For your safety, Apple added a Do Not Disturb While Driving feature. Your iPhone can detect when you may be driving and automatically silence all notifications.
macOS High Sierra
- A new Apple File System will improve security and include built-in encryption.
- Photos have been updated, giving us more editing tools.
- Safari will see a boost in speed. Also, Safari will stop auto-play videos for you and remove advertising trackers.
- Videos will take up less space.
- Amazon Prime Video is finally coming to Apple TV in the Fall.
- New Siri-powered watch face will bring real-time updates when they are most relevant. Additional watch faces include a kaleidoscope face and new Disney faces.
- Smarter workout controls with more ways to set goals. Also, a flashlight feature for your late-night runs. Also, a new High Intensity Interval Training workout.
- The Music app now supports multiple playlists.