Apple HomePod and Peer-To-Peer Payments Among Things Announced at WWDC17

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It’s about that time of the year when all Apple fans run to the bank and withdraw all their money just to have the latest and greatest products – this is debatable.

Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) for the year 2017 is currently underway (at the time of writing this article) and we already have a long-ish list of what Apple announced, which includes both hardware and software announcements.

Let’s start with what will cost you money:

iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is Apple’s “most powerful machine yet” and according to the hype online, its most important feature is its color. Space grey.

Apple says the computer will ship with an 8-core Xeon processor, with the possibility of scaling up to an 18-core Xeon processor, 5K display, and an AMD Radeon Vega GPU. You’ll also be get up to 16GB of VRAM, up to 128GB of data corruption-protecting ECC RAM, and up to 4TB for SSD storage.

The iMac Pro will start shipping this December starting at $4,999.

iPad Pro

A new version of the iPad Pro has been announced. The new iPad Pro features a 10.5-inch display with shrunk bezels, a new 64-bit A10X Fusion chip, and something called Pro Motion that increases the refresh rate to make the iPad Pro display refresh at 120Hz.

The iPad costs $648 for the 64 GB base model and is available immediately.

Apple HomePod

Yup, the voice assistant in a speaker thing is catching on and Apple have refused to be left behind. The company announced the HomePod which comes with Apple’s Siri to bring in the “smart” aspect.

The HomePod despite having a bad name, has 7 tweeters, 6 microphones, a high-excursion woofer (whatever that means) and Apple Music inbuilt.

The HomePod also boasts of automatic EQ and echo cancellation according to the room that it’s in and the music playing. The highlight of the device is how good it sounds and seeing that it is a speaker, it didn’t have a choice. The HomePod will be available as from December at $349.

Apple Files

Apple have finally released a file management app for iOS. Dubbed, Apple Files, this app will help iOS users organize their devices and will support nested folders, spring loading, search capabilities, as well as a dedicated ‘Favorites’ tab for easy access.

New App Store

Apple unveiled a new App Store that has been redesigned to make “discovering apps and games easier than ever before.” There’s a new Today tab that will feature exclusive premieres, new releases and a fresh look at all-time favorites, as well as recommended tips and how-to guides to help customers use apps in creative ways.

There are also UI changes within the updates and search tabs. Honestly, the new App Store looks a lot like Instagram, but that’s just me. The new App Store will be included in iOS 11.

New WatchOS and MacOS

Apple announced WatchOS 4 that will bring new watch faces including a Siri-based watch face that uses machine learning to determine what information is most useful to you at a given point in time and display it.

WatchOS 4 will also bring updates to the watch’s fitness tracking, including a new user interface for the workout app and new integrations with gym equipment manufacturers.

On the other hand, the new MacOs will be known as High Sierra *takes a few seconds to think of 100 other names Apple would have used*.

With High Sierra, Apple is introducing a new file system that improves on security and responsiveness, a new video standard, HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding, also known as H.265), virtual reality support through Metal 2 –  a technology built into macOS that allows apps to unleash the full power of the GPU, among other minor changes.

iOS 11

The latest iOS version is iOS 11 and Apple just announced the first developer preview. The new version brings minor improvements to the sharing menu in the Messages app, improved Siri translation, new updates to the camera and photos app, redesigned control center – that looks ugly and cluttered, improved lock screen notifications to make it exactly what we have on Android and a major one, peer-to-peer money transfer through Apple Pay (this is interesting, think of it like M-Pesa exclusively for iPhones).

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