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Apple WWDC

Apple’s WWDC 2019 Announcements Recap

Today Apple held their World Wide Developer Conference keynote. The keynote was a long one that was brimming with a look at the new features of each of their operating systems. Let us look at these in the order they were announced, starting with tvOS.

tvOS

tvOS is Apple’s large-screen operating system, specifically designed for the Apple TV. tvOS just received an update with the new TV App. Even though it just received an updated app, tvOS is not sitting still. In fact, tvOS 13 will add a few new features that will be great for all sorts of users.

When you first start your Apple TV with tvOS 13, you will see a redesigned home screen. This home screen will show movie and tv show previews for your “Up Next” queue.

The first addition is great for families, multi-user support. You will now be able to switch users on the Apple TV so that you can get a personalized experience with it. This includes “Up Next”, Music, and any other recommendations. You can switch users by using the new Control Center, which is available by swiping from the right.

One of the iconic features of tvOS are the screensavers. There will be some new screensavers, but instead of being aerial views, these will actually be underwater shots. I think these are going to be a good change of pace for the Apple TV.

One of the areas that Apple is hoping users to use their Apple TV is with gaming; specifically with Apple Arcade. When it comes to gaming there is one thing that you absolutely need to have a great gaming experience and that is a controller. Apple is bringing support for two of the most popular game controllers, the Xbox One Controller and the Playstation DualShock 4 controller. These will be able to be paired with an Apple TV so you can use them to play games on the Apple TV.

tvOS may not be getting a ton of new features, but it is getting some much needed ones.

watchOS

watchOS 6 will bring a few new features that will be very welcome. The Apple Watch is a very personal device. One of the ways that you are able to customize the watch is through the Watch Face you use.

Watch Faces

watchOS 6 will bring a few new watch. Some of the new Watch Faces that you can choose from are a Gradient, which will change as the day progresses. There is a “Large Numerals” watch face which will, as the name suggests, will show large numbers. The Large Numerals face will also allow a couple of complications. There is a new Digital Face, which will provide a large time display with multiple complications. There is also a new California Dial, which alternates between Arabic and Roman numerals. The last new watch face is a Solar Face, which will show the sun’s position throughout the day.

There are still additional watch faces. The newest face is is a Modular Compact face. This watch face includes rich

One last ability for watchOS, which is reminiscent of many time keeping items is that the Apple Watch will now provide you with a haptic chimes on the hour. If the sound is on, you will also get audio feedback.

Apps on watchOS

There are also a few new apps that will be coming to watchOS 6. The first of these apps is an Audiobooks app. This will allow you to continue listening to the audiobooks that have been purchased from iTunes.

There are those instances when you are out and about and you think of a really great idea and you want to record it in some manner. If you are not in a position to be able to type it out using your iPhone, you can now use the Voice Memos app to watchOS, so you can record your memos and they will synchronize to the rest of your devices.

The last app that is available within watchOS is a calculator app. The app will allow you to do calculations on the go, but it will also allow you to split the view with others in your group.

There is one last thing about apps on watchOS. Apps can now be entirely independent. This means that you will no longer need to install an iPhone app just to install an Apple Watch app.

The ability to install apps by themselves on the Apple Watch means that there is also an App Store on the Apple Watch. With the app you can view Editor’s choices, preview apps, and even purchase apps directly from an Apple Watch. Now you will not need to use a keyboard on the Apple Watch, because you can use Siri or dictation to find the apps you are looking to install.

The inclusion of additional apps as well as app independence will be great for the platform there are some additional changes to one area where there is a major focus, Health and Fitness.

Health and Fitness

Tracking health is an important thing for everyone to do. However, this is not always easy to do. There is one additional app that relates to health and fitness that is on watchOS 6. It is designed for use by half of the population, specifically women. The app is designed to allow women to track their menstruation cycles.

The Cycle Tracking app will allow a woman to record aspects of her monthly cycle to help create an idea of what is normal for her. Some of the aspects that you can track include symptoms, amount of bleeding, headaches as well as cramping.

The Cycle Tracking app will also allow predict your fertility window, so you will be aware.

The Cycle Tracking features are not just available on watchOS, they are also available within the Health app on iOS so more women will be able to track their monthly cycles.

This is a great step forward in being all inclusive when it comes to health.

There is another app that is available in watchOS that will help everyone to protect an aspect of their health that they may take for granted, their hearing. Noise is something that most people encounter every day and may not think about, except when it interferes with things that we are attempting to accomplish.

When you encounter loud noises for extended periods of time this can have a detrimental effect. Most notably hearing loss. In order to help us identify when we are in an excessively loud environment, Apple has included a new app in watchOS 6 called ‘Noise’.

Noise will run in the background and check periodically to see if you are in a noisy environment. If you are, then it will alert you to this fact so you can take the proper precautions. All of the noise detection and processing is done on your Apple Watch and it is not sent to Apple nor are any of the detections saved in any way.

Now that we have covered watchOS, let us move to iOS.

iOS

iOS is Apple’s largest platform with over 1 billion devices that are running iOS. iOS 13 is a huge update for users. Just like with iOS 12, iOS 13 isF significantly faster. In fact it is up to 2x faster and FaceID is up to 30% faster. Besides the operating system being faster, the apps that you download will actually be smaller. Downloads are now up to 50% smaller and app updates are up to 60% smaller. This means that you will use less data.

The most noticeable change in iOS 13, and one that users have wanted, is a Dark Mode. Dark Mode is just like it is on macOS where the entire operating system will request the dark mode for all apps. You can switch between light mode and dark mode. iOS is now also using a “Card” view instead of a full screen overlay, so this will help you know where you are at.

There are a few additional changes in iOS like a new Share Sheet. The new Share Sheet will provide sharing options, including photos, and you can even share with a single tap. There are a few other changes, for Music you can now follow the lyrics while playing a song. Safari has a new Text size option, which is available on a per-website basis.

There are a few privacy additions that have been added. The first is with you being able to control when an app can use your location. You will be able to allow an app to use your location only during a session. If the same app requests your location again in the future, you will be prompted again. This allows you to decide when to share your location. A second privacy item is called “Sign in with Apple”.

Apple now has its own option for allowing you to sign in to a service. You can use your Apple ID to sign in. While apps have to incorporate it, when they do you will have full control over how much information you share. You can decide to share your email address, or you can decide not to. If you decide to not share your email address a random, service-specific, email address will be generated for you. This email address will be a private relay that will take any incoming emails from the service and send them to your actual email address with the service never getting your actual email address. Again, this allows you to control who sees your information and who does not.

Messages is one of the most used applications on iOS. There are some enhancements to messages as well. You are now able to decide who to share your name and photo with. This is done on a per-message thread basis. So if you do not want to share your information, you do not have to.

On the topic of photos, you can now do some additional customizations to your Memoji. These include eye shadow, lipstick, piercings, the look of your teeth, additional hair styles, more hats, and even additional glasses. If you are so inclined you can choose to add AirPods to your Memoji as well. That is not all for your Memoji though. You will now also be able to get a sticker pack of your memoji. This means that you can use your memoji on all of your devices, provided they are run-in an A9 processor or later.

Photos

Photos provides a new layout for looking at your photos. It will also remove duplicates and clutter while you are looking at your photos. There are some new editing options, but the biggest will be to rotate a video. Any of the effects that you can do on a single photo you can now also apply to video as well.

There is another large update, and this one is to the iPad.

iPadOS

The iPad has received a significant update, it is now a distinct platform. iPadOS is designed specifically for the iPad. This includes additional features specifically designed for iPad, like having your Today View widgets pinned to the side of your apps so they are always visible while in landscape view.

Besides Today View, you can now have multiple windows from the same app running and within multiple spaces. This means that you can have two notes side by side, or two safari windows, or even notes and mail or any other apps that support it. On your home screen within iPadOS, by default there are more icons on the screen, specifically six per row instead of the standard five.

There are now also some new system-wide gestures for copy, paste, undo and redo. These are all three finger gestures. Three finger pinch will copy, while three finger spread will paste. three finger swipe left will undo, and three finger swipe right will redo.

Files

With the iPad being more than just a consumption device, that means that additional features are needed for file management. On iPadOS this is done using the Files app. The Files apps has gained a bunch of new features. There is a new view, the “Column View”. This is similar to the Column View on macOS where you can easily view a hierarchy of files. You can also see metadata about a file or folder and perform some basic actions like rotating an image and making a PDF.

Besides being able to view your files differently, you can also share an iCloud Folder, which will be great for collaborative projects. Files can now natively connect to SMB file shares, which means that if you have a Windows device you will be able to connect to it from right within the Files app. That is not the only way to get files into the Files app, you can now connected a thumb drive, SD Card, or external hard drive and and import the files directly into your Files app. If you are importing files from an SD Card you can also select which app to import the files into, meaning that you can bypass Photos app entirely and import them into another app.

Safari

Safari is an app that no one can survive without. With iPadOS Safari gets a Desktop-Class experience. What this means is that instead of always getting the mobile layout for a website, you will more likely get the desktop layout. This is great for sites that automatically push you toward the mobile version, just because you are running iOS.

Besides getting the proper site, you will also be able to manage your downloads in Safari on iPadOS and there are 30 keyboard shortcuts that you can use within Safari.

Apple Pencil

The Apple Pencil is a great tool for accomplishing work on the iPad. Apple has reduced the latency of the Apple Pencil from 20 milliseconds to 9 milliseconds. This is a 55% reduction in the lag between when you perform an action and when it is displayed on screen. This will mean that actions you take will feel almost instantaneous.

There are some tools for developers too, like the new PencilKit API will allow them to incorporate the same Apple Pencil functionality within their apps.

Those are the highlights for iPadOS, let us move onto macOS.

macOS

The latest version of macOS changes a lot of things about macOS. First off, the name. macOS 10.15 is called macOS Catalina. macOS Catalina brings an end to a couple of different eras. The first is that the operating system partition will be read-only, which will protect the system from any malicious software. The second, and a much bigger change for users is the elimination of iTunes.

iTunes Replacement

iTunes, as we know it, is going away. It is being replaced by four different apps. Music, Podcasts, TV, and Finder; yes you read that correctly.

The new Music app will allow you to manage your music, including synchronizing the data to your iOS devices. Music on macOS will also bring lyric synchronization to the Mac so you can sing along with your favorite songs.

The Podcasts app will provide a dedicate podcast listening experience. One feature of Podcasts is the new search, which will use machine learning to index the contents of spoken content so you can find any podcast with just a few clicks.

The TV app is just like that one iOS and tvOS and will allow you to watch any of your Apple TV Channels, purchased movies or television shows all from within the TV app. Content within the TV app will be able to play 4K HDR using HR10 or Vision and support for Dolby Atmos is also built-in, so you can watch 4K content if you have a capable Mac.

Finder is actually how you manage your iOS devices. This is where you perform update, backups, and the like. The best part of this is that when you plug in your iOS device guess what happens…NOTHING. There are no apps that open, it just appears in the sidebar of Finder.

Other macOS Features

There is a new feature for macOS that involves your iPad, that feature is called SideCar. With SideCar you can use your iPad as a secondary display. You can connect the iPad via a cable or wirelessly.

Activation lock will allow any Mac with a T2 security chip to act like iOS device and will not allow anyone to boot it without you typing in your password. The operating system will not even load up. This makes the idea of stealing a Mac even less attractive.

Project Catalyst

Last year Apple announced that they would be bringing the ability to run some apps from iOS on the Mac. They have done so with Project Catalyst. Come the fall you will be seeing some iPad apps available on macOS, if the app developers do the work. This means that some of your favorite iPad apps will be available on the Mac. An app that Apple mentioned was the Twitter app, so we may be seeing that this fall.

Closing Thoughts

Today Apple unveiled a whole lot of new features across all of their platforms. One of the big things mentioned is privacy. This is exhibited through the new ability to select whether to share your location with an app on iOS, or the ability to not provide your email to a service through the “Sign In with Apple” feature.

tvOS brings a new look and feel, with support for multiple users all of whom will get personalized recommendations, “Up Next” queue, and your own music library. tvOS will also bring support for the two main console controllers, the Xbox One and the Playstation DualShock 4 for the Apple Arcade. The new screensavers will allow you to take a look at the life that we do not see often, ocean life.

watchOS 6 brings a slew of new Watch faces, including a Gradient face, Large Numerals face, a new Digital face, the California Dial, and Solar Face. watchOS 6 also includes a calculator app, an audiobooks app, voice memos, an all new Cycle Tracking app for women, and the new Noise app will help everyone with protect their hearing. Apps on watchOS can now be independent and will not require an iPhone app. watchOS will also get its own App Store, which you can use to install apps directly on the watch.

iOS 13 brings even faster performance than iOS 12, including faster Face ID, and even smaller app downloads. iOS 13 also bring an all new Dark Mode which means you can make your content pop. The new Share Sheet will provide suggestions. Music will synchronize lyrics to what you are listening to. With iOS 13 you can also customize your Memoji even more and you can use your Memoji with stickers everywhere.

The iPad has seen a significant update with its own operating system, iPadOS. iPadOS 13 brings all of the same as iOS 13 and its own features. With iPadOS you can run multiple windows of the same app, provided a developer adds support. The Files app now supports iCloud Folder Sharing, SMB file sharing, and even USB and SD Cards. Safari on iPadOS also gets some additional features, like showing you the desktop site views, a download manager, and many shortcuts.

From what we have seen so far, tvOS 13, watchOS 6, macOS Catalina, iOS 13, and iPadOS 13 all look like quality updates. All of the operating systems will be available as updates in the fall. There are many many more features that have not been covered. There is one last item that was announced was a preview. It was for the Mac Pro, which will be covered in another posting soon.

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Apple Apple TV Apple Watch HomeKit iPad Pro Siri

Apple’s WWDC 2017 Announcements

Yesterday’s Apple World Wide Developer Conference keynote was a long one. It came in at just under two and half hours. This is the longest keynote that they have done, end so it was completely full of announcements. A list of items covered include software, and hardware, including some sneak peeks at hardware coming later. There was so much in this keynote, it is hard to choose where to begin. Let us start with hardware.

iPad Pro

One of the things that Apple announced at this keynote is new iPad Pros. The new iPad Pros have a slew of new features. Both of the iPad Pros now have feature parity, meaning that they have the same hardware inside the case.

  • ProMotion technology
  • P3 Wide Color Gamut
  • True Tone Display
  • A10X Fusion Chip
  • 12-megapixel camera
  • ƒ/1.8 aperture

The physical dimensions of the iPad Pros have changed, at least for the 9.7-inch model. That model is gone. It has been replaced with the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro, yet it is almost the same physical size. This is possible because there is now 40% less bezel on the sides. The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is only 0.3 inches longer and 0.2 inches wider than the 9.7-inch model. The size difference also means that the weight of the 10.5-inch iPad Pro is a bit more over the 9.7-inch model. In fact, it is a whole 32 grams, or 0.07 pounds more.

If one is going from the 9.7-inch iPad pro to the 10.5-inch iPad Pro you will see a more modest set of changes one. However, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is seeing a bunch of new features. Again, these are all available on the 10.5-inch. The new features of the 12.9-inch include:

  • Digital zoom up to 5x
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Six‑element lens
  • Quad-LED True Tone flash
  • Panorama (up to 63 megapixels)
  • ProMotion technology
  • Wide color display (P3)
  • True Tone display

As mentioned, these were all available on the 9.7-inch previously, however having them on the 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be a nice change for those 12.9-inch iPad Pro owners who do upgrade. In fact, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is now lighter by 36 grams, or 0.08 pounds.

The FaceTime camera has also been upgraded in both models. It is now a 7 megapixel camera with a ƒ/2.2 aperture, and 1080p recording. The FaceTime camera includes Wide Color capture as well. The FaceTime camera changes will work not only for FaceTime but also for selfies.

There is one last thing to note. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro is the only one that comes in Rose Gold. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro does not. The 10.5-inch model starts at $649, while the 12.9-inch model starts at $799. You can choose among three different storage sizes, 64GB, 256GB, and 512GB. This is double the previous models. There are also cellular models and these cost $130 more. The new iPad Pros are able to be ordered today, and they ship next week.

Macs

The quick summary is that everything got updated, well except the Mac mini, and the MacBook Air. The iMac, MacBook and MacBook Pros have all gotten an upgrade to the latest Intel Series of chips, codenamed Kaby Lake. The 13-inch MacBook now has the Intel Iris Plus 640 Graphics chip, where as the 13-inch with Touch Bar has the Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650.

The 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar now includes an AMD Radeon 555 with 2GB of Video RAM, or Radeon 560 with 4GB of Video RAM. The 13-inch MacBook Pro non-touchbar model is now starting at $1299.

The 12-inch MacBook has also received a slight upgrade as well. It also has the 7th Generation Intel chips. It now has a 1.2 GHz process as its base which includes Intel HD 615 Graphics. Along side this it has Bluetooth 4.2 support.

If you are still in the market for a MacBook Air, they are still around and have recieved a very minor procssor speed increase, but that is the only change for the MacBook Air.

The MacBooks were modest upgrades, unlike the iMacs. These received a more substantial upgrade.

iMacs

The entire Retina iMac line received upgrades to the latest Intel chips, Kaby Lake. The most notable change is in the 27-inch Screen. It now supports the Wide Color Gamut (P3), which brings it to parity with the iPads.

The second biggest change is that the iMac line now supports USB-C, and Thunderbolt 3, with the two USB-C ports available on all models. This is the first time that USB-C has been available on a desktop Mac. Alongside, there is also Bluetooth 4.2 support. One of the most noticeable changes will be in graphics. For all Retina models, Apple is now including AMD Radeon Pro graphics. For the 21.5-inch model this is the 555 with 2GB of RAM or the 560 with 4GB of RAM. The 27-inch models get the Radeon Pro 570, 575, or 580, with 4GB of memory for the 570 and 575, and 8GB video Memory for the 580.

The change that is most likely to be a nice change is that the 21.5-inch 4K Retina iMac now starts at $1299. This is down from $1499 for the previous version.

There were two “Sneak Peeks” at the keynote. These will be covered a bit later. For now, let us look at the software that was announced, starting with tvOS.

tvOS

There was only one announcement, for today, regarding the Apple TV. Even though it was only one announcement, it was a big one; the Amazon Prime Video is coming this fall. This means that anybody who likes to watch Amazon Prime Video will be able to do that directly on the Apple TV. It is possible to use AirPlay to get Amazon Video on your Apple TV today, but this is an inelegant solution.

watchOS

The Apple Watch has become a key aspect to many people’s lives since its initial release in April of 2015. It took a couple of years, but the Apple has honed in on its main focus, health and fitness. watchOS 4 brings a few new features, the first being a new user interface for scrolling applications. Along side this there are a few new watch faces, Siri, Kaleidoscope, as well as coupel of new iconic characters. These characterse areWoody, Jessie, and Buzz from the Toy Story franchise.

Workouts are now easier under watchOS 4. To coincide with this, you are able to get more data to and from the Apple Watch. This is done through the use of NFC. The NFC capability will only available on newer equipment, but if it is available, it will be helpful. In particular, your heart rate will be sent from your Apple Watch to the gym equipment, whereas the incline rate from the gym equipment will be sent to your Apple Watch. This two-way communication allows for more data relating to health. This is likely only the beginning of the two-way communications between the Apple Watch and gym equipment.

The last item with watchOS is that Music can now be automatically synchronized over to your Apple Watch. This feature will allow you to always have music with you, particularly if you do not bring your iPhone with your when you exercise.

There are a bunch of other features for watchOS. For now let us look at some of the new features of iOS.

iOS 11

The most anticipated aspect of the announcement is the operating system for the iPhone, and iPad, iOS. iOS 11 brings a bunch of updates. One of the most used applications on iOS is Messages.

Messages

There are a couple of updates specifically for Messages. These revolve around iMessage apps, syncing, and Payments.

iMessage Apps and Stickers

With iOS 10, Apple added iMessage applications to iOS. One of the downsides to have so many iMessage apps and stickers is the difficulty of finding the specifc iMessage application you wanted to use. With iOS 11 it is now easier to find said application. You simply scroll through your iMessage application drawer and locate the application you are looking for. This was one of the biggest issues with iMessage in iOS 10. The next feature is syncing of messages.

Syncing

iOS 11 will synchronize all of your messages across all of your devices. This is possible because all of your iMessages will being stored in the cloud, securely. When you get a new device, all of your recent messages will be synchronized to the device. This will also reduce the amount of storage needed on your device for messages. The last item to highlight is actually an iMessage app, Payments.

Person to Person Payments

The biggest change to iMessage in iOS 11 will be the ability to send money directly to someone. Once you receive some money, it will be added to your Apple Pay Cash card. You can use this to purchase apps or pay for other services using your iPhone. Alternnatively you can transfer the money to your bank account.

App Store

Since the App Store was released nine years ago, it has remained mostly unchanged. It has changed slightly here and there with the style changes of iOS. However, that is going to change with iOS 11. Under iOS 11, the App Store is now getting a major redesign, similar to the one that Apple Music introduced. There are now two new and distinct tabs at the bottom; Games and Apps. These, as one might guess, are specifically for these two genres. This separation allows those specifically looking for Games to be able to find a game to play. The same goes for the other app categories.

The biggest change within the App Store is the “Today” tab. Similar to how Apple Music will suggest music for you, the App Store can now show you what is new today. This could be popular items, suggestions from the App Store curators, or even in-app purchases for games you are already playing.

Mark Up

One of the features within Mail on macOS Sierra was the ability to “Mark Up” images and send them to others. This feature is now available on screenshots within iOS 11. “Mark Up” is even better on an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil, but the feature works across all iOS 11 devices. This means that you will be able to add notes and highlights to any screenshot. This will make collaboration even better.

iPad Changes

The biggest changes for iOS 11 are with the iPad. As was stated, “This is the biggest release of iOS for the iPad”. The focus on the iPad Pro. They were not kidding. iOS 11 is chalk full of features specifically for the iPad. Some of these include:

  • Update for the Dock
  • Improvements to Split View & Drag and Drop
  • Consolidated Files

There is a lot more that has been added, but these are the biggest items and we will focus on these. Let us start with the Dock.

The Dock

Under iOS 10 and previous versions, the dock on the iPad was limited to 5 items, regardless of the size of the iPad. This meant that there was a lot of empty space between applications. This is no longer the case with iOS 11. Instead, you are now able to fill up the dock with as many applications as you would like. Additionally, the dock will house any recent items and will even predict what applications you may want.

Split View

Split View came to the iPad with iOS 9 in 2015. At the time you were able to run more than one application at the same time. This has been the case, but now with iOS 11, you are able to drag and drop all types of data between applications. This means that instead of needing to manually copy and paste, or send a picture to another application. This will make things even quicker for many users.

Alongside Drag and Drop, applications that you pair together will now stay together. This means that if you like to have two applications open side by side, it will now be remembered, which will only increase productivity.

Files.app

The last thing to know about the iPad, and iPhone, is that all of your files will now be viewable into a single application. This means that if you have files stored in iCloud, One Drive, and Dropbox you will be able to see all of them all at once instead of needing to go to different applications to get all of the files that you have. This will make it even easier with Drag and Drop to be able to find items and place them onto applications.

There are definitely many more features, however these are some of the biggest. Now, let us move on to macOS.

macOS

It is not surprising to see a new version of macOS at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference. Each year there is a new name to accompany the new operating system. macOS 10.13 is code-named “High Sierra”. This is similar to the naming convention used by Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion. This signifies that while there were some user facing features, these updates were aimed at under the hood improvements.

macOS High Sierra does not contain a huge number of new feeatures, except there are a ton of under the hood changes. The lowest level that one interacts with every day, the file system. iOS 10.3 brought the Apple File System (APFS) to iOS devices,

macOS High Sierra brings APFS to the Mac. This will be the default going forward. One of the things that many users use often is Safari. There have been a couple of changes in Safari.

Safari

The biggest change in Safari on macOS High Sierra is that Autoplay videos will no longer play, automatically. They are still able to be played, but they will be muted by default. Having autoplay videos not play automatically will only improve a user’s experience.

One of the downsides of the the modern web is the amount of tracking that is done has become and just how it occurs across all types of websites. This has changed with Safari under macOS High Sierra. Now, Safari will cordon off those sites that attempt to track your data and it will remove the data, so you cannot be tracked all over the web. The ads will still display, so it will not break the internet, but it should become a bit more pleasant.

There are some other technologies that are “under the hood” of macOS High Sierra, but these are not necessary to cover now. Let us look at the two products that Apple previewed.

Sneak Peeks

It is not often that Apple previews hardware, it has occurred before, but it is not often. Today Apple previewed two new products, the iMac Pro and HomePod. Let us start with the iMac Pro.

iMac Pro

The iMac Pro was briefly mentioned a couple months ago, when Apple sat down with a handful of journalists to spell out the future of the professional Mac. At that time there were no details. We now have some more information. First and foremost, the iMac Pro is designed for Professionals. This is particularly apparent with the STARTING price, of $4999. Yes, almost five thousand dollars is the starting price. The iMac Pro has the following specifications:

  • Retina 5k Screen with Wide Color Gamut
  • An 8, 10 or 18-Core Xeon Processor
  • 32, 64, or 128GB of Memory
  • 1TB SSD, configurable to 2TB or even 4TB
  • AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics, with 8GB of memory, configurable to Radeon Pro Vega 64 with 16GB of memory
  • 1080p FaceTime Camera
  • Stereo Speakers with Four microphones
  • 4 USB3 port
  • 4 USB-C ports
  • Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology
  • 10Gbps ethernet port

There is only one color for the iMac Pro, Space Gray. The peripherals are also Space Gray, this includes the keyboard, Magic Trackpad and Magic Mouse 2. The iMac Pro will be available in December 2017.

Mac Accessories

There is one new accessory for everybody today, a Magic Keyboard with a number pad. This is available today for $129. Let us look at the other sneak peek, the HomePod.

HomePod

One of the more anticipated items is what Apple would do regarding a smart home speaker. Today, they answered the question with the HomePod. The HomePod has a built-in A8 chip, the same one that powers the 4th generation Apple TV. Besides the processing chip, there are six microphones, and seven tweeters, each with their own drivers. The microphones and tweeters work in concert to be able to produce the best sound possible.

It does this through Spatial Awareness. Spatial Awareness will test the room that it is in and adjust the sound to each tweeter individually to produce the best sound possible. All of this is done within a 6.8 inches high cylinder that is surrounded by a wire mesh to allow the sound to flow through.

The HomePod is primarily designed to be a music speaker, however that is not all it can do. It also functions as a conduit to using Siri. You can ask Siri, “Who is the drummer in this song”, “Play some Hip Hop”, or even “Play this specific song” That is not all though, since it integrates with Siri, you can also say things like “Give me the news” or “Turn off the lights”. The HomePod is fully integrated with HomeKit, so it can perform any of the same tasks that Siri can.

The HomePod will be available in December 2017 for $349. It comes in two colors, White and Space Grey. If you have more than one HomePod in the same room, they can both work in concert to produce even better sound. At launch, HomePod will be availble in the U.S., the UK, and Australia, with other countries coming next year.

Final Thoughts

Today’s World Wide Developer Keynote presentation was a long, but feature rich presentation. The refreshed Macs and iPad Pros will provide even more for users. iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra will also provide a slew of new features. Both iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra will be available in the fall as free upgrades.

There was even more in the presentation that I did not cover here. You can watch the entire keynote on Apple’s website.

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Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 10/16/2012

Here is today’s Daily Run Down.

Big News

General News

International

Politics

Obits

Health

Science/Space

Earnings

Historical

Tips and Tricks

Gaming

Gadgets

Law

Patents

Technology

Internet

Mobile

Software/Apps

Security

Chicagoland

London/Britain

Personal

Odd

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Funny

Total Number of stories: 242

Look for more stories tomorrow.

Categories
Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 06/01/2012

Here is today’s Daily Run Down.

Total Number of stories: 214

Look for more stories tomorrow. If an important story has been missed please leave it in the comments.

Categories
Daily Run Down

Daily Run Down 05/04/2012

Here is today’s Daily Run Down.

Total Number of stories: 277

Look for more stories tomorrow. If an important story has been missed please leave it in the comments.