The Worldwide Developers Conference kicked off today in San Jose with Apples much awaited Keynote. There was a lot of build-up to the event with talk of AR and hopes for HMD's and home speakers to rival google and amazon. We've been live tweeting the event and here's our breakdown of the highlights in software & hardware
The keynote began with several bit OS updates for all devices in the Apple range, we've summed up the best bits:
High Sierra Macs anticipated new OS has not been given the most creative name, but with advances in storage, video, a new file system and most excitingly for us a nice graphics tech upgrade there's a lot packed into the new update.
IOS 11 The new IOS for Iphone and Ipad is a mixture of new designs, rehashed features and some actually useful stuff. The first and for us biggest announcement is the new AR capabilities which we will talk about shortly. But some of the other highlights include using Apple pay to send friends money via iMessage, a nice little 'driving do not disturb' mode, a few fun features on photos and enhanced Siri intelligence.
WatchOS 4 Toy Story Watch face was the highlight for us. other updates such as enhanced intelligence, activity tracking and Siri. But mainly.. toy story!
Apple has announced their new development platform ARkit. Now, AR for mobile and tablets is nothing new, Google has been working on tango for years. However, with the integration of this platform on every ios device from now onwards, Apple have created the largest AR developing platform in the world seemingly overnight. This is an exciting step forward in bringing AR to a much wider mainstream audience securing its place in the tech of the future.
The new Imac Pro was announced amongst various hardware updates. It's a slick looking piece of kit and the insides aren’t half bad either! With specs that should give users buttery smooth VR experiences and for developers a workstation that delivers on all fronts this imac looks like it's going to tick all the boxes and more.
We have all been tapping our feet and looking at our ‘apple’ watches waiting for Apple to take the leap and finally it’s here! Apple is entering into the VR and AR Market.
The news has stirred up some excitement already on social media and it’s definitely going to help push this still young industry forward.
With a new lineup of computers and the performance of Metal 2 we see Apple take a late but bold step into the VR Market - They have made the right first few steps by announcing their VR compatible hardware and software along the with the likes of Valve (HTC Vive) and popular Game Engines Unity3D and Unreal Engine 4. They have promised that there is more to come as well with Final Cut Pro X integrating 360 Editing later in the year.
Just one final addition to the Apple family, following in the footsteps of Alexa and Google, we now have HomePod. (Again for the 2nd time during this event we've been scratching our heads at who's in charge of naming these things!) But yes it's here, Apple's alternative to the personal assistant, Siri's in charge and she (or he now!) is connecting all your devices into one friendly hub in your home.
The main features are familiar, ask it what's the weather, what's the latest news etc. But the improvement comes in the high-end audio speaker for playing music through the house, intended to be competition for Sonos.
HomePod is offering high-end sound quality and what they call 'spatial awareness' which adapts your songs settings depending on which room its in.. For a price range of $349 dollars for high-quality audio and the interactivity and connectivity of Siri, we'll let you make your mind up on whether you'll be emptying your pockets for it, for the mean time we're sticking with our old trusty Google home!