On Monday, June 5 in San Jose, California, Apple kicked off its annual World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) with several exciting hardware and software announcements for 2017. In case you missed Tim Cook’s Keynote, here’s a summary of what’s coming this year from Apple.
macOS High Sierra:
We expect that the next version of the Mac Operating System will be released around September, 2017. Most of the changes in this system are under-the-hood for greatly improved security, reliability and responsiveness but it will offer some additional tools in Photos, Safari and Mail. The system requirements remain the same as Sierra. Don’t get too excited, though! As always, we recommend checking all your software and hardware requirements before automatically upgrading. We’ll have more information as we see things develop…
We also expect that the next version of the iPhone/iPad Operating system will be released around September, 2017 alongside a dramatically updated ‘10th Anniversary iPhone’. The biggest changes in iOS 11 will be apparent on iPad, making the device more ‘Mac-like’ with the Finder-like ‘Files’ App, the Dock, Mission-Control-like Multitasking and Drag and Drop capabilities. If you’re consdering transitioning to an iPad as a Mac replacement, these features will make your transition much easier. The system requirements remain the same as iOS 10.
In addition to Apple making iOS 11 for iPad more ‘Mac-like’, App developers are creating iPad Apps with capabilities previously only possible on Mac. An amazing Photoshop-like photo editor for iPad called Affinity Photo (only $19.99 for a limited time) was demonstrated during the Keynote, virtually negating the need for subscribing to Adobe Creative Cloud for Photoshop on Mac. Also demonstrated during the Keynote were some impressive Augmented Reality games for iPad, allowing the ability to create and edit entire virtual worlds within your own real world. With these and other recent App additions, iOS now offers full-featured software every bit as powerful as their Mac counterparts.
* Coming soon to The MacSpa: new classes on High Sierra, iOS 11 and new Mac-Like iPad Apps for Productivity, Photo & Video Editing.
Combining iOS 11 with a new iPad Pro makes replacing your Mac or PC with an iPad easier than ever. These devices have new high resolution, bright and responsive bigger displays in 10.5” and 12.9.” They are equipped with a new 12MP back camera and 7MP front camera and the new A10X Fusion chip. (See our class calendar for “Making the Switch from Computer to iPad”)
The MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and iMac all received minor updates, mainly with new processors. (Unfortunately, all Mac laptops remain largely non-upgradeable, with non-replaceable batteries.) Prices remain unchanged.
The biggest news about Macs is the announcement of the iMac Pro, an iMac designed specifically for video, graphics and photography professionals. The most powerful iMac ever, with a 27” Retina Display, up to 18 processing cores and a never-seen-before Vega graphics card will start at nearly $5000 when it’s released in December 2017.
Coming in December 2017, Apple is releasing HomePod, a brand-new device to rival the Amazon Echo and Google Home. Like Echo and Home, HomePod will understand your voice commands (via Siri), but during the Keynote Apple didn’t detail its capabilities beyond playing music. Unlike Echo and Home, the sound quality from HomePod will be exceptional, and the device–with an A8 chip–intelligently adapts sound quality to the space it’s placed in.
Not mentioned during the Keynote:
We don’t expect changes to these devices this year.
Although Apple’s Airport Express, Airport Extreme and Time Capsule are currently available, news outlets are reporting that these devices will be entirely discontinued soon, and there have been no major updates since 2013. If you are considering upgrading your home WiFi network, we are looking to Mesh-based devices from Google, Eero, Ubiquiti and Cisco. These devices provide next-generation WiFi coverage and smartly position wifi frequency according to their spatial positioning.
Contact The MacSpa if you’d like to book a consultation or appointment for assistance with purchasing or in-home setup on your new–or not-so-new–technologies. 🙂
To watch the official Apple Keynote presentation and learn more about what’s new, visit apple.com.