Everything You Need to Know About Apple WWDC 2017

Apple announced a voice-controlled speaker, a larger iPad, new iMacs, and update operating systems.

June 5, 2017 5:35 pm
At just under 7 inches tall, HomePod can be placed almost anywhere in the home and is available in white and space gray. (Apple)
At just under 7 inches tall, HomePod can be placed almost anywhere in the home and is available in white and space gray. (Apple)

Apple unveiled a cache of hardware and software updates at Monday’s WWDC 2017.

As many predicted, the company released a voice-controlled home speaker to rival the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos. Apple’s speaker, called the HomePod, boasts an intelligent tuning system to sound better depending on the size and acoustics of the room, according to The Verge.

In addition, the HomePod features a Siri-powered “Musicologist” that can answer users’ questions about the artist, song, or album. It also answers the usual queries when prompted by “Hey, Siri” and can control other smart devices compatible with Apple’s HomeKit, the tech giant’s smart home management software. With color options of Black or White, the HomePod will cost $349 when it ships in December.

HomePod delivers a perfect listening experience whether placed on a shelf, in a corner or in the center of a room. (Apple)

As far as other hardware offerings go, Apple also revealed a line of iMac and iMac Pros that boast sharper displays and VR-friendly graphics chips. The new iMacs start at $1,099 and the Pro versions start at $4,999. Both ship in December. The iPad Pro is now offered in a third size, 10.5-inches. It starts at $649 for the 64GB option and ships starting next week.

Some of the other headlines at WWDC 2017 were regarding Apple’s software. iOS11 upgrades Siri, which now featuries an automatic mode for limiting distractions when driving, stores iMessages on the Cloud (to avoid taking up hard drive space), and auto-generates personalized suggestions based on how someone uses their iPhone or iPad. Also, users can now send and receive money through iMessages with Apple Pay on iOS11.

The Apple Watch’s new software comes with an artificial fitness coach and new watch face display options. Apple also rolled out a new version of its desktop operating system called “High Sierra.”

To start the convention off, the company showed a satirical take on how digitally-connected our world has become (below).

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