The biggest announcements from Apple WWDC 2017

All the key announcements from Apple's annual developer conference

Tags: Apple Incorporated
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The biggest announcements from Apple WWDC 2017 Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers the opening keynote address the 2017 Apple Worldwide Developer Conference at the San Jose Convention Center on June 5 2017 (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  June 6, 2017

Apple's annual worldwide developer conference kicked off yesterday with a two-hour long keynote on all the upcoming software and hardware to be released this year.

In true Apple style, the company saved its major announcements for WWDC 2017, with top executives Craig Federighi, Phil Schiller and Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiling Apple's 2017 roadmap.

Rumours on Apple's upcoming announcements have been surfacing for a while, and only days before WWDC, three alleged Foxconn employees took to Reddit with in-depth information.

Here are the key highlights from this year's WWDC 2017 keynote:

HomePod:

Rumours surfaced last week stating that Apple is joining the likes of Google and Amazon by developing a voice-assistant speaker. This was confirmed as true as Apple announced HomePod, a Siri-enabled smart speaker which enables users to start the speaker by saying ‘Hey Siri' and then instruct it to do things, such as play music, answer questions and will also be able to connect to other devices.

It was also hinted that the audio is another big selling factor for the speaker. It is designed to work with an Apple Music subscription for access to over 40 million songs. HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer for deep, clean bass, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters that provide pure high frequency acoustics with incredible directional control and powerful technologies built right in to preserve the richness and intent of the original recordings.

The HomePod will be available for $349 in white and space grey starting in December initially in Australia, the UK and the US. The HomePod is compatible with iPhone 5S and later, running iOS 11.

iMac:

Apple showcased the refreshed iMac Pro, a new workstation-class product line designed for users with demanding workflows. Its specifications include a 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation.

The iMac Pro features next-generation compute core and up to 16GB of on-package high-bandwidth memory (HBM2), iMac Pro with the Vega GPU delivers up to 11 Teraflops of single-precision compute power for real-time 3D rendering and immersive, high frame rate VR. And for half-precision computation, ideal for machine learning, iMac Pro delivers up to an incredible 22 Teraflops of performance.

iOS 11:

Apple's updated operating system, dubbed iOS 11, will include an enhanced Siri that has improved speech and it will be able to translate sentences into different languages, from English to Chinese, French, German, Italian, or Spanish. 

End-to-end encrypted payments can now be made through iMessage and payments can also be authenticated with TouchID.

Photo features have also been improved with the ability to now edit Live Photos, images can now be taken with optical image stabilisation, True Tone flash and HDR, to ensure every shot looks even more professional.

The control centre has also had a makeover, offering more customisations, a new lock screen and a vertical slider to change the brightness and volume of the phone. The update means there will no longer be two screens for the control centre anymore.

ARKit:

Apple is serious about its move to augmented reality, and now its new ARKit is allowing developers to build AR apps for the iPhone.

iPad Pro:

The new iPad Pro will now be available in three sizes. At WWDC, Apple unveiled the 10.5-inch iPad Pro which features a 12-megapixel camera, a 7-megapixel front camera, 10 hours of battery life and ProMotion, a feature to reduce Apple Pencil's latency.

App Store:

The App Store has also had a makeover. It now features original stories featured within a new ‘Today' tab, as well as Games and App tabs. The Today tab will include in-depth features and interviews filled with artwork and videos, plus Today will feature exclusive premieres, new releases and a fresh look at all-time favourites, as well as recommended tips and how-to guides to help customers use apps in innovative ways.

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