Apple WWDC 2017 Summary and Highlights: All the news you need
Apple’s biggest software event of the year, WWDC 2017, gave us a bounty of major announcements and product news. We highlight the eight most important reveals.
Apple’s WWDC is back in San Jose this year, after a long run in San Francisco, and the opening keynote didn’t disappoint.
In fact, it was Apple’s biggest WWDC opener in recent memory – perhaps ever.
From the latest versions of iOS and macOS to a new iPad, updated MacBook Pros, and a shock iMac Pro apperance we really weren’t expecting, here’s everything that went down.
WWDC 2017 Summary: The 8 biggest announcements
1) New 5K iMac Pro unveiled
The most surprising reveal, in our opinion, saw Apple unwrap a new 5K iMac Pro for 2017.
It’s a VR-ready beast that will come packing up to 18-cores, 16GB of vRAM, and AMD Vega graphics – a Herculean configuration, even by 2017 standards.
This is an update we’d been hoping to see for a while but had nearly given up hope on. By the looks of things, Apple has excused itself.
2) HomePod is Apple’s answer to Echo
As expected, Apple unveiled a Siri-powered smart home speaker, which it ended up dubbing the HomePod.
Daft moniker aside, the Apple HomePod differentiates itself from its competition – namely Google Home and Amazon Echo – by focussing on audio functionality, rather than your innate desire to never lift a finger again.
It features a 4-inch upfiring woofer, plus seven tweeters, with the whole show being powered by an A8 chip – last known sighting, the iPhone 6.
On top of the new hardware, Apple also unveiled an updated AirPlay 2 protocol, which should see Apple’s proprietary multi-room tech play nicer with all your existing expensive audio gear.
Related: Apple HomePod vs Amazon Echo
3) iOS 11 is here – nearly
WWDC is perhaps best known for Apple revealing its latest mobile operating system, and 2017 was no exception.
iOS 11 was unveiled, with Apple talking up a slew of fresh features, from the all-new Apple Files directory to a bigger dock, improved app switcher, and the addition of Apple Pencil smarts in the Notes app.
As usual, Apple released the developer preview of iOS 11 right away, with a public beta set to be made available later in the summer, ahead of a final release alongside the iPhone 8 in September.
4) MacBook Pros get Kaby Lake boost
The show may have been stolen by the new iMac Pro, but Apple gave its MacBook Pros an important refresh, too, upgrading them with Intel’s new-gen Kaby Lake chip.
Many MacBook Pros will now also be getting Apple’s Fusion Drive by default, and they’ll be available to buy immediately.
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Make no mistake, the new 2017 MacBook Pros are set to shoot straight to the top of this year’s laptop class.
Related: Best laptops
5) macOS Sierra goes to pot
In a good way.
The latest version of Apple’s desktop operating system was announced at WWDC as macOS High Sierra, and it’s kind of a big deal.
For starters, Apple says that the new OS will make Safari the world’s fastest web browser – though we’ll have to test this claim for ourselves – and that it’ll be matching Chrome’s recent efforts by enabling ad blocking by default.
More exciting still, HTC Vive VR gaming will be supported by High Sierra, as will external graphics docks – a pretty killer combo.
The macOS High Sierra beta will available immediately, with a public beta set to launch “later this month”.
6) watchOS 4 set to land
The latest version of Apple’s wearable platform, watchOS 4, will be launching later this year – in the mysterious “fall’, as Apple likes to phrase it.
Some of the improvements touted at WWDC include a new proactive Siri watch face, an overhauled Activity app, and a revamped Music experience.
7) iPad Pro 2 breaks cover
Back to the hardware front and Apple unveiled a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro – which for all intents and purposes, amounts to the oft-rumoured iPad Pro 2.
Its main competition? Apple’s upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which gets the same new A10X Fusion chip found in its little sibling.
Both new iPad Pros are available to buy immediately. The 10.5-inch model starts at $649 or £619, while the larger 12.9-inch version starts at $799 or £769.
8) Amazon Prime Video comes to Apple TV
tvOS, the unloved ginger stepchild of the Apple family, finally got some TLC at WWDC, with news that Amazon Prime Video would be landing on the Apple TV.
That’s many a dreary Saturday night sorted – hit the link below to learn more.
Related: Amazon Prime Video on Apple TV
No, we weren’t expecting an Apple event of this magnitude either – if you read our WWDC preview, you’ll know that we only managed to pick six of the eight big announcements!
What was the best announcement of WWDC 2017? Let us know in the comments below.