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Robots & Machines

LIVE: Everything You Need to Know from Apple’s Developers Conference

Apple is rumored to be launching a Siri speaker and augmented reality glasses.

Kristin HouserJune 5th 2017

Rumors Are Swirling

Today, Apple is holding its Worldwide Developers Conference keynote. As we wait for the event to begin, let us take a moment to dive into the pool of swirling speculation that always forms before these announcements.

One of the biggest things that’s expected to be revealed is a move toward mixed reality glasses – a la the now defunct Google Glass. Rumors are surfacing regarding just how deep into mixed reality these glasses might go. Will they be on par with Google Glass or a more ambitious project – like what is being developed by Microsoft or MagicLeap? Whatever way Apple goes, it could be a formative moment in the future of augmented and mixed reality, considering the sway the company has over consumers.

The keynote will also undoubtedly bring upgrades to current, well-established products like the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, and reportedly even the iMac.

Apple Unveils it All

As Apple CEO Tim Cook noted during the opening speech, the size of the company, and its reach, is truly impressive: “We now have 16 million registered developers around the world. We added 3 million last years alone.”

We will be updating this article live as the conference continues.

  • Apple Watch is getting some “exiting updates.” watchOS 4 includes updates to the watch face, which will now be powered by Siri intelligence. Siri intelligence will automatically display the information that is relevant to you on Apple watch using advanced machine learning technologies.
  • Activity notifications in watchOS 4 will be more personalized. Monthly challenges will be included, as will celebrations when goals are hit.
  • Adding workouts via Apple Watch will be easier, as will the ability to do multiple workouts in a single session.
  • This fall, Apple Watch-enabled equipment will roll out at some of the world’s biggest gyms.
  • The watchOS 4 update will be free this fall.
  • Craig Federighi noted that the next generation of the operating system on the Mac will be called “High Sierra.”
  • Safari is the world’s fastest desktop browser with High Sierra, 80% faster than Chrome.
  • Safari will block all autoplays, and it will have “intelligent tracking prevention,” using machine learning to identify trackers and protect your privacy.
  • The new OS recognizes far more faces and will synchronize face naming across all devices.
  • They’re opening up printing services to third parties, including Shutterfly and Whitewall.
  • Apple File System is coming to the OS as the new default. It’s safer, includes built-in crash protection, and is ultra responsive.
  • Has 40% better compression for videos, allowing you to preserve all the details on your videos.
  • A new version of Metal, Metal 2, is a 10x improvement in draw call throughput.
  • Metal 2 will be applicable for external graphics, and High Sierra will include Metal for VR.
  • A developer beta of High Sierra is available today, and it will be available on all systems as a free update this fall.
  • The iMac display is going to be 43% brighter and will support 10-bit dithering, supporting 1 billion colors.
  • Memory capacity will double, and SSD options will be 50% faster.
  • Moving to discrete graphics, yielding major performance increases.
  • John Knoll from Industrial Light & Magic demonstrates that the new iMac updates allow users to create content within a VR experience.
  • For the first time ever, Apple is offering a 4K iMac that starts at just $1,299.
  • Apple is updating seven of the most popular Macs, all shipping today, and they’re free of harmful chemicals, highly recyclable, and meet other environmental standards.
  • New iMac Pro is in a base gray finish and is “the most powerful Mac ever made.”
  • iMac Pro will ship with 8-core, 10-core, or 18-core Xeon Processor.
  • For the first time, the iMac will have built-in 10GB Ethernet.
  • Building a comparable system today would cost $7,000+. The iMac pro will cost $4,999 and will be available in December.
  • iOS 11 is a “big one.”
  • Messages will have a redesigned app drawer.
  • Messages are automatically synchronized across devices.
  • Apple Pay will be available in more than 50% of U.S. retailers by the end of the year.
  • Apple Pay for person-to-person payments is being integrated as an iMessage app.
  • Siri will get a voice upgrade, and a male voice is also available.
  • Siri can offer voice translation from English to Chinese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish.
  • Siri in iOS 11 uses “on-device learning” to better understand the user’s needs, and these insights are synced across devices.
  • Camera updates include 2X better compression for camera captured videos. JPEG capture is replaced with HEIF.
  • Camera also includes updates for low-light photos, true tone flash, optical image stabilization, and more.
  • The control center is getting a major redesign. It’s now a single page and includes 3D depth.
  • Lock screen and the notification center are now one.
  • Users can now capture a single frame from a live photo, as well as create loops, bounces, long exposures, and more.
  • Siri in iOS 11 uses machine learning to spot your interests and make recommendations. It will also use this knowledge to make word suggestions in Messages.
  • Maps gives enhanced information when you arrive at locations such as malls and airports.
  • Navigation now offers lane guidance and speeds.
  • iOS 11 will offer Do Not Disturb While Driving, which will eliminate notifications while driving. It can also be configured to send replies to messages, letting the sender know you are driving.
  • HomeKit offers a secure way to control your smart devices, such as locks, lights, and fans. Speakers has been added, letting you configure your multi-room audio.
  • New Share It Up Next feature allows your friends to add songs to a playlist without interrupting the current song.
  • Apple Music now lets you know what your friends are listening to.
  • New API: MusicKit for Apple Music.
  • The App Store is getting a complete redesign.
  • The App Store will have a new tab for app discovery, named Today, while Games will have its own tab. The general Apps tab will include dedicated features and charts, and every app will have a product page with new features. In-app purchases will be included right in the App Store as well.
  • Machine learning is being used throughout Apple’s products, and they want to share it with developers via Vision API, Natural Language API, and others built on Core ML.
  • Apple has a new core technology for developers called ARKit, which will be “the largest AR platform in the world.”
  • Alasdair Coull from Wingnut AR, Peter Jackson’s AR company, calls ARKit “a real game changer.”
  • Greg Jozwiak shares the updates to the iPad Pro. The 13-inch iPad Pro is being joined by a 10.5-inch display, with a 40% reduction in borders from the 9.7-inch. Allows for the display of a full-size onscreen keyboard and a full-size smart keyboard with support for 30 languages.
  • ProMotion feature is the “biggest breakthrough,” according to Jozwiak. Typical 60Hz refresh rate is being doubled to 120Hz.
  • ProMotion improves Apple Pencil, reducing latency to an “industry best” 10 milliseconds.
  • A10X in the new iPad Pro provides 30% faster CPU performance and 40% faster graphic performance.
  • Updated iPad Pro still has the same 10-hour battery life and still weighs one pound.
  • iPad Pro supports USB 3 and fast charging.
  • Both iPad sizes will start with 64GB of memory.
  • The iPad Dock with iOS 11 is “more powerful than ever.”
  • New App Switcher preserves spaces with app pairings.
  • Drag and Drop is being added to iPad.
  • You can flick on keys in the keyboard to access punctuation and numbers.
  • New iPad app: Files. Supports “everything you’d expect,” including iCloud, Dropbox, etc.
  • Apple Pencil is integrated deeply into the iPad with iOS 11. Screenshots can be instantly marked up and shared. Notes has a built-in document scanner, and handwritten text in Notes is searchable thanks to deep learning. Pencil markup has also been integrated into Mail.
  • Craig Federighi: iOS 11 is available for developers today and will be available for everyone in the Fall.
  • Tim Cook: “We want to reinvent home music.”
  • Apple plans to deliver a “breakthrough home speaker” later this year: HomePod.
  • HomePod just under 7-inches tall, includes a seven beam-forming tweeter array with directional control. It has a 4-inch woofer and is controlled by an Apple A8 chip, “perhaps the biggest brain ever in a speaker,” according to Philip Schiller.
  • HomePod works with Apple Music to get music directly from the Cloud.
  • Uses a six microphone array to pick up and respond to your voice commands or questions.
  • Siri can give you updates on weather, sports, traffic, or more via HomePod, not just assist you with music.
  • HomeKit can also be controlled via HomePod using voice commands.
  • HomePod will be priced at $349, available in white or space gray, and will start shipping in certain locations in December.
  • Michelle Obama will be joining the open session tomorrow, talking about “empowering people from all walks of life to change the world.”

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