HomePod and 10.5” iPad Pro: all Apple news at WWDC 2017

Home Pod, the home assistant, makes its debut, along with hardware updates for iMacs and Macbooks. News also for iOS 11, macOS and watchOS

It was supposed to be a special event and it was, from start to finish. With a presentation that lasted more than two hours and with a dozen people taking turns on stage, Apple presented during the first event of the Wolrdwide Developers Conference 2017 all the devices that will characterize its future. Except for the iPhone 8, for which the appointment is for an ad hoc event in September.

In the two hours of WWDC 2017, the event that the Cupertino company organizes annually for developers, and that this year is taking place in San Jose, Apple showed off its workhorses. From the MacBook, through the iMac to the iPad Pro, all the main devices have had a hardware and software update that allows the Cupertino company to respond to the attack that has come in recent months from Microsoft.

The protagonists of the event were not only Apple products, but also the different operating systems that have all had an update.

Starting from iOS 11, the new version of the OS for smartphones and tablets that implements new features very interesting especially for the iPad. Even macOS will be updated in the fall with some features dedicated exclusively to virtual reality. watchOS and tvOS have benefited from the great work done by Apple developers and will have an update in the coming months, with specific features that will improve both the Apple Watch and the Apple TV.

But the real star of the evening was the HomePod, the long-awaited home assistant of which there had been much talk in recent days. Rumors spoke of a Siri Speaker with a touch monitor that would allow the user to control every single smart device in the home. But as is often the case, the rumors got it slightly wrong. The HomePod doesn't feature any kind of touch screen, but the functionalities are the typical smart assistant ones: the user will be able to control every single aspect of his life through the smart device. Which, in addition to being a home assistant, is also a powerful wireless speaker capable of playing any song requested to the assistant. Apple presented the HomePod under the term musicologist capable of playing any song requested by the user. The home assistant relies on Apple Music to play music. The only negative note concerns the availability: at least at the beginning it will not be available in Italy.

Features, release date and price HomePod

In this summary of the Apple event at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2017 we start with the last product presented by the Cupertino company: the HomePod. Announced in previous weeks under the name of Siri Speaker, the HomePod was a real surprise and adds to the devices designed by the Cupertino company for the smart home. The HomePod is half a wireless speaker and half a home assistant capable of managing a person's life thanks to Siri. Placed in the center of the home it helps the user keep track of the day's appointments and thanks to remote control can turn off the lights, turn on the oven and manage the temperature of the heaters. But thanks to the seven tweeters inside the device is also a great wireless speaker. Apple has presented the HomePod as the device that revolutionizes music listening at home: the sound quality is exceptional and is capable of responding to any musical request of the user. A real musicologist who knows perfectly the charts of the best-selling albums and which tracks make up the record of a particular singer. The Wikipedia of music in the form of a wireless speaker. The HomePod has a rather small size and can be placed quietly on a piece of furniture or a coffee table in the middle of the house. Apple has also thought about people's privacy and all requests made to Siri will be saved locally and communications with the home assistant will be encrypted. The HomePod will be available from December in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Australia at a price of $349.

Features, release date and price 10.5-inch iPad Pro

A computer in the body of a tablet. As announced in recent weeks, Apple has unveiled the new iPad Pro with a completely revolutionized screen. In fact, the 9.7-inch version becomes 10.5'', but the dimensions remain the same. Apple has shrunk the bezels of its top-of-the-line tablet to offer an even bigger screen. A solution that we could also see again on the iPhone 8. In addition to the larger screen, the most interesting news of the new iPad Pro are the new A10x chipset that provides 30% more power, a brighter display and a 12-megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilizer.

The new iPad Pro will also receive a major software update in the fall: in fact, Apple has worked on a parallel version of iOS 11 that implements features dedicated only to tablets. The dock will be introduced to better manage the applications you use the most, the split screen and multi-tasking has been improved and finally an application has been developed to scan documents directly from the device. Finally, integration with Apple Pencil has also been improved with the ability to edit directly on attachments arrived via email.

The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro is available and can be ordered now, while shipments will start next week. The 64GB model will cost 739 euros, the 256GB version will cost 839 euros, while the 512GB model will require shelling out 1059 euros.

The 12.9-inch iPad Pro will also get a hardware upgrade and the price for the base model will be 909 euros, all the way up to 1229 euros for the 512GB version.

The new MacBook, iMac and iMac Pro

Apple also unveiled the hardware upgrade of its computers. The new MacBook (12'') will mount an Intel Core i7 processor with 1.3 GHz Kaby Lake architecture, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro will be able to mount a 3.5 GHz Intel Core i7 processor. The 15-inch MacBook Pro has also received a "revamp" thanks to new Intel Core i7 Kaby Lake processors and a new, more powerful video card. They will arrive in Italy at a price that exceeds 1500 euros. For those who want, will also be available the Touch Bar that will make the price of another 500 euros.

The new range of iMac includes the Intel Core processor with Kaby Lake architecture in both the 21.5-inch model in the 27''. In addition, the Retina screen provides higher image quality and reproduces one billion colors. You can install up to a maximum of 32GB of RAM in the smaller version and up to 64GB in the 27-inch model. SSD speed and storage space is also improved, with file moving now much faster. They are available as of today in Italy.

Finally, Apple also devoted a couple of minutes to the iMac Pro, a computer that will be unveiled in the coming months, but which promises to be the most powerful Apple computer ever and with a price tag that is close to $5,000. In the coming months we will certainly know more.

iOS 11

As for the software, the spotlight was definitely on iOS 11, the new version of the mobile operating system. The novelties are not many, Apple has focused mainly on improving the many features already present in the OS. From a graphical point of view little or nothing changes (only a small change on the signal icon), while iMessage is integrated with iCloud to save messages in the cloud. Small improvements also for Apple Pay and the instant translation that now supports Italian. Other updates will be presented with the unveiling of the iPhone 8. iOS 11 is expected next fall.

Big news for the App Store that with iOS 11 will be completely redesigned to improve fluidity and user experience.

Features macOS High Sierra

Even computers will undergo an update that will improve the good things already shown with macOS Sierra. And in fact the name chosen for the operating system is macOS High Sierra. Great news for Safari that according to Apple will become the fastest browser in the world with 70% better performance than Chrome. In addition, the update will allow Apple computers to support virtual reality and software houses to produce applications designed specifically for MacBooks and iMacs. The macOS High Sierra update will be released during the fall.

tvOS and watchOS

We conclude with watchOS and tvOS, the two operating systems dedicated to smartwatches and smart TV. As for watchOS 4, the work of Apple developers has been a lot and will allow the Apple Watch to take a decisive step forward. The graphical interface has been slightly modified, while third-party developers will be able to make better use of all the features of the smartwatch. The app dedicated to Training will completely change its face.

For tvOS, on the other hand, the arrival of the Prime Video app has been announced, but only for the US soil. But in the coming months the smart TV operating system is expected to undergo a major update, which Apple will present in another event.