Apple to showcase new features for its gadgets

Author

06 June, 2017

There are also noteworthy changes coming on the software side.

The Cupertino, California-based company said Siri, which also competes with Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google Assistant, will now work across devices.

Apple always kicks off WWDC by having Cook and his executive team run through a high-level overview of Apple's announcements. Jan Dawson, chief analyst with Jackdaw Research, says the price is good for a high-end audio device.

That's it! It's very similar to Google's speaker/assistant combo, Home, in this respect.

Siri is also getting improved context sensitivity so if someone in Messages asks "Where are you?", it can offer up your location as a keyboard suggestion.

"You can be across the room and speak to the HomePod even while loud music is playing", Apple's Phil Schiller said during the introduction presentation. The smartwatch promises to learn about your routines to figure out what information to display.

For one, the Safari browser has "intelligent tracking protection", as well as autoplay media blocking in the browser.

The iPad Pro also gains some productivity features for iOS 11, which more closely mimics the Mac.

Apple is updating its file system and its graphics for MacOS 11. The current version is just Sierra.

The Apple Music app has been given new social functionality to let you know what friends are listening to.

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There were rumours that Apple's smart speaker could be more like the Amazon Echo Look and incorporate video calls but the HomePod doesn't have a camera or screen.

You'll still see a 10-hour battery life, a 12-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a 7-megapixel front-facing camera.

Virtual reality has been described as the next big thing for decades. Though it's hard to re-create the joy that is Tim Cook saying the word "badass". Apple says that makes the Mac a great platform for developing virtual-reality experiences.

Apple's entry into the market could change this.

One recurring rumor is that Apple will launch a 10.5-inch iPad on Monday. The new model starts at $649 and will start shipping next week.

Apple also may introduce its next Mac computer, along with the next operating system powering the machine. Another new feature for Messages is iCloud syncing, so that all your conversations will transfer automatically whenever you sign in to a new iOS device. Only the most recent messages will be kept on the device to save storage. You can also loop a live photo to make a movie, or edit and trim it or save a still frame from a Live Photo.

Apple Photos also gets some new tweaks, especially to Live Photos which gets a bunch of new looping modes.

Apple is taking on Venmo and Square Cash with peer-to-peer payments. Before, Apple Pay transactions could be done only with businesses and institutions.

Furthermore, the new version of Maps has lane guidance to help you switch lanes while driving. Google Maps already does both. The voice assistant is also getting some "intelligence" enhancements that'll allow it to translate languages, understand your context, your interests and how you use your device. The phone will block most notifications to reduce temptations behind the wheel.


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