Apple just finished a 2-hour keynote to announce the latest updates to their product line. In fact, almost no product went untouched. They even announced a couple of cool new products. So without further ado let’s get started.
Apple WatchOS 4
The Apple Watch is being updated to WatchOS 4 and it’s adding a bunch of new watch faces. These include a Siri watch face, a watch face that changes depending on the time, and soon it will have watch faces that can change based on location. It also has a kaleidoscope watch face that turns and transforms when the crown is turned. Additional features include some updates to the workout app. These include a new workout app user interface, new pool workouts, personalized achievement updates, and smarter coaching.
MacOS High Sierra
MacOS High Sierra which is available now has a bunch of new updates. Including changes to Safari, Mail, Photos, and the file system.
Photos will get more editing tools including a curves menu. It’s quite not in the category of Photoshop, but it’s getting there.
One of the biggest changes will be the change of the default file system from HFS to Apple File System (APFS). APFS has native file multikey encryption, crash protection, and instant file and directory cloning making moving files almost instantaneous. If you use a large number of files or large files this is a welcome addition. Lastly, video file format will move to H.265 / HVEC as the default.
The last update to the iMac Pro series was in October of 2015. The latest update is a big one. In fact, Apple says its latest iMac offering is their most powerful computer ever. Which is good news for those in the Apple ecosystem who are looking to get into VR without having to dual boot Windows. Besides the screen being 43% brighter there are a number of spec upgrades.
The 21.5-inch iMac features the Intel Iris Plus 640 graphics card, has 64MB EDRAM, and can upgrade to 32GB of ram.
The 21.5 Retina 4K iMac comes with a choice of Radeon Pro 555 and 560 graphic cards and can be upgraded to 32GB of RAM.
The flagship is the 27-inch 5K iMac. It comes in a cool dark gray finish and has some pretty impressive specs. You can get it with the Radeon Pro Vega 570, 575, or 580 video cards. The processor is the 18-core Xeon, has 8GB of VRAM, can be upgraded to 128GB of ram, and up to 4TB of SSD storage. But that’s not all, you get a boatload of ports including SDXC port, 4 USB 3 ports, 4 Lightning ports, Ethernet and even a headphone jack.
Thunderbolt 3 GPU Enclosure
Apple product updates seem highly geared toward VR and augmented reality. To help those with legacy systems they’re releasing the Thunderbolt 3 GPU Enclosure ($TBA). It houses an AMD Radeon RX 580 and comes with a USB-C hub. HTC has already stated their Vive will run on it. This means you no longer have to boot into Windows. Now Apple has stated this is a developers model so expect a pretty hefty price tag, when it’s released.
It’s hard to believe but the iPad Pro ($650+) got bigger and lighter at the same time. Its screen is 20% larger going from 9.7-inches to 10.5. The display is a brighter true tone display that automatically changes refresh rates between 24-120Hz. This provides better battery consumption and smoother graphics. It comes with a six-core A10X Fusion processor with a 12-core GPU. And it now has the same cameras the iPhone 7. They also have a 12.9-inch model that’s also available. The storage options are 64GB to 512GB.
It also has the new Apple Pencil with a 20-millisecond latency.
Apple Homepod Speaker
It was just a matter time. Apple finally releases a speaker. The Apple Homepod Speaker ($350) is just under 7-inches tall and comes with some pretty impressive specs.
It has 7 tweeters, that have their own drivers, and are in a beam-forming array. It also has precision acoustic horns and a 4-inch upward facing subwoofer with automatic bass equalization. The speaker has something called a dynamic modeling profile which provides superior sound. It also comes with multi-channel echo cancellation.
Now, what would an Apple Homepod be without Siri? To communicate with Siri the Homepod uses six microphones. Siri does things like play your Apple music playlist or sets a location reminder.
You’ll be able to get the Homepod in December in white or space gray.
Apple Macbooks and Macbook Pros
And what would an Apple Keynote be without some updates to the MacBook lineup?
The 12-inch Macbook and the Pro version both get upgrades to the Intel Kaby Lake Processors. You can choose from 1.4 GHz Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz. The 12-inch MacBooks start at $1299
The 13-inch Pro will come with the 3.5HGz Kaby Lake which is upgradeable to 4.0 Ghz. Additional options include the Intel Iris Plus 640 or 650 graphics card with 2 GB video memory. The 13-inch with function keys will start at $1299, and $1799 with touch bar.
The 15-inch will comes with the Intel i7 3.1 Ghz processor. The only option available is with the touch bar which starts at $2399.
The Macbook Air gets an upgrade to a 1.8GHz processor.
For all the computers in the line, the SSDs are 50% faster than previous versions. Which ain’t half bad.
The updated systems will be available for order on June 7th.