WWDC 2017: Everything You Need To Know

Senior Contributor
06.05.17

Apple

We’ve already seen the details of iOS 11 and the Homepod at WWDC. But what about everything else? Here’s a look at the huge amount of software, hardware and other goodies Apple revealed at the conference.

Apple TV

A dam has broken in the streaming wars: After years of rivalry, Amazon is officially coming to Apple TV. That gives Apple a gigantic leg up in the continuing battle for set-top supremacy.

Apple Watch

Siri was a big part of the Apple Watch’s updates. A new Siri watch face is designed to make Apple Watch more independent and useful by arranging everything into easy-to-use cards. Yes, it’s a lot like Google Now, but the notifications look better and appear more efficient and useful. The device is also getting a smorgasmord of new designs, including a Kaleidoscope and Toy Story themed faces.

There are also some visual upgrades added to the activity app which basically gives you sparks when you close a ring, and, more relevantly, adds a new virtual coach that learns how you move and pushes you to up your activity accordingly. Yes, your watch can now tell you to stop being such a slug. It’ll also communicate with gym equipment, so you can know exactly how much weight you’re pushing and how many steps you’re walking.

MacOS High Sierra

Yes, MacOS has a new update, as is becoming a yearly tradition. Apple made the odd distinction that Safari is the world’s “fastest desktop browser,” a fairly big distinction since desktop viewing of the web has been declining. But Safari now automatically blocks auto-play ads, and it’s also going to use “machine learning” to find and block anybody tracking your web usage. Unless, of course, it’s Apple tracking your web usage, since they’ve also announced upgrades to Spotlight, their desktop search feature.

Apple Photos is getting a substantial image editing upgrade, which is good news for amateur photographers and pros who need to do quick adjustments on their laptop. Apple also quietly did away with thirty years of the same file storage method with a big new upgrade, which we freely admit only huge nerds with lots of files actually care about. It also has better system crash protection, which Apple declined to detail, and naturally, improved graphics. Apple is working with Steam, Unity, and Unreal to bring VR to Macs, which may be too little too late, but hey, worth the effort, right? You can also add an external graphics card with a Thunderbolt enclosure, although there’s still the question of, you know, game compatibility.

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