Apple iOS 11 update
Apple has announced the biggest update to its iOS platform for iPhone. iOS 11 is the next major update to run on iPhones and iPads and will be officially launched later this fall. The mobile OS will bring many new features across messages, Siri, Apple Pay, Maps and more. There is a major redesign to the control centre, bringing everything in one window. It is now a single page packing all the features together including slider for volume and 3D touch offering access to more features. For instance, tapping on the wireless options will show additional options including hotspot. Lock screen and notifications centre are one. The notification centre looks exactly like the lock screen when you swipe down. Swipint up shows older notifications. With iOS 11, there is a shortcut drawer for stickers and iMessage apps and one need not tap multiple times to send a sticker. Conversations will be automatically synchronized with iCloud and stay in sync. If one delete a message, it goes away everywhere.
Apple brings Apple Pay for person to person payments. It is intergrated right into the iMessage app for sending and receiving money that goes into the Apple Pay Cash card. This money can be transferred to your personal bank account. Photos app also getting an update as the Memories feature uses machine learning to identify sporting events, weddings, etc. Apple brings more artistic things with Live Photos. One can trim the Live Photo video and choose any part of the video as the key photo. Apple Maps have detailed floor plans for malls of a few selected cities in the US along with airports and will built over time. There are more improvements to navigation but unfortunately, navigation is not available in India.
DoNotDistrub while driving: iOS 11 will use Bluetooth to detect when you are on the move and offer to activate DoNotDistrub while driving mode. With this mode, you will not receive any notification while driving and users to configure an auto-reply if someone texts.
Apple announce two new iPad Pro models
During the WWDC keynote address, Apple took the opportunity to announce two new iPad Pro models - 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Claiming to feature the world's most advanced display with ProMotion technology, the iPads will be powered by the new A10X Fusion chip, running iOS11 will powerful features for iPad.
The redesigned Retina display in iPad Pro features ProMotion, a new technology that delivers refresh rates of up to 120Hz for fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness and smoother motion content. It also improves display quality and reduces power consumption by automatically adjusting the display refresh rate to match the movement of the content. The powerful new 64-bit A10X Fusion chip can tackle complex tasks like editing photos and 4K video or rendering 3D images. A six-core CPU and 12-core GPU deliver up to 30 percent faster CPU performance and 40 percent faster graphics performance than the A9X chip, while delivering a 10 hour battery backup. On camera front, the new iPads packs in the same camera as of the iPhone 7 - a 12MP camera with optical image stabilization, along with a 7MP FaceTime HD camera. There is a four-speaker audio system for rich stereo sound in any orientation. Increasing the display size from 9.7 inch to 10.5-inch, the new iPad model reduces the borders by nearly 40 percent to fit into the compact size.
Apple has also introduced new features for iPad on iOS 11. There will be a customizable dock for providing quick access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen; Improved multitasking including a redesigned app switcher that brings Spaces to iOS, making it easier to move between apps or pairs of active apps, used in Split View and now Slide Over. The new Files app will store everything at one place including locally stored files. There is a new multi-touch drag and drop feature which will be available across the device for moving text, images and files between the apps and anywhere on the screen. Apple has also focused on having a deeper integration with Apple Pencil, with support for inline drawing to write along text in Notes and Mail and more.
"These are by far the most powerful iPads we've ever created with the world's most advanced displays featuring ProMotion, the powerful new A10X Fusion chip and the advanced camera system of iPhone 7," said Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of Product Marketing. "Together with iOS 11 these new iPad Pro models will radically change what users can do with iPad."
Apple has also doubled the storage capacities in the base models with both the models boasting 64GB storage. The iPad Pro 10.5inch will be available in silver, space gray, gold and rose gold starting at $649 for the 64GB with Wi-Fi model and $779 for the 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro is available in silver, space gray and gold and starts at $799 for the 64GB Wi-Fi model and $929 for the 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model. While the new iPads are available for order in a few selected countries starting today, with availability starting next week, the new iPads will launch in India later this month.
Apple pushes Siri to the fore
Used on more than 375 million iOS devices, Apple is using Deep learning and has a new visual interace for Siri. The personal assistant has a new capability of translation which will initially support Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Siri Kit can now do more - task management, take notes, do banking, or bring up a QR Code in WeChat. Siri will not only understand voices but will understand context. Apple claims that Siri will understand what you want next and can suggest topics that might interest the user. What Siri would learn will be synced across all the devices
WatchOS 4 for Apple Watch
Focusing on OS across its devices, Apple announced the new WatchOS 4 for Apple Watch. The biggest highlight of the WatchOS 4 is the proactive Siriwatch face that displays the information users need most throughout the day. There is also a Activity coaching, GymKit for Apple Watch to communicate with Gym equipments and a new music experince.
Along with the Siri Watch Face, Apple has also introduced Toy Story Face and Kaleidoscope Apple Watch face. For Activities, there is a little sparkle animations when the user compeltes an activity rings. The sparkle is a kind of smaller celebrations for everyday achievements. Apple has a new UI for the workout app as well with smarter coaching.With WatchOS 4, Apple Watch will communicate and exchange data with gym equipment. The NFC reader on the gym equipment works with the Watch and tells you about the incline, speed and other details. Apple watch enabled gym equipments will be rolling out soon. There's a new music app on the Apple Watch, which will in Apple Music mixes automatically so you don't have to manage it. Supports multiple playlists on the watch.
"Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life and is now more intelligent than ever with watchOS 4," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.
"We've created a truly individualised experience with the smartest Activity and Workout apps, the Siri watch face that shows you the information you need when you need it and we're seamlessly bringing users their favourite music right on the wrist."
The watchOS 4 will be available as a free update to the Apple Watches that can be paired with iPhone 5s and later on iOS 11. Apple Watch is available in two different case sizes, 38mm and 42mm. Apple Watch Series 2 is available in gold, rose gold, silver or space grey aluminium, or silver or space black stainless steel cases starting at Rs 32,900 and the ceramic Apple Watch Edition at Rs 1,10,900. Apple Watch Series 1 with a Sport Band is available at a starting price of Rs 23,900.
In response to Amazon's Alexa and Google Home, Apple has announced HomePod wireless speaker. It is aimed at automatically adjusting the audio using spatial awareness to sense its location in a room. HomePod can also provide deep knowledge of personal music preferences and tastes and helps users discover new music.
The HomePod will work as a home assistant, for sending messages, getting updates on news, sports and weather, or controling smart home devices by simply asking Siri to turn on the lights or activate a scene. Even when away from home, HomePod will act as a home hucb to provide remote access and home automations through the Home app on iPhone or iPad.
HomePod features a large, Apple-designed woofer, a custom array of seven beam-forming tweeters for high frequency acoustics with directional control. HomePod is designed for voice control with an array of six microphones, so users can interact with it from across the room, even while loud music is playing. Priced at $349, HomePad will go on sale in US, UK and Australia in December this year.
"Apple reinvented portable music with iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "HomePod packs powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library into a beautiful speaker that is less than 7 inches tall, can rock most any room with distortion free music and be a helpful assistant around your home."