Just when it felt like Apple were stumbling upon a period of stagnation, BOOM!…they announce a series of fancy new products to feast your eyes on.
This week Apple announced several new upgrades, features and products during their Worldwide Developers Conference in San Jose, California. From a new voice search system that rivals Amazon and Google to an Apple Pay feature and more. Here’s the low down on what you can expect to see soon from Apple.
Are Apple fashionably late to the party on this one or is it a tactical stroke of genius by learning and improving upon what has come before them? Technically speaking, HomePod is Siri trapped inside in a speaker. What separates it from every other voice activated smart speaker? Well, according to the big wigs at Apple, it’s the sound quality, so it’s no surprise that they’ve integrated Apple Music.
The HomePod is Apple’s first new device since the release of the Apple Watch back in April 2015. As with any Apple product, it goes to market at the top end of the price scale when compared to its competitors, setting you back £270. The main version of the Amazon Echo sells for £140 with Google Home the cheapest of the lot at £129.
Apple Pay user-to-user feature
Apple have championed apps like Venmo by introducing the ability to pay person-to-person under the new iOS 11.
Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Chris Federighi says users can pay within the iMessage app, “so you can send a receive money right in your transcript.”
The money received will go onto an Apple Pay ‘cash card’ which can be a payment method to other users or retailers. Get this! If your mate sends you a text asking for that fiver you owe him Siri will ask you if you want to pay from your Apple Pay account. There is no hiding.
New mid-sized iPad Pro
Yep, another iPad. In an attempt to revive interest in its once popular line of tablets, Apple has introduced the new 10.5-inch model. A smaller alternative to the bulky 12.9-inch model which offers enough room for a full-size keyboard; something the smaller 9.7-inch model couldn’t.
With consumers less interested in tablets, this new Apple product targets professionals, just like Microsoft did with its Surface Pro. The new iPad Pro boasts a better camera, superior storage, enhanced display and faster refreshing of moving images. What’s the damage? (From) £619.
iMac Pro with 18-core Xeon processor
Available in December for a pretty penny… just shy of £4k to be exact. The iMac Pro has the same exterior design as the standard 27-inch Mac but with an alluring Space Grey finish plus matching keyboard and mouse. An all-new thermal architecture, with a dual centrifugal fan, gives 80% more cooling performance while maintaining a low noise profile.
Male option for Siri
A male voice will now be available for the first time. Not just that, but Siri will also pay more attention to what you do on your iPhone by learning your habits in order to provide you with a better user experience.
What sets Apple apart from the competition in this regard is that the machine processing takes place on the device rather than on the internet, like Google. Apple’s approach protects privacy. The Siri updates are expected in September with iOS 11.
Safari gets a welcomed upgrade which will seek to make your online experience seamless. How I hear you ask? You’ll be able to automatically block auto play videos by detecting videos that shouldn’t be playing when you open a webpage to read an article for example. Case in point – Daily Mail Sports pages (SO ANNOYING!)
The browser will adopt machine learning to identify and block digital ad-trackers in order to stop advertisers from remarketing users. It will not block the ads themselves, though.
New Safety Features for Drivers
In an attempt to prevent texting and driving Apple has introduced a new safety feature for drivers. The feature hides incoming messages and automatically sends a reply text to the sender noting that the Apple user is driving.
Apple has dipped its toe into the realm of virtual reality by making software tools available for outside app writers to design apps with augmented reality. Apple’s Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, Chris Federighi says the tools will make hundreds of millions of iPhones and iPads capable of the technology.