During Apple’s WWDC the company introduced the new iOS 11, a new Macbook and Macbook Pro line, two new iPad Pro models, and a wide-array of new features and updates for its products.
The new OS that Apple previewed today was called macOS High Sierra, delivering new core storage, video and graphics technologies. The new macOS High Sierra also offers an all-new file system, support for High-Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) and an update to Metal, Apple’s advanced graphics technology that powers everything from machine learning to virtual reality content creation. New macOS High Sierra also includes a number of refinements to the apps Mac users enjoy every day, including Photos, Safari and Mail.
“macOS High Sierra delivers important forward-looking technologies and new opportunities for developers wanting to tap into the power of machine learning and create immersive VR content on the Mac,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “The core technology innovations in macOS High Sierra, combined with our advances in hardware, will continue to push the Mac forward in exciting new ways.”
Powerful New System Technologies
Apple File System (APFS) features enhanced performance, security and reliability of data and provides a foundation for future storage innovations. An advanced architecture optimized for today’s massive storage technologies, APFS makes common operations such as copying files and directories instantaneous, helps protect data from power outages and system crashes and keeps files safe and secure with native encryption. macOS High Sierra also maintains complete read-and-write compatibility with previously formatted HFS drives and data and is designed to accommodate future advancements in storage technology.
The new HEVC (H.265) encoding enables video streaming and playback of 4K video files at incredible quality that are also up to 40 percent smaller than with the current H.264 standard. With HEVC, Apple is enabling high-quality video streaming on networks where only HD streaming was previously possible, while hardware acceleration on the new iMac and MacBook Pro deliver fast and power-efficient HEVC encoding and editing.
Metal is the fastest, most efficient way to tap into GPU power on the Mac. Metal 2 features a refined API and improved performance that help developers accelerate their apps. It adds support for machine learning used in speech recognition, natural language processing and computer vision. The combination of Thunderbolt 3 and Metal 2 allows the most demanding users to access powerful external GPUs. An External Graphics Developer Kit gives developers all the hardware and software they need to optimize their apps.
Drawing on the performance of Metal 2 and the latest Mac hardware, macOS High Sierra adds support for VR content creation for the first time, enabling developers to create immersive gaming, 3D and VR content on the Mac. Leading VR companies are joining Apple to drive VR innovation on the Mac with features coming later this year — Valve is optimizing their SteamVR platform for macOS and enabling connection of the HTC Vive headset, while Unity and Epic are bringing their VR development tools to macOS. Also later this year, Final Cut Pro X will add support for professional 360-degree workflows with the ability to import, edit and export 360-degree video.
Photos in macOS High Sierra adds a new always-on sidebar that presents albums and organization tools. A redesigned Edit view includes powerful new tools like Curves, for fine-tuning of color and contrast, and Selective Color, for making adjustments within a defined color range. Live Photos can now be edited with fun effects and Memories curates user photos and videos around several new topics. Photos now supports external editors, so Photoshop, Pixelmator and other apps can launch directly within Photos, with edits saved back to the Photos library. And for the first time, support for third-party project extensions gives users access to printing and publishing services, such as Animoto, ifolor, Shutterfly, WhiteWall and Wix, from right within the Photos app.
Safari can automatically use Reader to open articles in a clean, uncluttered format, while Autoplay Blocking stops media with audio from automatically playing in the browser.
Intelligent Tracking Prevention in Safari uses machine learning to identify and remove the tracking data that advertisers employ to follow users’ web activity. Mail search gets faster and easier with Top Hits, which puts the most relevant results at the top of a user’s message list. Siri on the Mac responds with a natural and more expressive voice, and when using Apple Music, it learns music preferences, creates custom playlists and answers music trivia. Notes adds simple tables, where a user can type in cells, make edits and move rows and columns.
Spotlight provides flight status information, including departure and arrival times, delays, gates, terminals and even a map of the flight path. New iCloud File Sharing lets users share any file stored in iCloud Drive and collaborate with other people.
Apple introduced the new 10.5-inch iPad Pro and a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro today as well, featuring the world’s most advanced display with ProMotion technology and and the new A10X Fusion chip. The new 10.5-inch model reduces the borders by nearly 40 percent to fit into an incredibly compact package that still weighs just one pound. Combined with powerful new iPad features in iOS 11 coming this fall, like the all-new Files app, customizable Dock, improved multitasking and deeper integration of Apple Pencil, iPad Pro gives users the ability to be even more productive and creative.
“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.
The iPad Pro introduces ProMotion, which automatically adjusts the display to the movement of the content. The new technology delivers refresh rates of up to 120Hz for fluid scrolling, greater responsiveness and smoother motion content. With ProMotion, Apple Pencil is even more responsive with an industry-best, 20-millisecond latency for even more fluid and natural drawing. ProMotion also improves display quality and reduces power consumption by automatically adjusting the display refresh rate to match the movement of the content.
Apple Pencil now works even better with the new iPad Pro for more fluid and natural drawing. The advanced Retina display is Apple’s brightest iPad display yet and features antireflective coating, making content easier to see indoors and out. True Tone dynamically adjusts the white balance of the display to match the light around you for a more natural and accurate viewing experience. A wide color gamut enables iPad Pro to deliver digital cinema-standard colors.
As we mentioned earlier, the A10X chip will be available, allowing you to easily tackle your photos and 4K video, or rendering 3D images or playing games. A six-core CPU and 12-core GPU deliver up to 30 percent faster CPU performance and 40 percent faster graphics performance than the industry-leading A9X chip, while delivering all-day battery life. Both the 10.5-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro have been updated with the same advanced technologies.
The devices offer the same advanced front- and back-facing cameras as iPhone 7, including a 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization, along with a 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera. iPad Pro also features a four-speaker audio system, providing powerful, clear and rich stereo sound in any orientation. An embedded Apple SIM2 and support for 802.11ac Wi-Fi and LTE Advanced3 make it easier to stay connected when traveling in more than 180 countries and regions. Touch ID on iPad Pro is more responsive and gives users a simple and secure way to unlock iPad, keep personal information private within apps and approve purchases from the App Store, iTunes Store and iBooks Store. With Apple Pay on iPad, paying for physical goods and services within apps or on websites in Safari has never been easier.
As for iOS 11, Apple introduced powerful new features for the iPad, including a new Files app and the ability to drag and drop text, photos and files from one app to another. Apple stated that iOS 11 is coming this fall.
The new iOS will offer a new customizable Dock that provides quick access to frequently used apps and documents from any screen; improved multitasking, including a redesigned app switcher that brings Spaces to iOS. The new iOS will also make it easier to move between apps or pairs of active apps, used in Split View and now Slide Over.
The new Files app that keeps everything in one place, whether files are stored locally, in iCloud Drive or across other providers like Box, Dropbox and more. The Multi-Touch Drag and Drop, which is available across the system to move text, photos and files from one app to another, will also be available with a new document scanner in Notes. This lets users easily scan single or multi-page documents, removes shadows and uses powerful image filters to enhance readability. There will also be a Deeper integration with Apple Pencil, with support for inline drawing to write along text in Notes and Mail, Instant Markup to easily sign documents, annotate PDFs or draw on screenshots, and a new Instant Notes feature, which opens Notes from the Lock Screen by simply tapping Apple Pencil on the display.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro comes in silver, space gray, gold and rose gold and starts at $649 (US) for the 64GB with Wi-Fi model and $779 (US) 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 (US) for the 64GB Wi-Fi model and $929 (US) for the 64GB Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
Apple’s iMac line also got an update, the new unites will have up to three times more powerful graphics, faster processors, Thunderbolt 3, faster storage options and brighter Retina displays. Apple also introduced the new Retina 4K display and discrete graphics to the $1,299 (US) 21.5-inch iMac. Apple also today updated MacBook and MacBook Pro with faster processors, added faster SSDs to MacBook and introduced a new $1,299 (US) 13-inch MacBook Pro.
“With major updates to iMac, and a refresh of our MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, the Mac is stronger than ever,” said John Ternus, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Engineering. “Today iMac gets a huge graphics performance increase, faster CPU performance, Thunderbolt 3 and a brighter Retina display with support for 1 billion colors. We’re also increasing CPU and SSD speed on MacBook, adding faster processors and making faster graphics standard on our 15-inch MacBook Pro and introducing a new $1,299 (US) 13-inch MacBook Pro.”
The updated iMac features Kaby Lake processors up to 4.2 GHz with Turbo Boost up to 4.5 GHz and supports up to twice the memory as the previous generation. Fusion Drive is now standard on all 27-inch configurations and the top-end 21.5-inch iMac. SSD storage options are now up to 50 percent faster, and iMac comes with Thunderbolt 3, the most powerful and versatile port ever.
The new iMacs will support the Radeon Pro 500-series graphics with up to 8GB of vRAM. The 21.5-inch model delivers up to three times faster performance and the 27-inch model is up to 50 percent faster. The new iMacs also comes with the best Mac display ever, now 43 percent brighter at 500 nits and with support for 1 billion colors.
The MacBook now features faster Kaby Lake processors up to 1.3 GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz and up to 50 percent faster SSD, and supports up to twice the memory. The new device will only weigh two pounds and measures 13.1mm thin. You can also upgrade to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which offers a Kaby Lake processors up to 3.5 GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.0 GHz, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro goes up to 3.1 GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.1 GHz. The 15-inch MacBook Pro now comes standard with more powerful discrete graphics with more video memory, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro adds a new $1,299 (US) configuration. With the Touch Bar with Touch ID, 500-nit Retina display, and Thunderbolt 3, Apple is calling the MacBook Pro “the best pro notebook Apple has ever made”.
The new iMac Pro will offer a 27-inch Retina 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processors and up to 22 Teraflops of graphics computation, and it is the most powerful Mac ever made. The device was engineered for advanced graphics editing, virtual reality content creation and real-time 3D rendering. iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December starting at $4,999 (US).
“We’re thrilled to give developers and customers a sneak peek at iMac Pro. This will be our fastest and most powerful Mac ever, which brings workstation-class computing to iMac for the first time,” said John Ternus, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Engineering. “We reengineered the whole system and designed an entirely new thermal architecture to pack extraordinary performance into the elegant, quiet iMac enclosure our customers love — iMac Pro is a huge step forward and there’s never been anything like it.”
A new thermal architecture will offer the iMac Pro 80 percent more cooling capacity, and allow for extreme performance, in the same thin and seamless iMac design. The device will come equipped with the next-generation Intel Xeon processors with up to 18 cores. The new iMac Pro comes with the new Vega GPU, the most advanced graphics ever in a Mac. Featuring a new next-generation compute core and up to 16GB of on-package high-bandwidth memory (HBM2), iMac Pro with the Vega GPU delivers up to 11 Teraflops of single-precision compute power for real-time 3D rendering and immersive, high frame rate VR. And for half-precision computation, ideal for machine learning, iMac Pro delivers up to an incredible 22 Teraflops of performance. The device also offers four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and iMac Pro can connect to up to two high-performance RAID arrays and two 5K displays at the same time. The iMac Pro also supports up to 4TB of SSD and up to 128GB of ECC memory, and with four Thunderbolt 3 ports can connect to up to two high-performance RAID arrays and two 5K displays at the same time. For the first time ever on a Mac, iMac Pro features 10Gb Ethernet for up to 10 times faster networking. The iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December starting at $4,999 (US).