By Aaron Pressman and Adam Lashinsky
June 6, 2017

An assortment of announcements? A melange of Macs? A stew of software features?

Aaron stepping for Adam today, and I’m still recovering from trying to keep track of everything Apple packed into the two-hour plus keynote address on Monday at its annual developer conference. The WWDC stage was chock full of new stuff, including operating system updates for all four of Apple’s major device lines (MacOS, iOS, TVOS, and WatchOS), an Amazon Echo knockoff called HomePod, and a super hip, all-black, $5,000 iMac Pro desktop system.

But amid the hodgepodge, there were at least two discernible themes running through some of the most significant announcements.

First: the continuing rise in prominence of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Not only did Apple explicitly release a software toolkit to help its developers add AI features like image recognition to apps, but Apple itself added even more AI-like features to its own apps. And the new HomePod speaker includes voice access to digital assistant Siri, which should better position Apple in the coming AI wars against Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s eponymous assistant.

The other undercurrent I detected was an increasing focus on “pro” customers. Intel and AMD have lately been talking up the high-end of the PC market, where sales actually rose last year thanks to professionals and “prosumers” who need more powerful systems to edit photos and videos, create virtual reality settings, and so on. Not only did Apple unveil the pricey iMac Pro and update its entire notebook line, but it also spent a big chunk of time introducing its newest iPad Pro and a bevy of new software features aimed at getting work done.

On a more personal level, I had a few, say, less newsworthy but nonetheless noteworthy favorites. In the Apple-gadget-filled Pressman household, the big hits were the Woody and Buzz Lightyear watch faces, the tiny 12″ MacBook upgraded with real CPUs for the first time, and Amazon Prime Video coming to Apple TV.

Aaron Pressman


You May Like