Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was supposed to be a software affair. It wasn’t.
After more than two hours on Monday, Apple’s 2017 looked much different. There were new operating system announcements, of course, including a new version of the company’s mobile operating system iOS and desktop operating system macOS, but the tech giant also fired its first shot into the smart home market. Apple also showcased some new iPads and new computers, and said that it’s planning to offer its most powerful Mac ever later this year.
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But it wasn’t all about WWDC this week. Apple CEO Tim Cook chimed in on President Donald Trump’s decision on the Paris climate accord and the company even released an ad to make that point clearer.
Read on for this week’s biggest Apple news:
- One of Apple’s (AAPL) biggest hardware announcements centered on the company’s line of iMac desktops. Apple said that its new iMacs come with brighter screens and faster processors, which should translate to better visual quality and performance, respectively. Additionally, Apple, which also announced MacBook Pro updates, announced a new high-end iMac, called the iMac Pro, that the company says, will offer the best performance of any Mac it’s ever released. The minor iMac and MacBook Pro updates are available for customers to order now, but the company won’t release the iMac Pro until December.
- Apple has made some sizable changes to its line of professionally focused iPad Pro tablets. First up, the company said that it’s eliminated the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in favor of a 10.5-inch model. Apple also said that it’s improved the display for both the 10.5- and 12.9-inch models, so they’re brighter and can display better graphics. An update to the screen’s refresh rate, or the amount of time it takes to show different frames of movement, has increased to 120Hz, which Apple says, should make its Apple Pencil stylus feel more responsive. The new iPad Pros are available now to order.
- Apple is entering the smart home market to compete against Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home. At WWDC, the company announced a new smart home speaker called HomePod that can both play music and other audio, as well as respond to voice commands through communication with the company’s virtual personal assistant Siri. Apple says HomePod will communicate with smart home devices, like smart lightbulbs or thermostats, allowing users to control them with only a voice command. HomePod will be available in December for $349.
- Apple’s first big announcement at WWDC centered on watchOS, the company’s smartwatch operating system. Apple said that watchOS 4, which will be available as a free download in the fall, will come with improved watch faces that will deliver information, like upcoming events and app notifications, based on how the Apple Watch owner typically uses the operating system.
- Also in the fall, Apple will release macOS High Sierra, its latest desktop operating system. The update includes some design tweaks that will make using the operating system more intuitive, as well as faster app and file response times.
- Apple’s mobile operating system iOS 11 will look nearly identical to last year’s iOS 10, but include some important tweaks, including an improved Control Panel that will make it easier for users to control apps and operating system functions. Apple’s texting app Messages has been redesigned, and iOS 11 will support person-to-person money transfers through Apple Pay. The software is coming to iPhones and iPads this fall.
- Apple CEO Tim Cook told Bloomberg in an interview this week that Apple aided the U.K. government in its investigations into recent terrorist attacks across the country. He said that the U.K. government used a “lawful process” to obtain data from his company’s servers, but he didn’t disclose the nature of the information shared with authorities.
One more thing…Apple isn’t pleased with President Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. And it’s responded with a new ad narrated by famed astronomer Carl Sagan.