By Raunak Haldipur
5th June was an exciting day for Apple and its fans as Tim Cook took the stage at the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) to announce the company’s latest gadgets and upgrades. The company rolled out cutting edge technology that could well prove to be our first step into the next generation of Apple products.
The newest features on the block
Users can now make and receive person to person (P2P) payments quickly, easily and securely from friends and family with Apple Pay by using Messages or Siri. This feature is available for iPhones with iOS 11 and watchOS 4. When users get paid, they receive the money in their new Apple Pay Cash account, which is like Apples own mobile wallet. The money received can be sent to someone else, used to make purchases using Apple Pay in stores and apps, or transferred to their bank account.
Apple also announced that Amazon Prime video will be available on Apple TV this year, but has not announced the exact date. It is a surprising announcement since Apple TV is a competitor to Amazons Fire TV and Fire Stick. It is also surprising because of the fact that Amazon had stopped selling Apple TV on their retail site in 2015.
On the hardware front, Apple has announced a new iMac Pro which they claim is the most powerful Mac they have ever made. The iMac Pro will be launched in December 2017 at a base price of $4,999.
Refinements have been brought to Safari, Photos and Apple Mail. In Safari, Apple has introduced an advanced tracking prevention. This way, your browsing history remains private. It also has been bestowed the capability to block videos that play automatically when one visits such websites. Mac is now fluent in Hindi as well because of the new OS High Sierra.
Taking it one step further
Apple has finally introduced a file manager in iOS and they are calling it Files. Users can also add their cloud accounts to this, including OneDrive, Dropbox and Google Drive. Android has had this feature since the time of its launch. iOS 11 has also introduced a convenient drag and drop functionality to iPhones and iPads.
iOS 11 also introduced ARKit, a new framework that brings augmented reality to iOS devices by allowing developers to easily build VR experiences. By blending digital objects and information with the environment around us, augmented reality takes apps beyond the screen, allowing them to interact with the real world in new ways. Games and apps can now offer immersive experiences that are out of this world, yet virtually within it.
For the consumers back home
The iPhone now has camera improvements with Live Photos, Loops, Bounce and Long Exposure. Apple has introduced new professional quality filters for photos and next-generation compression technology which lets users take new photos with the same quality as before at half the file size. Now, Siri can translate and also be a personal DJ by playing the music of your choice. Apple has also introduced a new Do Not Disturb while driving mode so that users are not distracted by iPhone notifications while driving.
Adding to this, Apple has announced a new 7-inch speaker and they are calling it the Home Pod. This will serve as a music player and a personal assistant. It will also have the capability to control home appliances through the Apple home app on iOS devices. It is priced at $349, which is double the cost of Amazons Echo and triple the cost of Google Home . Apple justifies this price by claiming it has a superior sound quality. We will have to wait and watch to see if Apple delivers on its promises.
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