- Fiza Pirani The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A new operating system, the “most powerful” Apple machine ever created and a totally redesigned App Store?
As Apple kicked off its annual three-day Worldwide Developer Conference Monday, techies and consumers tuned in for much-anticipated updates and announcements.
Here are some of the most talked about iOS 11 updates and product announcements from the conference:
New iMacs, including the “most powerful” Apple machine ever
Apple hasn’t updated its line of iMacs since 2013, but that all just changed.
On Monday, the company announced iMac updates with Intel 7th generation Kaby Lake processors, which the company called “the best Mac display ever,” the company said.
The new 21.5-inch model and 27-inch model will have two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports and double the current number of gigabytes.
According to the Verge, the 21.5-inch iMac will start at $1,099 and the 4K 21.5-inch model will start at $1,299. The updated iMacs will beavailable later today.
Apple also previewed its new all-in-one iMac Pro, calling it the “most powerful Mac ever.”
The 27-inch machine includes a matte gray casing and features four Thunderbolt 3 ports, a 1080p FaceTime camera, code compiling, realtime 3D rendering and more.
According to 9to5mac.com, the new iMac Pro will be available in December and will start at $4,999.
All Macbook, Macbook Pros will get updates
Apple announced all Macbooks and Macbook Pros would be getting speed and performance updates with the newest operating system, macOS High Sierra. The company is also adding a cheaper $1,300 MacBook Pro option.
HomePod smart speaker
The HomePod smart speaker, which uses Siri for assistance, will cost $349 and will ship to the U.S. in December, features wireless access to Apple Music’s library.
Like Amazon’s Alexa, the smart speaker is also designed as a home assistant for information on news, weather, reminders and will be able to control smart home products.
New iPad Pro
Apple’s new iPad Pro has a 10.5-inch screen, slightly larger than the old 9.7-inch screen, and features a full-sized keyboard.
Critic reviews are mixed, with some tech experts raving about its size, speed and overall power to others calling it “overkill” for its price (starts at $649). Many reviewers also said the iPad needs iOS 11 to really shine, but the update won’t be released until September, according to BGR.com.
Apple TV adds Amazon Video, finally
Apple TV will finally have an official Amazon Video app for streaming TV and movies. According to CNET, the app will be available on the fourth-generation Apple TV streaming and gaming box ($150).
Coolest iOS 11 features:
Bounce, loop, long exposure camera effects
Using optical image stabilization, True Tone flash and HDR, Apple’s camera update will feature more expressive live photos that look even more professional, the company said. Loop and bounce effects create continuous video loops, whereas long exposure can capture both time and movement.
The new iOS 11 update will offer users person-to-person payment options (like Venmo and Square Cash). Money from these transactions can be stored in the Apple Pay Cash Card and transferred to personal bank accounts.
Apple Maps Do Not Disturb option
The new and improved Maps will offer speed limits, lane guidance and the option to turn on Do Not Disturb While Driving, which won’t show text messages by default. But, Apple said, in cases of emergencies, message senders are able to reply with “urgent.”
Augmented reality kit (ARKit)
Snap Inc. brought smart filters and Facebook followed with its AR camera. Now, Apple’s here with its ARKit, which the company called the “largest AR platform in the world.”
The tool will allow developers to bring even more AR apps to iOS devices.
Siri just got a whole lot smarter with its ability to translate various languages, including English, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
Siri will also get a voice updated to sound more natural.
App Store makeover
The new App Store will feature a separate tab for games, how-to content and a “Today” tab of all notable new releases.
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This story has been updated.