BY JESSICA REDWINE
Another year has come and gone, and as such, another Apple keynote address has revealed new technologies that are leaving people talking. The keynote this year was a long one, spanning over two hours of new releases and upcoming plans for the future of the company. And the future looks oh, so bright for the world of home automation and art creation.
First, Apple discussed the new iOS11, an update to the phone software that is currently on iPhones. They’re addressing many of the problems customers have had with iOS10, such as two control panels on the bottom and animation issues. There will also be a new drag-and-drop feature to make working on your phone even more similar to working on a computer. Wi-Fi passwords can be shared, so you never again have to ask your friend, “What’s your Wi-Fi password?”
But the big news is that Siri is getting a much needed upgrade in the near future. She will no longer be relegated to simple commands and misunderstandings. Soon, Siri will be able to enhance her understanding through deep-learning algorithms and contextual understanding based on device location, common user actions, and more. Siri is poised to become your true virtual assistant, starting with iOS11’s release this fall.
Apple also announced another component for the growing home automation market, a small speaker called the HomePod. This speaker is aimed directly at Google Home and the Amazon Echo, delivering excellent sound quality and all of the features home automation buffs have come to love. It recognizes the shape of a room and adjusts sound output based on that data. It answers questions, opens apps, and responds intelligently to commands. Although it’s pricey, at $349, you can be sure that Apple has put a lot of tech into a small speaker. Will it live up to the hype? Time will tell, as the HomePod won’t be released until December.
Apple unveiled two new iPad Pro products as well, including a new 10.5” model and an upgraded 12.9” model. These two touch devices have become immensely popular since their first release in 2015. These new upgraded models are attempting to corner the creative market by offering more power, better speed, and better Apple Pencil responsiveness to the already impressive list of features. If you’re an artist, the iPad Pro may soon replace your typical drawing tablet. There are also a host of new features for other creatives, as the iPad Pro now functions with the A10X chip, the most powerful Apple chip on the market right now. Improved refresh rates, better battery life, and a brighter display guarantee your pictures will looks as good on the screen as in real life. Both new versions of the iPad Pro are available now.
Last, but certainly not least, is the powerhouse that Apple unveiled to an awed crowd in California and around the world yesterday. The promise of a new computer so powerful, that it might actually be worth the $4999 price tag: the iMac Pro.
After the failure of the MacPro several years ago, creatives were clamoring for something more powerful for their professions. Mac started to hail to the consumer, rather than the artists and photographers and musicians that originally made up their fan base. But that’s all over now, promises Tim Cook. And with the specs behind the new iMacPro, it looks like that promise to creatives will be kept.
The new iMac Pro will feature 18 cores; able to handle anything you can throw at it. It can handle 3D rending without a single stutter, due to hyper-threading, which allows the system to work faster and more efficiently. This is also the first device on the market to utilize the Radeon Pro Vega, a graphics card which will make sure that the iMac Pro stands alone when displaying images, playing video games, or rendering frames upon frames of animation. It also comes with a 4TB solid-state drive. Store all you need and access it quickly on the biggest hard drive of its kind.
All in all, the new iMac Pro is set up to be the most powerful Mac ever created. Apple has outdone themselves with this computer, and it promises to be everything that a creative needs it to be. It’s pricey, but with that power comes the Apple guarantee that, in the end, it will just work.
This year has been a big year for Apple, and with new releases coming soon, it seems like it’s only just beginning.