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BREAKING NEWS – WWDC Keynote Highlights

Apple covered a lot of ground in today’s WWDC 2017 keynote.  Here’s a quick recap of our favorite bits.

tvOS update: At last, Amazon comes to Apple.  Prime Video streaming on Cupertino’s Little Black Box That Could. Can’t wait for this update to tvOS.

Apple Watch and watchOS:   Woody, Buzz and Jessie join Mickey and Minnie in telling you what time it is.  We like what we see in Apple Watch’s new Dock, which appears to use the screen super efficiently in presenting more information.  Free upgrade, coming this fall.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.53.25 PMHi(gh) Sierra: Bad weed jokes aside, Apple’s newest OS update makes incremental, but important, updates to Mail, Photos and Apple’s other core apps.  Mail promises a 35% reduction in overall memory space.  Photos finally brings Curves to its photo editing tools, and promises that changes in Photos will be handed off to the heavy pixel lifters like Photoshop.

More Metal: Metal 2 promises to move the OS’s graphics operations along at a clip 10 times faster than the original Metal.  Public beta later this month and a free upgrade this fall.

iMac Improvements – The iMac gets long-awaited updates, putting substantially more grunt under the hood of Apple’s consumer offering.  Users will get a 43% brighter display, Intel’s Kaby Lake processor, and pretty substantial RAM upgrades across the board (64 GB on the 27-inch iMac).

Apple’s speedy Fusion hybrid SSD/HDD now comes standard on the iMac.  Literally doubling down on USB-C, the new iMacs add a second USB-C port to support additional monitors or a RAID storage array.  MacBook and MacBook Pro models get memory and performance bumps as well.  In all, 7 models are getting updates, and they’re all shipping today.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.53.45 PMThe new iMac Pro frightens us, but in a good way.  Based on the 27″ iMac, ships with an 8-core Xeon processor, with the ability to get up to 18 cores.  New Radeon Vega GPU with up to 400 GBps throughput and 128 GB ECC RAM.  Up to 4 TB worth of build-in SSD/HDD drives can be crammed in there, along with four Thunderbolt 3 ports.

Net net: you can run two 5K displays AND 2 RAID arrays.  That’s a lot of long-awaited horsepower for any graphics or video pro, and it can be yours, starting at $4999.

Your iPhone goes to iOS 11 – A veritable smorgasbord of updates here.  Messages introduces a newly designed app drawer to make apps and stickers easier to use.  Apple Pay handles person-to-person payments, and is now integrated into Messages as an app.  It’s a welcome update.

Siri can vocalize your translations now, and interact more deeply with non-Apple apps like Evernote and WeChat.

We reeeeally like the redesign of iOS’ Control Center.  And Lock Screen and Notifications are integrated into a single, swipe-able screen.  Apple, our thumbs thank you.

Do Not Disturb While Driving senses when you’re driving, and blocks most Notifications.  Parents new drivers and drivers-to-be should be pretty excited about this one.

Watch out Sonos.  iOS 11’s Airplay 2 handles streaming to multiple speakers in multiple rooms (as long as they’re Airplay 2 compatible).

Welcome to the new App Store – What do you do when you exceed 180 billion App Store downloads?  Redesign the App Store, of course, which hasn’t seen a major update in its 9 years. Tabs and a very Music-inspired UI will guide your app shopping. We were impressed by the How Tos addition to the store.  All in all, we like it.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.52.36 PMiPad Boundaries Pushed  – Hello 10.5-inch iPad Pro. A full-sized on-screen keyboard and Smart Keyboard will bring a more natural typing experience whether you’re tapping glass or actual keys.  “Buttery smooth” video and graphics on the Retina Display, thanks to Pro Motion’s 120 Hz refresh rate.  12MP camera and an f/1.8 lens for better photos.  iPad Pro memory on board starts at and ranges up to 512 GB. Shipping in about a week.

We really like the addition of Files to iOS 11 on iPad, and its support for cloud-based storage options like Dropbox and OneDrive. It’s one of those “why’d it take so long to get here?” kinds of upgrades.

Tim Cook and company covered a huge amount of ground this morning.  You can check out the whole keynote here.

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