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Apple’s 10 biggest announcements from WWDC 2017

Zach Epstein
June 5th, 2017 at 3:27 PM
WWDC 2017 Announcements

Leaks were uncommonly scarce ahead of Apple’s big WWDC 2017 keynote presentation on Monday, so some people assumed that Apple didn’t really have anything exciting to announce. Well guess what: that notion couldn’t have been more wrong. The opening keynote from WWDC 2017 is now behind us, and the even was just as action-packed as we’ve come to expect over the years. The big news was obviously iOS 11, which is the next-generation mobile software coming to the iPhone and iPad this September. But iOS 11 was hardly the only big news from WWDC this year.

If you weren’t able to follow along live as Apple made all of its announcements during WWDC 2017, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered. In fact, even if you did follow along live, odds are pretty good that you missed a few things since there was so much action packed into the presentation. In this post, we’ll run down all of the biggest announcements from WWDC 2017 so you have everything you need to know in one place.

First, the numbers: Apple always likes to kick off its WWDC keynotes by sharing some key numbers, and such was the case at WWDC 2017. Apple CEO Tim Cook said that there are now 16 million registered developers in the Apple developer program, which is a huge accomplishment. 5,300 of them are attending WWDC 2017, which is a record.

Beyond that, Cook noted that the company had so much to cover on Monday that it dispensed with the other numbers, other than to say “Apple is doing great!”


First and foremost, Apple announced that Amazon Prime Video is finally coming to the Apple TV later this year. This is huge news for millions of Amazon Prime subscribers out there. Amazon Prime Video will also be included in Apple’s iOS TV app.

Apple Watch

Apple on Monday announced watchOS 4, which is packed full of new features.

One of the biggest additions is the new Siri watch face, which automatically displays info based on the time, your location, calendar events, and more. The new face uses Siri’s proactive tech to display important info without the need for any user intervention, and it integrates with other watchOS apps too.

There’s also a new kaleidoscope face with a “trippy effect” when you rotate the crown. Woody, Jesse, and Buzz from Toy Story have their own Apple Watch faces as well.

watchOS 4 also turns up the heat on the Activity app, which has new coaching features as well as new challenges and notifications. There are also new workouts in the Workout app such as an enhanced swimming workout and a high-intensity interval training workout. More importantly, any compatible NFC-equipped gym equipment can be transferred by gym machines with a simple tap.

The Music app has been redesigned in watchOS 4, and it’ll offer automatically generated playlists and mixes based on the user’s preferences and listening history. What’s more, music will start automatically when the user starts a new workout.

There’s also a new flashlight mode, a blinking light mode for safety while running, and tons of new APIs for watchOS app developers.

watchOS 4 will be released to the public this fall, and the first watchOS 4 beta will be released to developers today. You can learn more about watchOS 4 in this post.


You can’t have a WWDC keynote without a new version of macOS, and Apple on Monday unveiled macOS High Sierra (no, seriously).

Safari in High Sierra has gotten a ton of improvements and refinements that make it the fastest browser in the world in Apple’s tests. In fact, the new Javascript engine is 80% faster than Chrome.

Auto-play blocking in the new Safari build will stop auto-play videos, which is a hugely appreciated feature. Intelligent Tracking Prevention is another new feature that uses machine learning to identify and block trackers from recording private data.

Split View has been added to Apple’s Mail app in macOS High Sierra, and the new Photos app has all new editing and organization features. Facial recognition has been improved, and smart albums sync across devices.

APFS, the new modern Apple Filesystem, is the new default filesystem in macOS High Sierra, just like it is in iOS.

The macOS High Sierra beta will be released today. Read more about macOS High Sierra in this post.

Metal 2 and Metal VR

Apple’s graphics tools have gotten huge updates in macOS High Sierra, but the biggest news is new support for external graphics enclosures and new tools for powering VR experiences.


Apple unveiled a brand new iMac on Monday that pack next-generation 500 nit displays with support for 10-bit dithering. Intel’s 7th-generation Core processors will power the new iMacs, and they’ll support up to 32GB of RAM (21.5 inch model) or 64GB of RAM (27-inch). Fusion drives come on all 27-inch models as well as the high-end 21.5-inch model.

Two USB-C ports will be included on each new iMac model as well.

Entry-level iMacs will have Intel Iris Plus graphics that are up to 80% than the previous gen. The 4K 21.5-inch iMac will have discrete Radeon Pro 555 and 560 graphics cards that are up to three times faster. The 27-inch iMac gets Radeon Pro 570, 575 and 580 graphics cards that deliver up to 5.5 teraflops of graphics processing power.

Apple’s new iMacs will start at $1,099, while the 4K iMac will start at $1,299. New models will start shipping today.

MacBook and MacBook Pro

New 7th-gen Intel Core processors and upgraded SSDs are also coming to the MacBook and MacBook Pro. The MacBook and MacBook pro will both start at $1,299, and they begin shipping today.

iMac Pro

An all new Space Gray iMac is coming later this year, and it’ll be the most powerful Mac Apple has ever made. It’ll include workstation class performance, a 5K display, up to 18-core Xeon processor, and AMD Radeon Vega graphics with up to 16GB of VRAM. It’ll also have up to 128GB of ECC memory and SSD storage up to 4TB.

Pricing will start at just $4,999, and it’ll launch in December.

iOS 11

Holy… moly. Read all about the best new features in iOS 11 right here.

iPad Pro

Apple introduced an all-new iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch display. The new model is the same size as the 9.7-inch model, but it has much narrower bezels — Apple reduced the size of the borders around the screen by 40% compared to last year’s 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

A new Smart Keyboard accessory will also be released alongside the new iPad Pro.

The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro gets a new True Tone display with 600 nits brightness and HDR video, as well as ultra-low reflectivity. A new ProMotion feature that brings a 120Hz refresh rate that affords smoother and more responsive experience. Apple Pencil support is also enhanced by ProMotion, dropping latency to just 20ms.

Where performance is concerned, a new A10X six-core processor delivers 30x faster CPU performance and 40% faster graphics compared to last year’s iPad Pro, which was already an industry leader. Despite all of the device’s performance enhancements, the battery will still last for up to 10 hours of usage per charge. What’s more, the iPad Pro will finally get support for fast charging.

The rear-facing and front-facing cameras from the iPhone 7 are both coming to the new iPad Pro, and new accessories will be released alongside the new model.

Apple’s new iPad Pro starts with 64GB of storage for $649, and 256GB and 512GB models will be available as well. The new iPad Pro will be available to order beginning today.

Learn more about Apple’s brand new iPad Pro in this post.


Apple’s “one more thing” at the end of its WWDC 2017 keynote was the HomePod.

Apple is taking on both Sonos and Amazon’s Echo (and rival smart speakers) with a single solution that provides high-quality sound and Siri-powered smart features. The speaker is under 7 inches tall and it houses 7-array beam-forming tweeter pack, an upward-facing 4-inch woofer, and an Apple A8 chip, which Apple says is the biggest brain ever in a speaker.

The HomePod also includes sensors that, when combined with the A8, can detect its surroundings and adjust its beam-forming features to tailor sound projection for its surroundings. Users can place multiple speakers in the same room and they’ll automatically adjust sound projection based on placement in a room.

HomePod also packs in six far-field mics that allow Siri to be a built-in “musicologist,” responding to “Hey Siri” commands just like the Amazon Echo responds to “Hey Alexa.” The speaker will also serve as a home assistant, offering a number of features available from the likes of the Echo and Google Home.

The HomePod will cost $349 in white or Space Gray, and it’ll be released in December. Learn more right here.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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