This WWDC(World Wide Developer Conference) was much better than I originally thought it was going to be. We’ve had some cool software like IOS 11, MacOS High Sierra(What kind of a name is that…?) but also something that was kind of a surprise and hasn’t been done for a few years at WWDC, hardware. As for software this was a refinement year. Something I like a lot. Apple’s best releases -for me at least- are ‘refinement’ updates. I immediately think about OS X Snow Leopard, one of the best releases of Mac software to date. So lets brake things down and see what they changed in their software strategy for 2017-2018. Don’t forget to fill in this months poll!
macOS High Sierra
Let’s talk about the big elephant in the room first, the name. Now, I don’t know what Apple was thinking when they named this version of MacOS but it was clear they wanted everybody to know this was a refinement year, just like my Snow Leopard example which was a follow up on Leopard. So last year they went with Sierra and now to build upon that release they are doing a High Sierra, and as Craig said: “This one is fully baked.” But enough about the name it’s the features that really matter. As of UI and general feel, it feels a lot like Sierra. Except for my new High Sierra wallpaper you wouldn’t notice I had it on my MacBook. Only the really talented eye would notice the small new Siri logo that’s also used in iOS 11. Part form that, most the changes are on the inside. With the new Metal 2, APFS, HEVC, VR support and last but not least updates to the Photo’s and Safari app Apple is doing a great job at refining things people and pro’s really need. The Apple File System takes your Mac to new highs with its optimisations for Flash so your new and existing Mac’s will feel even smoother and faster. Apple demonstrated this with duplicating files. When you duplicate a few files on Sierra, you wait a few seconds for it to copy and done. In the APFS this happens instantly. The files now duplicate in the blink of an eye. Another one that I personally like is HEVC(High Efficiency Video Coding) or H.265 . With the rising popularity of 4K video, this new industry standard -finally- arrives on Mac. It can compress video up to 40 percent more than H.264.(the current standard for video compression)Using HEVC, your video files become smaller and play better, but look as good as they would in H.264. Just like all the software Apple introduced at WWDC2017, macOS High Sierra will be available ‘this fall’.
The world’s most advanced operation system, as Apple calls it, has got quit a big update as well. A completely new iPad experience, a new control center along with a cleaned UI across the system, a redesigned App Store, a more beautiful sounding and smarter Siri and to finish some very nice developer API’s for Machine Learning and AR stole the show this year. The very first time Apple introduced the iPad Pro 12.9” every reviewer begged for a redesigned iPad iOS experience. Now, 2 years later, Apple finally did it. Drag and drop, a new dock and a cool File app should help the iPad be a better Pro. Apple isn’t known for doing everything a reviewer or a consumer asks but this one they knew themselves they had to change. Especially with the new iPad Pro devices, this refresh of the iPad experience is a welcome change. The only downside is that everyone who buys those new iPads now will get them with iOS 10.3 since iOS 11 won’t be shipping until September/October. At least we know its getting much better soon. Now lets talk about some cool new user features in iOS11. The first and maybe the thing that everyone will
notice first in a completely new control center. Apple removed the 3 page design they introduced in iOS 10 and made a one page, full screen control center with all the buttons you could possibly need. It is also, for the first time, customisable. The top might be fixed in place but on the bottom you can add and remove the shortcuts you want. I’ve added for example my home controls, a handy low power mode button and an AppleTV remote. All this can be customised in setting under control center.
This release of the new watchOS features the same ‘refinement’ style. Lots of health and fitness related updates that keep you motivated(even more than before) and some UI changes should do the trick for your AppleWatch in 2017. Let me give you a few photo’s and some examples.
You can now change the UI of the ‘home screen’ to grid view.
A completely redesigned dock.
New Siri Watch face.
New Workout app design.
There’s also a new Music app but it keeps on crashing and reloading atm. I’ll post some pictures as soon as they fix it with a second beta 😉 As you can see, mostly design changes and feature refinements, no unbelievable news in WatchOS this year.
A list of the tvOS update(s):
- Amazon Prime video.
That’s actually all Apple said about the AppleTV. Now this makes me curious. Why would they only add Amazon PV to the AppleTV and do nothing on UI and features…? I see two possibilities. One, Apple is silently abandoning the AppleTV and innovating more in other products. The second option is that Apple has a big refresh of the AppleTV coming with 4K support and more. I hope the latter!