Apple didn’t just announce hardware devices such as the ‘HomePod’ smart home speaker and new iMacs at its WWDC 2017 developer conference. In addition, the company announced new versions/upgrades to all four of its operating systems – iOS, macOS, tvOS and watchOS.
The new versions bring both fresh features as well as updates user experiences.
The developer preview of the brand-new iOS 11 is available starting today and the first public beta will arrive later this month. The final version of the OS will arrive later this year on iPhone 5s and later, as well as all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later, and iPod touch 6th generation devices.
The new version of iOS brings an updated Messages app. It now has a redesigned app drawer, along with the ability to sync messages across different devices via iCloud. In addition, Apple Pay in iOS 11 supports person to person payments. Users can send and receive money using the Messages app and the transactions can be authenticated via Touch ID.
Siri has also been improved in iOS 11 and uses deep learning technologies. It also has more natural-sounding voice output. The updated Camera app now records videos in the HEVC format that takes less storage space. Same technique is used while taking images.
One of the most notable changes has been introduced in the Control Center. It now includes all the options in one window, which can be expanded when the 3D Touch feature is used. In addition, apps such as Apple Maps, HomeKit and Apple Music have received new design and features.
Lastly, the App Store has been overhauled with a new interface.
The biggest highlight of tvOS 4, the latest version of Apple TV’s OS, is the arrival of Amazon’s Prime Video platform to the OS. CEO Tim Cook said that the Amazon Prime app will arrive later this year, but no particular date was mentioned. We assume that the OS will roll out a few days after the unveiling of the new iPhone handsets. As of now, tvOS has content sourced from around 50 partners.
As for the new watchOS 4, the platform brings new watch faces. The OS now has a dedicated Siri watch face for easier access to the company’s virtual assistant. The particular watch face uses machine learning to adapt to the wearer’s daily activities. In addition, when the wearer raises the wrist, the watch face dynamically updates. It also gives access for controlling home app functionalities.
The second watch face is the Kaleidoscope watch face, which has a trippy design. It also has multiple styles based on colour patterns from a selected image. Third watch face is the Toy Story Face including three sub watch faces with Toy Story characters Woody, Jesse and Buzz Lightyear.
The OS also has an updated Activity app. The app now gives more personalized updates, along with a new monthly challenges feature. There are also new animations for celebrations on achieving health goals.
Besides a new UI, the new watchOS 4 brings enhanced pool swim workouts. If the Apple Watch wearer is resting in a pool, the OS will mark it as one complete set of swim. Users can swipe from the workout screen and add a new workout task easily. The OS comes with gym equipment support as well.
The watchOS 4 has an updated Music app which can auto sync music based on what you love to listen. It has a new album art on which users can tap and play the music playlist easily.
macOS High Sierra
For desktops and laptops, Apple introduced the new version of macOS. Dubbed macOS High Sierra, the OS includes an enhanced and more powerful Safari browser. It includes a built-in functionality to block video/audio from autoplaying. In addition, there’s an Intelligent Tracking Prevention feature which uses machine learning to prevent ads from tracking users, thus enhancing privacy.
The OS supports full Screen split view for better multitasking, while using 35% less disk space. The new Photos app gets an enhanced UI along with a new viewing grid, better face recognition feature, and enhanced new editing options.
While macOS until now used HFS file system, High Sierra brings the 64-bit Apple File System (APFS) as the new default. The new OS is much safer and secure