First up is the new hardware. The Apple HomePod is essentially the Apple alternative to Google Home or the Amazon Echo. Apple has taken a standard approach to the HomePod not really pushing particular boundaries unless of course, you count the price tag. At $349 the HomePod is almost twice the price of the competition and will require a $10 monthly subscription to Apple Music to get the most out of it. “Hey Siri” are your keywords here and questions can be rattled off, hopefully with a higher success rate than Google and Amazon. You can ask it to control smart home devices and check the day’s weather and news briefings. The speaker is a little under 7 inches in height, houses a 7-array beam-forming tweeter pack, an upward-facing 4-inch woofer, and at the heart is an Apple A8 chip. Two colours will be available at first, white and black and Apple plans to ship in December first to customers in the US, UK, and Australia with other markets following soon after.
There is other new hardware. New revisions of their computer line. A new iMac packing next-generation 500 nit displays with support for 10-bit dithering. Inside the iMac will feature Intel’s 7th-generation Core processors and support for up to 32GB of RAM on the 21.5 inch model or 64GB of RAM on the larger 27-inch. Fusion drives come on all 27-inch models as well as the high-end 21.5-inch model and Apple have thrown in two USB-C ports.
The MacBook and MacBook Pro have also received a little refresh with 7th-gen Intel Core processors and upgraded SSDs.
A new, improved iMac Pro was announced featuring a 5K display, improved cooling capacity, an 8-core Xeon processor (upgradeable up to 18-core,) up to 4TB of SSD, up to 128GB of ECC memory, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and built-in 10GB Ethernet.
And finally on the hardware front, one of the most consistent rumours has become reality, an all-new iPad Pro with a 10.5-inch display. This hardly sounds exciting however the new iPad Pro is the same size as the 9.7-inch model, but it has much narrower bezels. Apple has massively reduced the bezel of the iPad by 40%, a sign of things to come with the iPhone 8?
The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro gets a new True Tone display with 600 nits brightness alongside HDR video. A new ProMotion feature brings a 120Hz refresh rate to the screen allowing smoother and more responsive experience. Apple Pencil support is also enhanced by ProMotion, dropping latency to just 20ms. Inside the Pro is the new A10X six-core processor delivers 30x faster CPU performance and 40% faster graphics compared to last year’s iPad Pro. The battery has been modified to deal with the performance increase and you can still expect up to 10 hours from a charge in addition to featuring fast charging.
Both cameras from the iPhone 7 are now sported by the iPad Pro, and new accessories will be released alongside the new model. Including a new Smart Keyboard accessory. The iPad Pro will be available with 64GB, 256GB and 512GB from today.