The Developer-Conference Edition Monday, June 5, 2017

Apple’s New 10.5-inch iPad Pro Is A More Efficient Multitasking Tablet, by Lauren Goode, The Verge

Earlier today Apple announced a new version of the iPad Pro, a 10.5-inch model that is technically just a little bit larger than the earlier 9.7-inch tablet but, with 40 percent smaller bezels, offers much more screen real estate. Like all of the high-end iPad Pros its an impressive piece of hardware, with a brighter display, a new 64-bit A10X Fusion chip, and something called Pro Motion that increases the refresh rate and, Apple claims, makes the accessory pencil even more natural-feeling.


iOS 11: All The Cool New Features Coming To Your iPhone And iPad, by Andrew Liszewski, Gizmodo

iOS 11 will streamline Control Center, putting all of the options in a single screen including playback and AirPlay controls. It will also include an improved vertical slider design for the brightness and volume controls. The Notification Center and lock screen will also be merged into a single screen under iOS 11, basically requiring users to scroll up or down to jump to notifications, instead of sideways.


The iPad’s new App Switcher now looks a lot like the one found on OS X, allowing users to drag and drop clipboard contents, images, or other files between open applications in split-view. It would be nice to have on the iPhone, but the limited screen real estate would make things simply too tiny to see when all your apps were tiled across the display.

Apple Announces New 'Files' App Coming With iOS 11, by Tim Hardwick, MacRumors

The new Files app for iOS brings together files and documents stored in the cloud across various apps and services, including third-party cloud storage like Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive.

The 9 Best iOS 11 Features Apple Didn’t Talk About Onstage, by Sean O'Kane, The Verge

Digital assistants are just as frustrating as they are helpful, so making it easier to interact with them is always welcome. It looks like Apple is finally going to add one of the most requested features for any digital assistant — you’ll be able to type to Siri in iOS 11. Socially awkward tech nerds, rejoice!


Apple Announces The HomePod, by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Apple’s SVP of Global Marketing Phil Schiller said Sonos aren’t smart speakers and Amazon Echos aren’t good speakers. So Apple wants to combine the best of both worlds. It’s a smart marketing strategy. HomePod is shipping later this year — it’s not quite ready for prime time.

The device is a pill-shaped circular speaker. It has a seven beam-forming tweeter array. It has a custom-made woofer and an Apple A8 chip. It has multi-channel echo cancellation, real-time acoustic modeling and more.

The HomePod can scan the space around it to optimize audio accordingly. Schiller spent a lot of time talking about how good it sounds. It’s hard to know for sure when you’re listening to a song coming out of giant speakers in a conference hall.

Apple Music Will Let You Share What You’re Listening To With Your Friends, by Micah Singleton, The Verge

The update will allow users to create profiles and share music with their friends. There will also be a “friends are listening to” section, which will show you what the people you follow have been listening to and liking.


Apple Introduces A Completely Redesigned App Store, by Sarah Perez, TechCrunch

The upgraded storefront will little resemble [sic] its earlier counterpart thanks to a new user interface and redesign whose aim is to help users better discover new applications and learn about how they’re used, while offering developers a better way to feature their content and tell their stories.


The App Store’s new homepage, so to speak, is a tab called “Today,” which is meant to help users find out what’s happening right now. The hope is that the continually updated content will give the store a more real-time feel that deserves repeated daily launches — more like visiting your favorite news site for recent updates, for example.

Ahead Of iOS 11, 32-bit Applications Stop Appearing In App Store Search Results, by Chance Miller, 9to5Mac

Now that 32-bit applications seemingly no longer appear in App Store search results, they are essentially nonexistent for most users as they are only accessible via direct links.


Apple Just Announced Its Own Venmo Competitor Built Into iMessage, by Jason Del Rey, Recode

Apple announced on Monday that it is launching a money-transfer service that could challenge Venmo and other competitors, letting iPhone and iPad users send money digitally to each other via a text.


Apple also announced its own digital debit card — called Apple Pay Cash — that lets people take the money they receive via the new money-transfer service and use it to make Apple Pay purchases online or in physical stores that accept tap-and-pay transactions.


iMac Pro: Apple Launches Powerful New Desktop – Starting At $4,999, by Samuel Gibbs, The Guardian

The new iMac Pro starts with an 8-core Intel Xeon processor, but can be configured with an 18-core processor variant, as well as up to 128GB of EEC RAM, 4TB of SSD storage and Radeon Vega discrete graphics cards with up to 16GB of memory.


Apple also updated its MacBook and MacBook Pro line with 7th generation Intel processors, and gave the MacBook Air a specification bump in response to its sustained popularity.

Apple Announces macOS High Sierra, by Frederic Lardinois, TechCrunch

Version 10.13 will carry the name “macOS High Sierra” and include new features like an improved file system and updates to core macOS apps like Photos and Mail.


New in High Sierra is an updated version of Safari that Apple says will be the fastest web browser, especially with regard to JavaScript performance. Maybe more importantly, though, Safari also now blocks auto-playing videos and will use machine learning to identify trackers and segregate the cross-site trackers so advertisers won’t be able to easily track you across sites.


Apple's watchOS Improvements Focus On Fitness And Siri, by Jon Fingas, Engadget

To start, there's a new Siri-powered watch face that automatically displays updates based on context. You'll get traffic alerts if you're about to head out to work, for example. There are also kaleidoscope and Toy Story faces if you're feeling particularly trippy or youthful.

[...] The Activity app introduces monthly challenges while the Workout app has a simpler Quick Start feature and automatic sets for pool swims.


WWDC 2017 Swag: Denim Jackets, Country Pins, And More!, by Rene Ritchie, iMore

You also get a pin for the flag of your home and native land. The most popular countries right at registration, but no country is left behind. Guest services has all of them.


Ten Year Old Coder Impresses Apple CEO With His Apps, by Rod Chester,

But the app that instantly impressed Cook today was the one he quickly made on the flight over from Australia to help his parents work out the price for goods by adding the local sales tax and doing the currency conversion when they go shopping for souvenirs on the trip.

“Very cool, that’s great,” Cook told Yuma after seeing a demo of his app.

“You did this when you were on the plane from Australia to the US? Wow.”


Apple ‘Error 53’ Sting Operation Caught Staff Misleading Customers, Court Documents Allege, by Christopher Knaus, The Guardian

Australia’s consumer watchdog carried out a sting operation against Apple which it says caught staff repeatedly misleading iPhone customers about their legal rights to a free repair or replacement after a so-called “error 53” malfunction, court documents reveal.


Apple, in response, said the undercover calls made by the ACCC cannot be considered as breaches because consumer law does not exist in “hypothetical circumstances”.

The company said that real customers who had called the store would have received other information from Apple that informed them of their rights under consumer law.