WWDC 2017: The 6 Big Things Apple Announced

WWDC 2017: The 6 Big Things Apple Announced


Chief executive Tim Cook said that Apple had six big announcements Monday at its annual developers conference. Cook promised updates to each of Apple’s operating systems – for the Apple TV, the Apple Watch, mobile devices and computers – plus some additional announcements that he promises will be “major.”

Here’s what we found out about each of them:

1) Apple’s home hub is here.
The HomePod is Apple’s smart speaker – the answer to Google Home and Amazon’s Echo line. The speaker will respond to voice commands using Apple’s voice assistant, Siri, and is closely integrated with Apple’s Music services. The speaker will also be able to sense the size of the room using acoustics. It will also work with Apple services such as Messages and its smart home appliance platform, HomeKit. And just like its competitors, the HomePod will provide information on news, general knowledge, weather and sports scores.


While its features appear very similar to what’s available on the Echo or Google Home, Apple said that its distinguishing feature is sound quality.

The HomePod is designed with privacy in mind, said Phil Schiller, Apple’s head of worldwide marketing. All communications are encrypted.

The HomePod will cost $349 – more expensive than Google’s and Amazon’s smart speakers – and will start shipping in December.

homepod reuters HomePod

2) Amazon is coming to Apple TV.
It’s a been a long road for Apple TV customers who like to watch Amazon Video. A feud between the two companies has kept Amazon’s library off the Apple set-top box. But the firms appear to have buried the hatchet a little. That’s good for consumers, who have been caught in the middle of a battle between two titans that has made the streaming world needlessly complicated. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey Bezos is the owner of The Washington Post.)

3) Apple Watch is getting an update.
Siri is getting smarter on the Apple Watch, with a new watch face that uses the assistant to set up a feed of your day on your wrist. The watch face, which seems like a mash-up between Google Now and your Facebook feed, will show you photos of old memories from previous years and make recommendations. For example, if you’re close to hitting your activity goals for the day, the watch face will tell you exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals.

The workout app is also getting an update, with features that give users more automatic measurements and track multiple workouts in a single session.

Apple Music is also going to be more closely integrated with the watch, with automatic syncing for playlists. The developer preview is open now and will roll out to all customers this fall.