Delivering Innovation

New products are on the way from Apple. The tech firm made it clear that they have a lot of articles in the works at their WWDC Conference this month.

First, there’s the company’s answer to Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home called the HomePod. It’s a seven-inch device that will pack Siri into an Echo/Home-like casing. You can use it to check the news, weather and control your smart home devices.

HomePod will offer an enhanced music experience. A feature called “musicologist” will work with Apple Music, streaming songs you request to Siri. The sound is designed to fill the room and take it to a level beyond what Amazon and Google offer.

The device will be available in black or white. The price is around $349. The release date is scheduled for December, just in time for the holiday season.

Do you need a new desk? Apple is updating its iMac with improved retina displays, a boost in graphics, Kaby Lake processors, and a USB-C plug-in.

An iMac Pro is also on the way. This high-end machine has a 5K display with improved cooling capabilities and an 8-core Xeon processor that can be upgraded up to 18 cores. It also includes up to 4TB of SSD, up to 128GB of ECC memory, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and integrated 10GB Ethernet.

The price is what you would expect from Apple. The new iMac starts at $1,099 for the 21.5-inch model and $1,299 for the 4K model. MacBook Pro starts at $1,299, which includes the upgraded Kaby Lake processor. For those with deep pockets, the iMac Pro with the Xeon processor starts at a whopping $4999. Again an unexpected December ship date.

Speaking of “Pros”, how about a new iPad Pro? The device will be available in three sizes, including a new 10.5-inch model. Similar to the iPhone 7, it comes with a 12MP camera and a 7MP selfie camera.

The iPad Pro supports USB 3.0 with 10 hours of battery life. A new feature called ProMotion reduces Apple Pencil latency to 20 milliseconds. It adjusts the refresh rate based on what you’re watching and can double it up to 120Hz. The 10.5-inch iPad Pro starts with a 64GB configuration. Pricing starts at $649. You can pick one up now.

Also noteworthy is the new Apple operating system, iOS11. It is in beta stage and has been released to developers. One area that will improve is multitasking on the iPad. Users will be able to open an app from the dock and drag it onto the screen in the split-screen version. Just like a MacBook, you can use touch to hold and drag folders, files, or photos. You can even put them in a different app, like Mail or iMessage. The Apple Pencil will also allow you to search for handwritten text from the Notes app.

The Apple Watch is also getting a facelift. The new faces will display new bits of information, like reminders from Siri. An update to Fitness Focus provides NFC-enabled data exchange with gym equipment. Pair the two and you get the ultimate calorie burn and activity level.

Apple is letting developers know that its tree is full of exciting new products and updates. It will be interesting to see how the public responds to this latest round of Apple selection.

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