Apple’s WWDC 2017 keynote just wrapped, where key executives Tim Cook, Craig Federighi and Phil Schiller took the stage to announce updates headed to MacBooks, iPads, Apple TV, and more. The Apple WWDC 2017 keynote streamed live for just over 2 hours but that’s because Apple introduced a ton of new updates. Don’t worry, I’m not going to itemize each and every update announced in this post. I’ve carved it down to just the items that I think would be of interest to the photographers out there.
macOS High Sierra
First up, macOS High Sierra, the core of the macOS experience was introduced today. It promises new storage and stunning video and graphics technologies. A significant announcement was that Apple computers that are running macOS High Sierra will use the Apple File System (APFS). The demonstration that was done on stage (which involved duplicating multiple video files) features blazing speed in doing so. An advanced architecture optimized for today’s massive storage technologies, APFS makes common operations such as copying files and directories instantaneous, helps protect data from power outages and system crashes and keeps files safe and secure with native encryption.Don’t worry about accessing files that were created on older Apple computers that used HFS, those files are compatible with macOS High Sierra.
Many of you, who are pros at working with video, are familiar with the current H.264 standard. Announced today, macOS High Sierra provides support for the industry-standard HEVC (H.265). With HEVC, Apple is enabling high-quality video streaming on networks where only HD streaming was previously possible, while hardware acceleration on the new iMac and MacBook Pro deliver incredibly fast and power-efficient HEVC encoding and editing.
macOS High Sierra will be available in Fall 2017 as a free software update from the Mac App Store.
Photos in macOS High Sierra adds a new always-on sidebar that presents albums and organization tools. A redesigned Edit view includes powerful new tools like Curves, for fine-tuning of color and contrast, and Selective Color, for making adjustments within a defined color range. Live Photos can now be edited with fun effects and Memories curates user photos and videos around several new topics. Photos now supports external editors, so Photoshop, Pixelmator and other apps can launch directly within Photos, with edits saved back to the Photos library. And for the first time, support for third-party project extensions gives users access to printing and publishing services, such as Animoto, ifolor, Shutterfly, WhiteWall and Wix, from right within the Photos app.
iOS 11 will be available, in Fall 2017, as a free software update for iPhone 5s and later, all iPad Air and iPad Pro models, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later, and iPod touch 6th generation.
Available in December 2017, Apple gave a sneak peek of the iMac Pro. I must say that Apple went all in. It’s an all-in-one desktop workstation designed for pro users who require major performance. With all-flash storage and all-new thermal design, the iMac Pro features a 27″ Retina 5K Display and up to an 18-core Intel® Xeon™ processor. So everyone from video editors to 3D animators to musicians to software developers to scientists can do what they do like they’ve never done before. Introducing iMac Pro. A lean, mean dream machine.
An iMac with 8 cores is remarkable enough. But an iMac with up to 18 cores is an entirely different creature. Add Turbo Boost speeds up to 4.5GHz, and iMac Pro has the power and flexibility to balance superb multicore processing with great single-thread performance. So whether you’re rendering files, editing 4K video, creating real-time audio effects or compiling your next five-star app, it all gets done at lightning speed. Proof, once again, that there’s strength in numbers.
They also went all out when it comes to graphics. They actually created a new one, called the Radeon Pro Vega. It’s over three times faster than any previous iMac GPU, packing the power of a double-wide graphics card into a single chip. All of which translates to higher frame rates for VR, real-time 3D rendering, more lifelike special effects and gameplay at max settings. Vega graphics. The beast behind the beauty.
Storage is about space. But it’s also about speed. A Fusion Drive gives you the best of both worlds. The apps and files you use the most are automatically stored on fast flash storage, while everything else moves to a high-capacity hard drive. From booting up to launching apps to importing photos, it’s faster and more efficient to do it all with Fusion Drive. And it’s now standard on all 27-inch models.
iMac features powerful new Radeon Pro 500 series graphics that make a spectacle of everything you see. The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display is loaded with up to 8GB of dedicated VRAM. And the 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display ignites with up to 4GB. Both deliver visual effects and 3D graphics that exhibit raw power in its most polished form. On top of that, you get advanced video editing capabilities. Now you can edit multicam projects in Final Cut Pro X with up to five streams of full-resolution 4K video.
The colour you shoot is the colour you see. The world is full of spectacular colours, and iMac brings more of them to your screen. The Retina display uses P3 colour that shifts away from standard white LEDs to advanced red-green phosphor LEDs. So all three colours — red, green and blue — are more equally represented and show off real-world colour with more balance and precision.
The updated iMac models are available today. The iMac Pro is scheduled to ship in December 2017.
MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro
Our goal with MacBook was to do the impossible: engineer a full‑size experience into the thinnest, lightest Mac notebook yet. And not only is it compact — it’s more powerful than ever. The new MacBook delivers up to 20 percent faster performance with new seventh‑generation Intel Core m3, i5 and i7 processors,1 and up to 50 percent faster SSD storage.2
Apple has also updated the 13-inch MacBook Air with a 1.8 GHz Intel Core i5 processor.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro features a powerful Radeon Pro discrete GPU in every configuration. Manufactured with a 14 nm process, Radeon Pro graphics combine outstanding power with outstanding power efficiency. And now 4GB of GDDR5 memory comes standard on the top configuration, giving you fluid, real-time performance for pro tasks like rendering 3D titles in Final Cut Pro X. Every 13-inch model features powerful integrated graphics with 64MB of embedded DRAM, which accelerates graphics tasks. That means more time for what matters most — creating amazing work.
New iPad Pros Are Available Now
Apple is releasing two new iPad Pros and you can order both immediately. The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro comes with a screen nearly 20 percent larger than the 9.7-inch model, so you get more room to do more. It also delivers a full-size onscreen keyboard. Yet it’s just as portable as ever.
The new iPad Pro Retina display now supports a 120Hz refresh rate. So movies and videos look spectacular, while games play smoothly without distracting artifacts. Fast, it turns out, is incredibly beautiful. And however you use the display — with your finger or Apple Pencil — everything will feel more responsive.
Doing more than ever will soon be easier than ever. In iOS 11, an all-new Dock makes it simple to open recently used apps and files. And when you use Slide Over or Split View, both apps will stay active so you can work with them simultaneously. So edit an image in Adobe Photoshop Fix while creating a web page. Or use Safari to plan your next vacation while confirming dates in Calendar. iPad Pro and iOS 11 are perfect for doing everything you want to do — at once.
The new iPads will be available in a variety of color, storage, and connectivity options.
Even if you are not a developer, the WWDC keynote addresses always provide a high-level view of Apple’s direction. It’s a regularly scheduled event when you can get a first look at the new features that will land on your Mac or iOS devices in the coming months. And you will get a sense for how Apple’s devices will continue to shape photography.