This is Apple’s new MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, Touch ID & more!

“The Mac is more than a product to us. It’s a testament to everything we do and create at Apple,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook at today’s “Hello again” Mac event as he unveiled long-expected updates to Pro notebooks. The new MacBook Pro has, as rumored, a programmable OLED touch bar substituting the function key row, called Touch Bar.

There’s also a Touch ID sensor powered by a new Apple-designed T1 chip. Like its predecessor, the new MacBook Pro comes in 13 and 15-inch flavors and each is available in Silver or Space Gray finish. hello again event macbook pro compare

The notebooks have a 2x larger trackpad with ForceTouch haptic feedback (46 percent larger on the 13-inch MacBook Pro and twice as large on the 15-inch MacBook Pro) and are driven by Intel’s latest Skylake chips with faster graphics. The iconic glowing Apple logo on the lid is gone, however, like on the existing twelve-inch MacBook.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs in at three pounds, almost half a pound lighter than the previous generation. It’s seventeen percent thinner and has 25 percent less volume than the previous-generation MacBook Pro.

hello again event macbook pro 15 inch

The 15-incher weighs in at 4 pounds, is fourteen percent thinner and has twenty percent less volume. The biggest news is the new Touch Bar feature. Touch Bar, as mentioned, provides one-touch access to all of the functions previously provided by dedicated hardware function keys, and then some more.

hello again event macbook pro touch bar

When you’re multitasking, Touch Bar shortcuts change depending on the app being used. It’s great that Touch Bar provides autocorrect suggestion when typing on the keyboard, has a dedicated Siri button and even suggests emoji replacements.

hello again event macbook pro mail

In fact, it provides a dedicated interface for browsing all your emoji by category, frequently used and more—by way of swiping. In other apps, Touch Bar lets you create new tabs, manage your windows and more.

In Photos, as another example, a photo strip is rendered on the Touch Bar so you can quickly select an image to work with. You can even rotate photos, make color adjustments and more, right on the Touch Bar.

hello again event macbook pro customize touch bar

In the Finder, you can customize any toolbar features like the screenshot control to appear on the Touch Bar simply by dragging an item from the toolbar down until it drops on Touch Bar. And when customizing Touch Bar, the icons wiggle like on iOS.

Touch Bar has controls for iWork apps, iTunes, Terminal and other Apple apps, with a developer API available to enable custom shortcuts in third-party apps.

Both machines have a second-generation Touch ID with sapphire crystal protection. With a fingerprint scan, customers can unlock their Mac, switch user accounts and authenticate Apple Pay purchases on the web. “Touch ID enables a quick, accurate reading of your fingerprint and uses sophisticated algorithms to recognize and match it with the Secure Enclave in the new Apple T1 chip,” Apple said.

hello again event macbook pro touch id

The Mac’s Touch ID sensor is powered by a brand new Apple-designed chip, called the T1, which has a Secure Enclave to support strong security and privacy like on iPhone.

Compared to the previous generation, the new MacBook Pro’s Retina screen is 67 brighter, has 67 percent greater contrast and gives you 25 percent more colors while consuming thirty percent less power than before.

It is the first Mac notebook display to support a wider color gamut. Both new machines have four Thunderbolt 3 ports providing a whopping 30GB/s bandwidth and allowing users to drive a 5K display and power their MacBook Pro with a single cable.

hello again event macbook pro display

The new Thunderbolt standard is port-compatible with USB-C (also known as USB 3.1 Generation 2), meaning all your USB-C devices can be connected to the new MacBook Pro’s Thunderbolt ports. Thunderbolt 3 also supports the DisplayPort 1.2 video interconnect standard.

hello again event macbook pro mail

Any of the four Thunderbolt 3 ports can be used as a USB-C charging port. In fact, any of the four Thunderbolt 3 ports can be Thunderbolt 3, USB-C or Display Port without any adapter, or become HDMI or VGA with an adapter.

hello again event macbook pro ports functions

The 13-inch model comes with either Intel’s dual-core Core i5 or i7 with a 2,133 MHz memory, integrated Intel Iris graphics with 64 megabytes of eDRAM that’s two times faster on average or 103 percent faster in gaming and 76 percent faster in video editing and 3D graphics. The SSD in the 13-incher provides a throughput of 3.1 Gb/s.

hello again event macbook pro 13 inch performance

As for the more powerful 15-incher model, it’s powered by Intel’s sixth-generation quad-core Core i7 processor with faster 2,1333MHz memory and discreet Radeon Pro graphics that’s part of AMD’s new 14-nanometer Polaris architecture. You can outfit the graphics card with up to four gigabytes of dedicated video RAM.

hello again event macbook pro thermal architecture

Graphics on the 15-inch MacBook Pro is up to 2.4 faster than the previous-generation MacBook Pro with 60 percent faster gaming, 57 percent faster video editing and 130 percent faster 3D graphics. As for the SSD, the 15-inch MacBook Pro can be outfitted with up to 2TB FusionDrive while the SSD provides a throughout of 3.1 GB/s.

hello again event macbook pro new speakers

Last but not least, both new MacBook Pros have an all-new speaker design with twice the dynamic range of the previous generation. Battery? You get a ten-hour battery life.

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The machines are available for pre-order today from Apple.com, Apple retail stores and authorized resellers, shipping in 2-3 weeks. The standard 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256GB SSD, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, Touch ID and Touch Bar costs $1,799.

hello again event various macbook pro

The flagship 15-incher with a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 chip with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.5 GHz, 16GB RAM, discreet AMD Radeon Pro 450 graphics, 256GB SSD, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, Touch ID and Touch Bar will set you back $2,399.

hello again event macbook pro prices

For MacBook Air fans, Apple has created a 13-inch MacBook Pro model without Touch Bar and Touch ID and with the familiar row of function hardware keys. That machine, priced at $1,4999, ships today.

It’s powered by a 2 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, has 8 GB of RAM, integrated Intel Iris 540 graphics, two Thunderbolt 3 ports rather than four and comes with 256GB SSD.

The current MacBook Air continues to be available without a hardware refresh. Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at apple.com/macbookpro.

By the way, this week mark’s 25th anniversary of Apple’s first notebook, the PowerBook, which defined the modern notebook with a matrix-dot display and a keyboard-forward design that created room for a trackpad and other features.

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Apple unveils Watch OS3, new TV OS features, macOS Sierra and iOS 10!

Aside from a number of other software-related announcements, the WWDC 2016 keynote at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco also gave us watchOS 3, the third major installment of the wearable operating system that powers the Apple Watch.

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As much as watchOS 2 was about optimizing the experience with support for native apps, its successor focuses on improving that experience further with things like Control Center, a Reminders app, instant launch of applications and more.

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This is about making the Apple Watch usable. In addition to keeping your favorite apps in the Apple Watch memory and background updates for Apple Watch apps, you can choose which apps go to the so-called Dock which appears when pressing the Side button.

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Here’s Control Center on the Apple Watch.

wwdc 2016 watch control center

It’s invoked similar to iOS, by swiping up from the bottom of any watch face.

With Background App Updates for Apple Watch apps, software that frequently updates content from the Internet now load much faster, including the new Find My Friends app.

watchOS also includes another fitness-focussed feature: Activity sharing. With it, you can share
your move, activity or stand goals with your friends and family, including the ability to communicate with those people with built-in chat in the Activity app.

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Wheelchair users will love watchOS 3 because they have a setting to change the Time to Stand notification with a new Time to Roll, two new activities specifically created for them in the Activity app and more.

With another new app in watchOS 3, called Breathe, users big on body-mind medicine can define sessions from one to five minutes that lets them relax and deep-breathe, with gentle taps guiding them without needing to even glance at their watch. You can also set smart notifications to remind you to use Breathe, just like Stand alerts.

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Messaging improvements include new reply options and a new way to write your messages with a new Scribble option, basically handwriting recognition that lets you draw the letters on the screen with your finger.

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Scribble works in English and Chinese for the time being, and it automatically senses which language you are using. watchOS 3 has new watch faces: Activity, Minnie Mouse and Numerals. You can now just swipe to choose your watch face and you now have the ability to use more Complications.

Other new features in watchOS 3 include Apple Pay within apps on the watch, new APIs for graphics-intensive apps such as SpriteKit, an SOS mode with support for ability calls that will automatically send your Medical ID and current geographical information to an emergency outlet, and more.

This feature also works internationally.

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After demonstrating several new Apple Watch features, Apple VP Kevin Lynch invited Director of Fitness and Health technologies Jay Blahnik to come up on stage and talk about some new fitness features. Perhaps most notable is a new feature in the Activity app called Activity Sharing.

As the name suggests, Activity Sharing brings social challenges to the Apple Watch, allowing users to easily send fitness achievements and stats to friends and family, fostering competition. This is something that has helped Fitbit grow and popularity and is a welcome addition to the Watch.

So to share your activity in Watch OS 3, simply swipe to the right of your Activity Rings, and you’ll be shown the rings of family and friends. You can communicate directly with the people you’re sharing with right through Messages, and the smart replies are geared towards working out.

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Apple has taken the wraps off watchOS 3 this morning during the keynote presentation at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. With features designed to advance the experience for Apple Watch owners, watchOS 3 will release this fall, Apple confirmed today. The major new version of the Apple Watch operating system will be released at no charge as an over-the-air update.

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watchOS 3 includes a number of features like much faster application launch times, a new Scribble input method, Control Center, an SOS mode with support for emergency calls, a Breathe app and much more.

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Apple on Monday at its WWDC 2016 event announced a new app for Apple Watch that will come pre-installed on watchOS 3 called Breathe, which offers a new perspective on health.

Setting itself apart from the typical fitness aspects of health, Breathe will be oriented around breathing exercises.

Breathe is an app that works to improve your health by taking you through 1-5 minute breathing exercises throughout the day. It’ll provide notifications that remind you to perform breathing exercises, as it’s an important part of your everyday health that ensures your body is getting enough oxygen.

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Once you’re provided with a notification to perform a breathing exercise from your Apple Watch, you can either start the exercise, or you can snooze the alert.

If you tap on Start, it walks you through the breathing exercise process in real time, and then the app provides you with heart rate information and breathing information so you can see how the breathing exercise impacts the way your body handles your heart rate while you breathe.

You may opt to snooze the alert when you’re in the middle of doing something, or when you’re not in an environment where a breathing exercise is possible.

tvOS 10 announced with dark mode, Single Sign-On, universal search improvements and more

wwdc 2016 apple tv dark mode

In addition to iOS 10 and watch OS 3, Apple also unveiled tvOS 10 with an all-new Remote app during the WWDC 2016 keynote at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco. Here are some of the things you’re going to like in tvOS 10.

Powering the fourth-generation Apple TV, tvOS 10 advances the experience provided by Apple’s operating system for the living room, which launched last fall with the release of the new Apple TV, with new features like Single Sign-On, automatic downloads for Apple TV apps, a new dark mode and more.

Among the new features in tvOS 10, Siri can now search Apple’s full archive of more than six-thousand television shows and movies within a specified time range.

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More importantly, tvOS’s universal search feature now supports a lot more apps, including YouTube. This is really useful as you can use your voice and Siri to search for specific videos on YouTube, and tvOS automatically takes you to YouTube for Apple TV, if installed, and automatically loads your search results.

Similarly, if you have a video app with support for live streaming, asking Siri to watch, say, ESPN, will automatically put up live video. Apple has also solved the problem of having to sign in to many of these video apps with your cable or satellite subscription, or using an alphanumeric code that has to be typed into a browser.

wwdc 2016 auto unlock

With tvOS 10, you have something called Single Sign-On, which automatically signs you into these apps. These access credentials are managed in one central place, with a new page on the App Store showing you apps that you have access too.

This feature is going to launch on iOS, too.

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Apple TV owners can now switch to a dark interface in Settings and apps downloaded on iOS which exists on tvOS can also auto-install to the set-top box with support for Automatic Downloads for Apple TV apps.

If you use your Apple TV for games, you’ll be delighter to learn that tvOS now supports up to four game controllers at once versus just two, as well as multiplayer game sessions and recording in-game videos with ReplayKit.

Developers can now create Apple TV apps that integrate with your Photos library with PhotoKit for tvOS. Graphically intensive apps and games will be nicer with new APIs and things like SpriteKit, and more.

tvOS 10 is launching this fall.

Apple rebrands OS X as macOS

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That Apple would rebrand OS X as ‘MacOS’ was one of the worst-kept WWDC secrets ahead of today’s keynote, and Apple just made it official. SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi just announced on stage that from here on out, the Mac operating system is going to be called macOS.

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The change of course brings OS X more inline with the naming conventions of Apple’s other platforms: iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS. There’s obviously nothing ground-breaking here, but the rebranding is more than notable. So from now on, no more OS X. Just refer to the Mac OS as…macOS.

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We know OS X is now macOS, and the first major version is macOS Sierra. So what new features does it have? SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi is on stage at Apple’s WWDC keynote running through the new additions and improvements in the software, and there are some great ones.

The main focuses for this update are going to be Continuity, iCloud and “the fundamentals of the Mac experience.” The first big new feature for the group is Auto Unlock, which allows you to automatically unlock your Mac with your Apple Watch—meaning, if you have your Watch on, you don’t need to type in your password.

Another new feature is Universal Clipboard. Like the name suggests, this means that clipboard will work across macOS and iOS. So copying something on your iPhone will add it to your Mac’s clipboard and vice versa. Apple Pay is also coming to the Mac via the Safari web browser (as rumored). When you shop online, you’ll have an Apple Pay button. When you pay, you’ll get a prompt to authenticate on your phone or watch with TouchID or a tap on the wrist.

wwdc 2016 siri for Mac

Finally, Federighi announced that Siri is coming to the Mac. The digital assistant will be accessible via a Menu Bar icon, and a Dock icon, and will be just as capable as it is on iOS. You can command Siri to play a playlist in Apple Music, send Messages, perform image searches and much, much more.

wwdc 2016 auto unlock

Apple announced a major new feature for its upcoming macOS Sierra operating system for Macs on Monday at WWDC 2016, which will let you get into your Mac easier than you ever have before.

Dubbed Auto Unlock, it’s an extension of the Continuity feature between your mobile devices and your Mac.

Rather than being presented with a password entry interface from your Lock screen every time you wake up your Mac, Auto Unlock is going to let you get into your Mac as long as you have an authenticated device on your person – namely, your Apple Watch.

Whenever you’re wearing the Apple Watch, it’s already authenticated as long as you haven’t taken it off recently. It stays authenticated until you actually take it off.

The Apple Watch can already use Touch ID from your iPhone to be authenticated, so Touch ID can actively impact your Mac authentication as well. Keep in mind however, that you don’t need to use Touch ID to unlock your Mac directly.

After you’ve authenticated your Apple Watch, either by entering the passcode or by using Touch ID on your iPhone, you just need to keep wearing it. When you walk within Bluetooth proximity of your Mac, your computer is going to unlock for you automatically so you can start using it without even having to enter a password to get into it.

It’s very much a secure way of getting into your Mac, because Auto Lock won’t unlock your Mac unless you’re wearing an authenticated Apple Watch. If your Apple Watch is being worn, but hasn’t been authenticated, then you don’t need to worry because your Mac won’t unlock.

The feature is very similar to that of MacID, which would allow you to unlock your Mac from your authenticated Apple Watch, but now it’s going to be natively built right into macOS.

This is a feature that appears to be limited to the Apple Watch only, so if you don’t own one, then Auto Unlock won’t be possible. It doesn’t appear that the feature will allow those with Touch ID to unlock their Macs via their iPhone or iPad.

Here’s iOS 10’s revamped Lock screen with widgets, Raise to Wake, rich notifications and more

wwdc 2016 ios 10 lock screen widgets

Apple is holding its anticipated keynote presentation at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco this morning, which has kicked off the five-day WWDC 2016 developers conference, and they just announced iOS 10, the tenth major version of the mobile operation system powering the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
For iOS 10, there’s a completely redesigned Lock screen that now makes it easy to respond to notifications with a lot richer 3D Touch support, the ability to enjoy widgets full screen, a time-saving feature called Raise to Wake and more.

Quick interactions from the Lock screen are now a lot easier than before because the whole Lock screen is now much more interactive. With a new feature called Raise to Wake, you can see on what’s your Lock screen without having to press a button—you just lift your iPhone to your eye level.

Notifications on the Lock screen can be 3D Touched, which can come quite in handy when responding to a message on the Lock screen. In fact, 3D Touch’s Peek previews are no longer static.

For example, you can 3D Touch on a Messages notification on the Lock screen to not just peek at it, but also type out your response, see what you exchanged in a thread and even enjoy inline media.

The Lock screen on iOS 10 also lets you slide over to the right to get to the Camera app faster than before. Or, you can slide over the other way to show widgets on the Lock screen. And speaking of widgets, they can show you even more information by tapping the More icon on the widget.

And that’s what’s new, ladies and gentlemen, for the Lock screen on iOS 10.

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Photos in iOS 10 is receiving a major upgrade with several major new features and a few noteworthy improvements. For starters, Photos in iOS 10 has a dedicated Maps view similar to iPhoto for Mac which lets you browse your photos on a world map, based on where you took them.

More importantly, Photos now features facial, object and scene recognition that uses advanced computer vision and deep learning techniques to recognize objects on photos locally on the device, taking advantage of the power of Apple’s A-series of processors.

Because the photos are examined locally on the device rather than on Apple’s servers, your privacy is assured. Apple says that iOS 10 performs a whopping eleven billion computations per photo to recognize faces, objects and scenes.

Another new feature in Photos for iOS 10: Memories.

Taking advantage of advanced artificial intelligence which scans your entire Photos library to cluster together the photos that might make sense to you, Memories can surface trips that might be relevant, photographs relevant to last week or last month, pictures of people that are special to you, topics like the beaches, mountains and so forth.

The new facial recognition in Photos in iOS 10, along with object and scene recognition, also works on the Mac and the new Apple TV.

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Eddy Cue is on stage right now, at Apple’s WWDC keynote, talking about the new Maps app in iOS 10. The stock mapping application gets a lot smarter in the upcoming update, with improved search, en route traffic information and a new feature called Quick Controls.

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The beautiful new design language in a revamped Apple Music is now a reality. According to Apple, the first tab within the app is now Library that gives you quick access to your songs as well as your downloaded music. A new Recently Added section makes it easy to pinpoint new songs and albums you’ve added to your library.

Apple Music now has inline lyrics, which is pretty awesome.

wwdc 2016 music lyrics

The top of the For You tab now has a Discovery mix, a Recently Played playlist, a daily curated playlist in an obvious shot at Spotify and more. Content from the Connect tab is now integrated within the For You tab rather than live in its own tab.

wwdc 2016 Home icon

There’s a new stock app in iOS 10 that most people will probably want to get rid of: Home. Home is the missing link in Apple’s strategy for the connected home, which now supports even more categories of HomeKit-compatible devices like smart cameras and door locks. It’s not just a new Home screen app: Home is built right into Control Center and it also works from the Lock screen of your iPhone.

And with iOS 10’s interactive Home screen with support for rich notifications, your security camera, for instance, can send you an alert if it detects an intruder and you can even watch a live video feed right from the Lock screen.

wwdc 2016 Home app

Remote access to your home and automation with HomeKit devices is now easier than ever because the fourth-generation Apple TV acts as a HomeKit hub for remote control. The new Home app is also included in watchOS 3.

wwdc 2016 voicemail transcription

iOS 10 was shown off at WWDC 2016 on Monday, and with all of the new features Apple brought to the table, the Phone app is certainly one of the spotlights that deserves attention.

A new Phone experience for iPhone?

Apple’s new Phone app in iOS 10 is going to get a lot of useful new features to make using the phone aspect of your iPhone a whole lot better.

Starting with improvements to VoiceMail, the Phone app in iOS 10 will now convert any voicemail you receive into a readable text that you can read rather than listen to out loud.

The Phone app also improves the experience with incoming calls, because when you receive a phone call from an unknown phone number, iOS can automatically tell you whether or not the call is likely to be a spam call.

Support for VoIP via API

Apple is also allowing third-party developers who make VoIP apps for the App Store to integrate with the Phone app so that calling notifications from those third-party apps actually fill the screen, rather than appearing as a useless Lock screen notification.

wwdc 2016 phone voice api

As a result, you can actually take calls from those VoIP apps from the Lock screen just like they were native phone calls. A slide to answer bar will appear at the bottom of the screen just like a phone call would, and the call will route through to the third-party app’s VoIP services.

wwdc 2016 rich links messages

Also getting a big update in iOS 10 is the Messages app. New features include inline rich links, which open YouTube videos, images and other types of media—videos now play right within the app!—a built-in Camera viewfinder, and some great emoji improvements.

These improvements include 3x bigger emoji images within your messages, so you can see the icons in greater detail, and predictive emoji. Apple calls this “emojifiable.” So the Messages app in iOS 10 can essentially guess emoji images for the words you tap on.

wwdc 2016 bigger emoji

Also new in the Messages app is what Apple is calling “Bubble effects.” This allows you add nice little transitional effects to your Bubbles and even the full screen for the person you’re talking to. Some of the effects demoed on stage include swipe-to-reveal, zoom, full screen of balloons and much more. This is actually really cool-looking, and you have to see a demo of it in action to really understand.

Other Messages announcements: the ability to scribble or hand-write a message, Messages app APIs for developers (yes this means third party for Messages).

wwdc 2016 emoji tap to replace

A developer preview of iOS 10 will be released to members of the Apple Developer Program following the WWDC 2016 keynote this morning at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. According to Apple, iOS 10 will release for everyone this fall for the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, likely ahead of the iPhone 7 introduction.

wwdc 2016 ios 10 available in fall
End of Apple’s Event. This post will be updated with official screenshots and videos as soon as possible.

What to expect from Apple at WWDC 2016 on Monday?

Every year, Apple holds an annual Worldwide Developers Conference at the Moscone West convention center in San Francisco, California, giving thousands of developers from around the world a chance to meet up with Apple engineers and sit in on valuable workshops and software sessions.

Apple typically begins each conference with a kickoff keynote on the first day, where the company makes major announcements and sets the stage for the remainder of the week. Keynote events often include a look at upcoming products and services and a first glimpse at new operating systems.

For the first time, Apple will hold its keynote event and other first-day sessions at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, roughly a mile away from Moscone West. The new location, which Apple also used for its September 2015 “Hey Siri” media event, will offer a larger venue for the conference’s major presentations. Apple plans to start its keynote event at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time (8:00 PM Beirut Time).

In 2016, Apple is expected to unveil the latest versions of iOS and OS X, and work on iOS 10 and OS X 10.12 is already well underway. We may also see new versions of watchOS and tvOS, the operating systems that run on the Apple Watch and the Apple TV. News on additional products that might make an appearance will likely be shared as we get closer to the conference date. Most of Apple’s Mac lineup is due for an update and some products could potentially see refreshes at the event.

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Moscone West decorated for the 2015 WWDC eventApple leaked the official dates for the 2016 event through Siri, revealing the conference will take place from Monday, June 13 through Friday, June 17, matching the long presumed dates previously suggested by the convention center’s event calendar.

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Shortly after Siri leaked the news, Apple officially announced the 2016 Worldwide Developers Conference and opened up ticket sales. Media invites for the keynote event went out on June 1.

On June 3, Apple debuted an updated WWDC app for iOS devices and the Apple TV. Attendees can use the app to get directions and times for labs and sessions, while those not attending can use it to watch live streaming sessions with Apple engineers. Apple also plans to live stream the WWDC keynote on iOS and Mac devices through Apple.com and on the Apple TV through a dedicated events app.

Expected Announcements

IOS 10

Apple’s operating system for iPhones and iPads has gone largely without design changes since iOS 7, so it’s reasonable to assume iOS 10 may feature some design tweaks to update the look of the OS. A dark mode is one possibility that’s been circulating based on the look of Apple’s WWDC app and site, but there’s no evidence suggesting such a feature will be implemented.

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Information on iOS 10 is limited, but we’ve heard some tantalizing details about the update. Apple is expected to introduce a Siri SDK, allowing Siri to interact with third-party apps in new ways. Developers will be able to build Siri integration into their apps, allowing Siri to access data and perform tasks within apps. Third-party app access has the potential to greatly expand what Siri is capable of and could put the personal assistant on par with more robust solutions like Google Now.

In 2015, rumors indicated Apple was working on an “iCloud Voicemail” service able to allow Siri to answer missed calls and record and transcribe messages for users to read as text at a later time. The service, which could come in iOS 10, is also said to be capable of relaying location information and delivering details on why a user can’t answer a phone call.

Siri may also be improved with new capabilities Apple has made through acquisitions like VocalIQ. VocalIQ is able to retain the semantic context between conversations and recall user preferences. Apple has made other AI-related purchases over the past year that could have been purchased to improve Siri. Perceptio, for example, is a startup designed to allow for the creation of advanced artificial intelligence systems while limiting the amount of data stored in the cloud, functionality that could allow Apple to bridge the gap between its desire to introduce deeper Siri functionality with its unwavering focus on privacy.

iOS 10 is rumored to include a redesigned Music app featuring a more intuitive user interface for Apple Music. It’s said to use a “bolder, yet simpler” design that emphasizes black and white backgrounds and text to put more focus on album art.

Apple is planning to replace the “New” tab in Apple Music with a “Browse” option that includes better organizational tools for discovering new content, and it will also feature a simplified “For You” section. Connect and Beats 1 will remain unchanged, but Apple may remove the Connect tab from the Apple Music interface.

New 3D Touch shortcut previews will be added, sharing features will be emphasized, and there will be more of a focus on song lyrics, making them easier to access within the app.

With the upcoming iPhone 7 Plus expected to gain a dual-lens camera, Apple is building Photos improvements into iOS 10. Apple is expected to reintroduce some abilities that were initially found in iPhoto before it was discontinued and while we don’t know specifics, iPhoto previously had features like EXIF editing and touch-based brushes for adjusting brightness and other parameters on only specific parts of a photo.

A Skitch-like photo editing feature allowing users to draw on and mark up images could also be in the works, mirroring features that are available in the Mail app for marking up PDFs and photos.

Metadata keys added to App Store apps in April suggests Apple is potentially working on a much-desired feature to allow users to hide or delete unwanted stock apps. If such a feature is in the works, it could be included in iOS 10. App Store changes and improvements are also a possibility, as Apple is said to have a secret team dedicated to exploring potential changes that could be made to the App Store.

OS X 10.12

OS X didn’t get a major update in 2015, but 2016 may more than make up for it. OS X 10.12 is expected to bring Siri to the Mac for the first time, allowing the personal assistant to be used on Mac devices like it’s used on iOS devices.

Siri will be enabled through an icon in the OS X menu bar, the dock, a user-specified keyboard shortcut, or through a hands-free “Hey Siri” command. In May, we shared an image of the full Siri dock icon, featuring a colorful Siri waveform.

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Siri functionality on the Mac is likely to mirror much of the functionality on iOS, with Siri able to conduct searches, open apps, tweak system settings, answer simple queries, play music from iTunes, and more. Siri may also be able to interface with third-party Mac apps through the rumored Siri SDK.

Another key feature of OS X 10.12 may be expanded Continuity features. Apple is working on an auto unlock function that would allow an iPhone to unlock a Mac when in close proximity, alleviating the need to enter a password on a password-protected machine in OS X 10.12.

The feature, which uses Bluetooth LE frameworks, will presumably work similarly to the automatic unlocking feature on the Apple Watch, which allows an unlocked iPhone to bypass the passcode restriction on a connected Apple Watch. In this scenario, an iPhones Touch ID button would be used as a verification method for simpler logins.

The unlocking function could also potentially be tied to the rumor suggesting Apple Pay integration is coming to web browsers. Users could make purchases online using Safari, confirming the Apple Pay payment through an iPhone’s Touch ID when linked to a Mac.

Features rumored for iOS 10, such as Photos improvements and Apple Music tweaks, are also expected to be included in OS X 10.12. An updated version of iTunes that includes a redesigned Apple Music experience with a simpler, more intuitive interface is a possibility, and as for Photos, it could gain some features that were removed during the transition from iPhoto to Photos.

Beyond rumored features, there has been some speculation that Apple could rename OS X to MacOS to better match with iOS, watchOS, and tvOS, but whether or not Apple will actually introduce a change to its long-running Mac naming scheme remains to be seen.

TVOS 2 AND WATCHOS 3

Apple has said new versions of tvOS and watchOS 3 will be introduced at WWDC, but we have not heard any details on what new versions of these operating systems might include.

Drawing from what we expect for iOS 10 and OS X 10.12, the two operating systems could feature Siri improvements and design tweaks to match any design changes coming to iOS 10, but beyond that, we don’t have any insight into what to expect.

We do know that as of June 1, Apple is requiring new Apple Watch apps submitted to the App Store to be native apps, suggesting Apple has plans for deeper native app capabilities. At the very least, a push towards native apps is encouraging because it will result in Apple Watch apps that are able to open more quickly and work more smoothly in watchOS 3.

SERVICES

Apple Pay:
There are no specific Apple Pay rumors linked to WWDC, but Apple has several new Apple Pay features in the works that would be ideal to debut at the event. Apple is planning to bring Apple Pay to web browsers, allowing Apple Pay users to make Apple Pay purchases in online stores directly through Safari.

As with standard transactions, payments would be approved on the iPhone through Touch ID. Using the expanded Continuity features allowing an iPhone to connect to a Mac, Apple Pay payments on Mac notebooks and desktop machines may also be verified through Touch ID.

Apple is also working on a person-to-person update for Apple Pay, allowing users to send money to one another much like Square Cash or Venmo. It is not exactly clear how such a feature would work, but there have been “whispers” suggesting Apple may let customers send money to one another through iMessages.

iCloud:
Following its conflict with the FBI, Apple is likely to introduce new security features in iOS 10 and OS X 10.12. One possibility is encrypted iCloud backups, something Apple has been hesitant to implement in the past because it makes the restoring process more difficult.

Rumors have suggested Apple is working on implementing stronger security measures “even it can’t hack” to protect iOS devices. These improvements are likely to be introduced through a mix of hardware and software improvements, and it’s quite possible we’ll see the first of Apple’s security enhancements in iOS 10.

HARDWARE

Ahead of WWDC there were rumors and speculation suggesting Apple could introduce products like an updated MacBook Pro or a new Thunderbolt Display, but it’s likely neither of these products are going to be ready for a June debut, instead coming later in 2016.

Leading up to WWDC, multiple Apple insiders have said the event will focus on software instead of hardware, and so we are not expecting hardware updates at the event. There’s a possibility Apple could surprise us with an announcement, but if there are plans for a hardware product debut, those plans have been kept under wraps.

 

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Apple unveils smaller iPad Pro, new Watch Bands, iOS 9.3 and TvOS updates arriving Today!

 

At its press-only media event Monday morning, which is currently underway in Cupertino, California, Apple has formally announced a smaller iPad Pro alongside the iPhone SE, new Apple Watch bands and more. As previously suspected, the new device is a smaller 9.7-inch iPad Pro model that shares the same powerful internals with its bigger brother rather than it being a third-generation iPad Air.9.7-inch iPad Pro

These include Apple’s most advanced A9X processor, a 2,048-by-1,536 pixel resolution screen with pixel support for the Apple Pencil, the Smart Connector that allows accessories to attach magnetically and provides power and data, and other perks—and it weighs less than a pound, which is the same wight as the iPad Air 2.

True Tone Display

The screen of the new iPad Pro, compared to that on the iPad Air 2, has the lowest reflectivity of any tablet, 25 percent greater color saturation, deeper blacks, higher refresh rates and more.
More important than that, the screen of the new iPad Pro has a brand new technology called True Tone Display which uses two four-channel ambient light sensors to measure the color temperature of ambient light and adjust the display to match the environment.

Like the bigger iPad Pro, the new 9.7-inch device has four speakers that deliver two times more powerful audio volume compared to the iPad Air 2.

There’s also a smaller Smart Keyboard that attaches to the new iPad Pro via the built-in Smart Connector and—as you heard already—it supports the Apple Pencil, Apple’s optional $99 stylus accessory with palm rejection, pressure, tilt, virtually no lag and other highly advanced features.

Cameras

Like with the new four-inch iPhone SE, Apple has basically brought the camera subsystem on the new iPad Pro on par with the iPhone 6s. Resolution of the front-facing FaceTime camera has been bumped to five megapixels and it now features True Tone Flash, a technology that flashes the display at three times the normal intensity to give your skin in low-light situations natural colors.

New iPad Pro camera

As for the rear iSight camera, the iPad Pro has the same twelve megapixel shooter with Focus Pixels, Live Photos support and other advanced technology as the latest-generation iPhone 6s. Oh, and it captures video in 4K.

New ipad pro pricing

Thus far, Apple has sold more than 200 million 9.7-inch iPads and said there are more than one million apps in the App Store designed specifically for iPads.

Availability

The new iPad Pro is available in Silver, Gold, Space Grey and—a first for the iPad—Rose Gold. The entry-level version with 32 gigabytes of storage is priced at $599, or a cool $200 less than the bigger 12.9-inch iPad Pro model.
The mid-range model with 128 gigabytes of storage is $749, like the entry-level 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

However, now there’s another model with a whopping 256 gigabytes of storage for $899. To better reflect the new models, the existing iPad mini and Air models have been discounted.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 19.01.00

Apple will start taking pre-orders for the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro this Thursday, March 24 ahead of its release the following Friday, March 31.

iOS 9.3 Night Shift mode teaser 001

Apple has just revealed at its ‘Let us loop you in’ media event when customers around the world will be able to download and install iOS 9.3. The third major update to iOS 9.0 since its September 2015 debut, iOS 9.3 will release later today, Apple has said.

The free software update for any iOS 9-compatible iPhone, iPod touch and iPad includes features like Night Shift Mode, which reduces blue light to avoid disrupting your sleep cycles, and the ability to pair multiple watches to a single iPhone.

In iOS 9.3, users can protect their notes with a passcode or Touch ID, enjoy an even more personalized News, take advantage of an enhanced Health app that integrates move, exercise and stand data, along with goals from Apple Watch apps, to mention just a few highlights.

CarPlay in iOS 9.3 includes Apple’s Nearby feature to help you find gas, parking, restaurants, coffee and other points of interest along with a much-enhanced Music app with your personalized New feed and a For You section with songs, artists, and albums handpicked by experts.

iOS 9.3 Classroom app teaser 001

It also provide support for the Wi-Fi Calling feature to Verizon customers, unbricks devices affected by the January 1, 1970 bug, lets you see data usage numbers for Wi-Fi Assist feature, allows  third-party iPad Pro accessories to update their firmwares through the Smart Connector and much more.

Last but not least, iOS 9.3 sports pretty big new features for the classroom such as managed Apple IDs, multi-user support on iPads and more.

Apple Watch Let Us Loop You In Event

Apple took the stage on Monday at the ‘Let us loop you in’ event to discuss some new Apple statistics and services, but it was soon followed by new information regarding the Apple Watch.

Along with a notable price drop, Apple Watch users are getting access to new Apple Watch bands with not only new materials, but even some new colors for existing wrist bands.

A new price point and new customization

Apple is officially dropping the retail price of the Apple Watch. Although there are no new models of the Apple Watch, the current models will now begin at $299 for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport rather than $349. The lower price point puts the Apple Watch Sport in reach of many new potential consumers.

The price drop may hint stalled sales, or the interest in ridding of current supplies to make room for developing a new generation in the future.

Apple also talked about some new wrist bands for the wearable device including:

  • An all-new woven nylon band, which has a durable four-layer construction
  • A new Space Black stainless steel Milanese Loop band to match the black stainless steel Apple Watch
  • New colors for the popular and affordable Sport band

Apple Watch woven nylon band

The new woven nylon band is made with a rigid material that is known for its durability in the workplace, and has a metal buckle with adjustment slots to change the tightness on your wrist. The band comes in various color options as well, giving users an array of customization options to choose from. Pictured is a variance of Aqua and Yellow, although a full list of colors has not yet been revealed.

The Black Stainless Steel Milanese Loop is finally giving those who want a darker Milanese Loop a product that they can buy and be proud to wear. Until today, users of the Apple Watch had nowhere to go for colored stainless steel bands except for third-party stores like Amazon.

The Sport band is getting an array of new colors. Although the material will stay the same, as will the price point, a Yellow band is among one of the numerous new colors to pick from. We’ll have more on the full list of colors shortly.

Apple’s Sport bands start at $49 and will begin delivering from online orders March 23rd

tv apple

Apple has said at today’s ‘Let us loop you in’ media event that the tvOS 9.2 software update for the fourth-generation Apple TV will launch for public consumption later today.

tvOS 9.2 is the most significant software update for Apple’s new set-top box since its release in October 2015, bringing many features missing from the original release to the table.

tvOS 9.2 enables such new features as support for wireless keyboards, dictation, Siri support for App Store searches, app folders on the Home screen, a revamped app switcher, Siri Remote improvements, support for Live Photos and iCloud Photo Library, as well as a bunch of refinements that improve the experience.

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Apple unveils the 4-inch iPhone SE!

iPhone SE

At today’s invite-only media event at the Town Hall on its Cupertino, California headquarters, Apple has officially unveiled its latest four-inch smartphone, the iPhone SE. With one-third of iPhone buyers still preferring four inch phones and two and a half years having passed since the introduction of the iPhone 5s, its last four-inch phone and the world’s first smartphone with a 64-bit processor, the iPhone SE picks up right where its predecessor left off.Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 18.33.03

The rumors were true: the iPhone SE takes Apple’s latest and greatest technology like a third-generation 64-bit A9 processor with an embedded M9 motion coprocessor, upgraded cameras, faster wireless, NFC for Apple Pay and more (but without 3D Touch), and packs it inside a four-inch form factor.

The iPhone SE has has a twelve-megapixel camera on the back, just like the iPhone 6S. The front-facing camera has gained Retina Flash function from the iPhone 6s, which flashes the display three times the normal to illuminate your face as you take selfies.

iPhone SE specs

The iSight camera includes the latest features like Focus Pixels and True Tone Flash, while the A9 chip’s image single processor allows for panoramas up to 63 megapixels, improvements to video, Slo-Mo and other features.

LTE speeds on the iPhone SE are fifty percent faster than the iPhone 5s and there’s three times faster 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Screen Shot 2016-03-21 at 18.37.40

And because it has the power-efficient M9 motion coprocessor that can monitor mic input, the iPhone SE include a tetherless ‘Hey Siri’ function. And last but not least, the iPhone SE has Apple’s latest-generation Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

By the way, Apple sold over thirty million four-inch iPhones in 2015 and for a lot of customers it’s their first iPhone, said Apple’s SVP of iPhone marketing, Greg Joswiak.

iPhone SE Price

Apple unveils smaller iPad Pro, new Watch Bands, iOS 9.3 and TvOS updates arriving Today!

Availability

It starts at only $399 for a contract-free version, making it the most affordable iPhone. There’s also a higher-priced $499 iPhone SE with 64 gigabytes of storage

Apple will begin taking pre-orders for the iPhone SE this Thursday, March 24 ahead of its release the following Friday, March 31. The new phone will be in about 110 countries by the end of May, said Apple.

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