MacBook 2017 launch date, news and features

Apple has finally revised its 12-inch MacBook for 2017. Revealed only at that 12 months’s WWDC 2017 keynote, the brand new MacBook gains much of equivalent class – or at the least the existing generation – of hardware discovered in the new MacBook Pro 2017 models.

Specifically, the brand new 12-inch MacBook houses the most recent Intel Kaby Lake processors and 50per cent faster SSDs in.

Getting right into it, listed here is everything you need to know regarding the newly-debuted 12-inch MacBook for 2017.

Cut to your chase

  • The facts? The new 12-inch MacBook refresh
  • When can it be away? Brand new models start shipping today
  • Exactly what will it price? Starting at $1,299, exactly like before

MacBook 2017 launch date

On the basis of the foremost rumor about the extremely presence of these an Apple laptop computer, Bloomberg anticipated to see the 2017 MacBook during Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote on June 5.

Making good on those reports, Apple revealed this new 12-inch MacBook at that very event, with units starting to deliver today, with apparently no pre-order required. We will upgrade this space with an increase of information the moment it comes in.

Developing…

MacBook 2017 cost

Nothing changed about the MacBook cost for 2017, regardless of the internal hardware upgrades. (honestly, because it must be.)

So, the 12-inch MacBook will start during the exact same price as before: $1,299 in the US. We are going to update this area with increased information since it is available in.

Developing…

MacBook 2017 specifications

Not much concrete details about the 12-inch MacBook internals happens to be revealed on-stage at WWDC. However, we do have some really small details to ride on.

Naturally, the new 12-inch MacBook for 2017 will rock Intel’s latest Kaby Lake, 7th generation processors including solid-state drives being 50per cent faster. 

Now, if you do not wish to invest a king’s ransom for a super slim and light MacBook laptop, Apple’s also providing the MacBook Air “an update in megahertz,” according to the company.

We will upgrade this room with additional particular information the moment it comes in.

Developing…

iPad Pro 2 launch date, news and features

Update: Read our hands on: iPad professional 2 10.5 review now to learn that which we think of Apple’s brand new tablet

Apple has launched the latest iPad Pro 2 pills at WWDC 2017, in which it revealed two slates.

Say hello on new 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 and 12.9-inch iPad professional 2.

Small model happens to be provided a display size boost over its 9.7-inch predecessor, and both pills gain a brand new A10X chipset, the cameras through the iPhone 7, larger storage space options and brand new display technology.

Cut towards chase

  • What is it? The latest high-end tablets from Apple
  • Whenever could it be away? Now!
  • Exactly what does it price? 10.5-inch begins at $649, 12.9-inch starts at $799

iPad professional 2 price

  • 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2
    64GB: $649, 256GB: $749, 512GB: $949
  • 12.9-inch iPad Pro 2
    64GB: $799, 256GB: $899, 512GB: $1,099

10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 price

Unsurprisingly the bigger screened, more storage-filled iPad Pro 10.5-inch is more expensive compared to 9.7-inch slate it is replacing.

The 64GB model will be $649 (£619, AU$979), the 256GB version is $749 (£709, AU$1,129) and finally the 512GB iPad Pro 2 having a 10.5-inch screen is $949 (£899, AU$1,429).

12.9-inch iPad professional 2 price

Apple has made the new 12.9-inch iPad professional 2 less expensive than its predecessor. The basic device boasts 64GB of storage plus $799 (£769, $AU1,199) price – that is the identical to the entry level initial, but the brand new variation now was double the storage.

Apple has ditched the 128GB mid-storage size and replaced it with 256GB at $899 (£859, AU$1,349) while at the very top end you’ll get 512GB for $1,099 (£1,039, AU$1,649).

iPad Pro 2 release date

This new iPad professional 2 release date is today, June 5! Right now the Apple store is down, however it is likely to be back online after the WWDC 2017 keynote wraps up, which means you will be able to purchase the tablet next few hours.

iPad Pro 2 display

Just as in the initial iPad professional duo, there are two main new iPad Pro 2 pills, utilizing the smaller slate finding a display screen boost from 9.7 inches to 10.5 inches.

Apple’s reasoning the increased size of this smaller iPad Pro 2 revolves around the keyboard. The 10.5-inch display the perfect size for complete size on-screen keyboard, and for full size keyboard instance.

The quality the 10.5-inch iPad professional is 2224 x 1668, making a pixel density of 264ppi.

At the same time the bigger tablet remains at 12.9 ins, for anyone seeking more real-estate, with similar 2732 x 2048 quality at 264 pixels per inch (ppi).

There has been improvements apart from the size though, with brighter, more colorful screens and HDR (High Dynamic Range) help which will make videos with the help look even better.

Both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offer HDR content, so that youwill want to test it out if you opt for a brand new iPad Pro 2.

iPad professional 2 design

How big the 10.5-inch iPad Pro 2 continues to be compact, with Apple reducing the bezels around the display screen by 40percent, and the fat continues to be just 1 lb.

It measures 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm and weighs 469g (1.03 pounds), which makes it slightly taller and wider compared to the 9.7-inch iPad Pro (240 x 169.5mm).

Its larger sibling will come in at 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9mm. That’s the exact same size as the predecessor, but Apple’s find a way to make the new iPad Pro 2 12.9-inch lighter at 677g (1.49 pounds) versus 713g (1.57 pounds).

In the event that you opt for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model you will end up evaluating 477g (1.05 pounds) and 692g (1.53 pounds) respectively.

The 10.5-inch model is available in four colors: area Grey, Rose Gold, silver and gold, whilst the larger 12.9-inch iPad professional 2 is available in just three – room Grey, Gold, Silver.

iPad professional 2 power

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Image 2 of 2

The newest iPad Pro 2 tablets function Apple’s amazing A10X fusion chip which manages to pack in a six-core CPU and twelve-core GPU.

Thus giving it 30percent quicker Central Processing Unit performance and 40 % images performance within the A9X chip based in the original iPad advantages.

There is currently no term regarding amount of RAM within the new professional slates, but it’s most likely they are going to pack 4GB as that is the amount Apple squeezed into its 12.9-inch iPad professional original.

iPad professional 2 storage

Both sizes begin with 64GB of memory, and therefore are additionally available in 256GB and 512GB configurations.

iPad professional 2 camera

Apple has included exactly the same digital camera setup in its new iPad professional pills as you’ll get in the iPhone 7.

That means round the straight back you’ll find a 12MP snapper with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), a TrueTone flash, f/1.8 aperture and 4K video capture.

At the same time, regarding the front you will get a 7MP FaceTime HD digital camera.

iPad Pro 2 more features

Fast recharging battery, and new covers and situations plus leather-based sleeve for Apple Pencil.

Developing…

MacBook professional 2017 release date, news and features

It is finally right here, Apple’s latest version of the MacBook professional. Revealed only at that 12 months’s WWDC 2017 keynote, this new MacBook Pro models make an effort to deal with the mixed a reaction to the models launched late this past year.

The new MacBook professional models use new equipment, particularly the latest Intel Kaby Lake processors. 50percent faster SSDs and stronger native pictures inside.

Getting right into it, here is everything you need to know regarding the newly-debuted 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook professional for 2017.

Cut towards chase

  • What is it? The new MacBook Pro’s successor
  • Whenever is it down? All models start shipping today
  • Exactly what will it cost? 13-inch beginning at $1,299; 15-inch beginning at $2,399

MacBook Pro 2017 release date

A written report out of Bloomberg final thirty days quoted sources “familiar because of the matter” stating that Apple plans to debut three various MacBooks during its internationally Developers Conference (WWDC) keynote held on June 5, 2017.

Now, we all know for certain your new MacBook professional models are shipping today, no pre-order required.

After you have pre-ordered, you can expect to get your shiny brand new MacBook professional likely within two weeks. We will update this room if we discover more.

Developing… 

MacBook Professional 2017 price

Into the lead up to their reveal, we said it will be safe to expect the following type of MacBook professional models to start out at $1,499, £1,449 or AU$2,199 – you start with the lowest-power, non-Touch 13-inch model – and top away around $2,799, £2.699 or AU$4,249 for the highest-end, 15-inch model with Touch Bar.

Given that the statement has come and gone, we have now realize that the new 13-inch MacBook professional will, shockingly, begin at $1,299 without Touch Bar, whilst the 15-inch version begins at $2,399 – nevertheless utilizing the Touch Bar.

Knowing that, cent pinchers would be wise to look after remaining 2016 MacBook professional stock to view a price lowering of quick purchase. Provided Apple’s 15.4per cent escalation in overall notebook product sales in Q1 2017, an amount fall on old models would have been a smart (and anticipated) move for Apple.

(Image: © iFixit)

MacBook Professional 2017 specifications

Possibly the biggest point of conversation regarding the new MacBook Professional ended up being just what Apple would place inside. It had been one of the most divisive points surrounding the last selection of MacBook professional models.

The present type of MacBook Pro’s happens to be criticized for its low RAM, or memory, threshold of 16GB along with its usage of “dated” 6th generation (Skylake) Intel Core i-series processors. 

Obviously, the newest MacBook professional will contain the latest, 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core i-series potato chips in addition to room for 32GB of RAM.

Also, Apple teased your 15-inch options will house stronger discrete illustrations, though the company wasn’t certain on-stage. We will upgrade this area if we learn more.

Developing…

  • They’re the best laptop computers that the new MacBook Pro is against

Apple CarPlay: everything you need to know about iOS within the car

Update: It Is WWDC 2017 day! Apple is presenting a brand new feature in iOS 11 to help keep your eyes on the highway: this new cannot Disturb While Driving mode will keep you against getting notifications while you are when driving. 

Utilizing Bluetooth or Doppler, your phone will understand if you should be inside car and activate Do Not Disturb While Driving. The “new graphical user interface” while your driving will be a black screen – distraction free!

If you make an effort to turn your phone on, you’ll receive a reminder that you are, you know, running a going automobile. Your phone can deliver automated replies to individuals messaging you you are driving, though you could possibly get urgent communications from choose individuals. 

Naturally, if you’re in a vehicle however in the passenger seat or right back, you’ll deactivate cannot Disturb While Driving, too.

Initial tale below…

Apple touts over 100 vehicle models can be obtained with its smartphone casting technology, CarPlay. Meaning, it’s likely that the next brand new vehicle you purchase or rent will help your iPhone in a large method.

You are most likely curious about just what CarPlay is precisely and exactly how it really works, but it’s important to know why it had been developed to start with.

Automobiles just take much longer to develop than personal technology products. Once you can aquire certain automobile, the infotainment system has already been severely outdated. Unlike smartphones, which have quick product cycles of a couple of years for the most part, a motor vehicle product cycle is typically much longer.

The typical automobile cycle is really a mid-cycle refresh every 2-3 years and a brand-new model every 4-6 years, for main-stream automobiles. Luxury cars are powered by a lengthier product cycle that will span as much as a decade, albeit with major updates introduced halfway through.

The space has narrowed dramatically throughout the last 5 years, but automakers nevertheless cannot upgrade maps, pc software and app support since quickly as Apple and Google can. CarPlay is Apple’s way to this lapse within the car and smartphone development cycles.

What exactly is CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay provides automakers the ability to swap out the complicated and frequently clunky infotainment systems for display that interfaces aided by the iPhone that couple of can live without.

CarPlay is not an in-car system that operates iOS or iOS apps. It is a connectivity solution that casts a familiar iOS user interface to your car’s infotainment system display, allowing you to control select apps and your device either with said infotainment display screen or your vocals.

Hyundai Elantra

The 2017 Hyundai Elantra supports CarPlay for less than $20,000

Once you plug an iPhone into the car via a Lightning cable, it instantly casts an individual software you understand and love in the in-car display screen. After that you can use some functionality of your iPhone without having to fumble around along with it and simply take your eyes from the road. It is safer, easier and much more convenient – or that is the concept, anyway.

Which automobiles help Apple CarPlay?

A complete of 40 automakers are available over 100 models with CarPlay connectivity. For example, you’ll nearly all brand-new, 2016 model 12 months Cadillac, Chevy, GMC have actually CarPlay support today.

Audi and Honda are rolling out vehicles with CarPlay with each new car introduction or mid-cycle refresh. Some Hyundai and Kia models have actually hardware prepared for CarPlay, but require a computer software update that’ll release later.

Ford guarantees SYNC 3 gets CarPlay help starting with 2017 model year vehicles, while existing 2016 cars gets it later on this present year.

GMC Sierra Denali

Mercedes-Benz started rolling away help on a number of the newer models, but not the complete lineup yet. Many Volkswagen’s automobile lineup, with the exception of the Toureg and Eos, support CarPlay.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles pledged help for Android os Auto because of the next major release of Uconnect, but has yet to confirm just what cars are receiving it.

Apple CarPlay aftermarket solutions?

Simply purchased a automobile or otherwise not in a rush to restore yours? Fret maybe not. Apple CarPlay aftermarket solutions can be found from businesses like Alpine, JBL, JVC, Kenwood and Pioneer to introduce that CD player into 2016.

JBL Legend CP100

The JBL Legend CP100 is the most affordable way to include CarPlay to your vehicle, by having an MSRP of $399 (about £358, AU$556). Alpine, JVC, Kenwood and Pioneer give you a variety of CarPlay compatible products with additional audio production choices, back seat entertainment support and also integral navigation abilities, but prepare to pay far more cash for extra features.

Is my iPhone suitable for CarPlay?

Apple CarPlay requires a specific amount of oomph and a Lightning connector, so older iPhones with a 30-pin dock connection are merely not capable of operating it.

Just iPhone 5 and newer products can run CarPlay, including the latest iPhone SE, iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. If you’re hoping to keep an iPad always plugged set for CarPlay functions, it won’t work, unfortuitously.

On June 13, 2016, during Apple’s internationally Developer Conference, it announced that CarPlay is enhanced by Siri’s newfound integration with third-party apps. Inside car, this will permit you to trigger Siri and ask it to utilize apps that aren’t produced by Apple. Case in point: you can trigger Siri using your tyre and have it to call your dad utilizing Skype, which Skype call will be piped through your car’s audio system.

What does CarPlay look like?

The notion of CarPlay can it be lets you have the familiar iOS user interface regarding infotainment display, and control it using all available in-car controls. So includes playing your music, navigating to your location, using calls, including reading and sending text messages.

Volvo XC90 Apple CarPlay

From the beginning, you can actually make use of your iPhone’s phone and messaging functionality, play your iTunes music, listen to podcasts and navigate using Apple Maps. 3rd party apps are available through CarPlay, too, like Pandora, NPR and iHeartRadio, to call a couple of.

James Rivington and Matt Swider also contributed to this report

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Apple WWDC 2017 HomePod, iPad Pro 2, iOS 11 launch as it happened

TechRadar is in San Jose prepared for today’s WWDC keynote, in which we expect to learn about iOS 11, macOS as well as perhaps brand new equipment like the long-awaited Siri speaker.

Listed here is where we are going to keep you updated with every thing taking place at WWDC 2017 when it occurs.

Tim Cook frequently wakes up early for these events, therefore we’ll be letting you know just what he tweets and when. The specific event starts at 10:00 PDT, 13:00 EDT and 18:00 BST.

WWDC 2017 live weblog

All times are PDT (Pacific Daylight Time). WWDC 2017 begins at 10.00 PDT.

Don’t neglect to frequently recharge this site!

12.24 – Will we get yourself a music performance before we must elope to try and take pictures of brand new iPads and HomePod?

We’re done – it is hands on time. See you soon, and many thanks for stopping by. Forward smoothies and tweet me personally on @superbeav should you want to ask any such thing from today!

12.23 – Tim has returned, in which he’s rounding things up. PLEASE declare THAT IS OVER I WILL BE SO therefore therefore TIRED.

12.20 – TechRadar’s deputy editor claims ‘This seems extremely closed’. It certainly does, but will likely expand away later.

But will that be too late for Apple?

The purchase price is interesting: it will be $349, which can be fairly good if the speaker is really something you’d want to play music.

It will ship in December, in america, British and Australia and can come in white and area gray.

12.18 – it is also a property associate, demonstrably. However it can let you know about news, communications, reminders, interpretation, weather, traffic, recreations, smart house control and Podcasts.

It’s this that Apple said could be the most significant things first – wonder if it is instead particular, or more than enough?

BUT MANAGES TO DO IT PURCHASE PIZZA Y/N?

12.16 – You can link two of those together, and there’s a ‘musicologist’ – which basically means connected to Apple Music. It can grab the songs through the solution and knows your playlists etc.

However, manages to do it assist alternative party solutions?

‘Hey Siri’ will stimulate the six microphones, and there will be a blue and purple light on top that may flicker because it listens for you.

Siri was enhanced to learn more in what people will ask music – asking whom plays drums or just to play more music of the certain design. 

This so isn’t planning to assist Spotify, the way Phil is referring to it.

12.14 – The HomePod could have a check sonically of in which it is, and adjusting the sound to fill the room.

It uses beam developing to detect the vocals and energy them in a particular way. And it can then enhance the strength of stated sound directly.

And then it adds in ‘ambient audio’ – reverb and the like – and it will direct that in a different way to mix everything together.

It’s this that Apple’s saying however. We must hear it ourselves to check on it out. But it looks impressive.

12.13 – This thing is likely to be noisy. You will find seven tweeters with beam formers, with a massive four-inch woofer. This thing will probably be costly, I reckon.

And it’s really controlled by the Apple A8 chip – the ‘biggest mind ever in a presenter’. That’s not too bad as it’s less than two years old.

It may model the sound, beam kind and fundamentally chuck down sound nicely.

12.12 – It’s going to be called HomePod. Many people were not pleasant about this name around me personally. I simply remember how I laughed at iPad and today say all of it the time.

12.11 – It’s going to be loud, spatially mindful to learn the area it is playing in, and workout just what music it should play.

We will obtain a sneak peek as it arrives later on within the 12 months.

It appears like a Mac professional and a microphone possessed a child. 

12.10 – Some businesses are making music more wireless, and some have made speakers it is possible to speak to.

Apple is combining them on a ‘breakthrough’ home speaker. Been on it for some years apparently.

12.09 – we should ‘reinvent home music’ states Tim. Phil has returned on phase to speak about it.

12.08 – We’re speaking music. Hey, it takes a speaker right? There are 40 million songs to play right?

In the event that you add in Airpods it brings a ‘magical’ experience to cordless sound. Think about the house though?

12.06 – Tim is back on stage. Undoubtedly the Siri speaker?

‘offering One…. very last thing to speak with you about!’

Oh Tim, you card.

Amazon Echo vs Apple HomePod vs Google Residence: the battle of this smart speakers

Apple has unveiled this new Apple HomePod, its play to the smart presenter space that’s coming later on this present year for $349 (about £270 or AU$460). That is a reasonable bit more costly than the two leading speakers, the Amazon Echo and Bing Residence but, according to Apple, it features a few tricks your other two cannot match.

So which of those three speakers deserve an area on your mantle? We will break it down feature-by-feature in a second, but first let’s review what smart speakers are and why the 3 biggest technology organizations worldwide are making them.

Smart speakers are, by their definition, a Wi-Fi presenter taken fully to the extreme. Not only will they stream music directly from your own phone or tablet, but they can grab streams of on line music from popular services like Bing Enjoy Music and Amazon Prime musical. They’ve additionally got a good assistant integral. 

Building Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant into the home speaker makes countless sense. Even though it’s usually embarrassing to start out conversing with your phone in public places, equivalent social pressures never exist in the house where you can be as weird while you like with your robot pal. 

Google established it self with sound automation on phones, but it was Amazon who was the first ever to develop a sound assistant into a fixed home speaker. Bing adopted up with Bing Home, a smart speaker that used the company’s very own Bing Assistant voice technology. Now, couple of years after the Echo’s launch, Apple has entered the fray aided by the Apple HomePod, an internet connected presenter that establishes Apple’s Siri sound assistant in your house.  

Amazon has an very early lead, but don’y underestimate Google or Apple, that have been steadily developing their sound assistants on mobile consistently now.

So what type should you buy? some tips about what we think about them up to now.

Hardware

Aesthetically talking, the Google Home and Apple HomePod are very, very similar. They’re both atmosphere freshener-shaped smart speakers that are bulbous and fairly unobtrusive. The Amazon Echo is just a bit taller compared to other two, and is itself a simple black cylinder with blue LEDs over the top rim. 

Associated with three, however, the Home provides the many mutability, supplying a great number of colored bases to let you customise the appearance of your presenter. 

While it can not be customised, the Echo  comes with a remote in the US, that is interesting considering that most of the basic functionality are accessed by uttering some terms. Still, if you ever find yourself out of Alexa’s earshot, having a remote having built-in microphone will show handy.

The Apple HomePod, from that which we know, would be the middle-child when it comes to design. It’s going to stand at 7 inches high – which makes it taller versus Home and faster compared to the Echo – but have bit larger circumference than either. 

So what type, you know, actually appears better? Well, through the equipment specs alone, it appears like Apple’s HomePod would be the genuine champion. It features a 7-beam forming tweeter array plus hefty subwoofer on its underside. That is set alongside the integral 2.0 inch tweeter and integrated 2.5 inch woofer on Amazon Echo, together with 2 inch motorist and dual 2 inch passive radiators regarding Google Residence. 

Regarding hardware, Apple might win away over the other two but we will only have to hold back until we hear it for ourselves later in 2010. For the present time, we’d need to provide the equipment top towards Residence because of its flexibility and sleekness.  

Price

The Echo isn’t that which you’d explain as inexpensive. The Echo Dot, the cheapest device to integrate Alexa, costs $50/£40. The Typical Echo unit costs $180/£149. 

Meanwhile Google Home happens to be coming in at $129 (£129 / AU$170), which notably undercuts its rival’s premium offering, although Bing doesn’t currently provide a budget form of its smart speaker.

Features

Regarding features, Bing and Apple hav the possible to blow Amazon from the water because of the massive library of current services this has at its disposal, but Google is not capitalising on these nearly up to you want at this time. 

Music and Video playback

Amazon might have Prime Music, but Bing not just features its own rival solution, Bing Play Music, but additionally offers integration utilizing the Bing Cast ecosystem. Both products offer the third-party solution Spotify. 

Furthermore, if you a Chromecast audio then you can certainly merely ask Google Residence to play music through speakers it is linked to. Meanwhile the Echo is bound to playing music alone presenter, and Echo Dot can simply be connected up to a solitary presenter at the same time through either Bluetooth or perhaps a wired 3.5mm connection. 

The theory is that this would provide the Bing Residence the side, in training its Google Cast functionality could possibly be better. When you’ve first got it casting up to a presenter it won’t understand that here is the case and it surely will default to playing music out of its very own presenter until you particularly tell it to carry on to throw the following song. 

At the same time the Echo Dot continues to play from an external speaker until you manually disconnect it. 

Google Residence does but have the main advantage of integrating with Chromecast in a video clip sense. It is simple to play shows from Netflix, YouTube along with other supported apps utilizing just your vocals, nonetheless once more in practice this might be better since you’re struggling to specify specific episodes and it will default to picking right on up where you left off. Not bad when you’re marathoning a series, but significantly less than ideal if you’re just dipping in. 

Efficiency

Bing Home integrates by having a quantity of Bing’s other solutions, from preparing channels making use of Google Maps to translating utilizing Google Translate. It will draw from your Google Calendar, though it’s currently limited by just a single user. 

However again, while there’s potential right here, Bing Home does not make nearly sufficient utilization of this functionality. You may get fundamental directions by vehicle on Bing maps, nonetheless it can’t manage general public transport and even though you’ll have it read your calendar it won’t have the ability to enhance it.

At the same time, Amazon has an ever-growing a number of compatible apps including Domino’s Pizza, simply Eat in the united kingdom and Uber, allowing you to either get pizza delivered or request a trip up to the shop to choose it up yourself. Help is good, however these apps feel like they add fun side-functionality instead of core productivity solutions. 

Although Bing Residence has more possible in this area, at the moment both smart speakers are far more or less equal. 

Smart Home

On a more practical note, Amazon has taken an interest in smart home device manufacturers too, creating partnerships with Samsung to integrate SmartThings get a handle on into the Echo, with Philips’s Hue illumination system.

Though it is not like Bing, owner of Nest, is harming in the house automation department. Bing Nest, for obvious reasons, is also integrated into Home’s functionality.

Products particularly Philips Hue can be controllable by both smart speakers, in which there’s no clear champion regarding smart house functionality. 

Google Home vs Amazon Echo

Multiple Users

Both smart speakers support numerous users, that is important if you don’t wish to be subjected to your partner’s calendar once you pose a question to your speaker everything you’re as much as today. 

However, what sort of two speakers handle multiple accounts is slightly various. 

With all the Amazon Echo you will need to by hand switch between user reports by saying “Alexa, switch accounts”, or “Alexa, change to Jon’s profile.”

Bing Residence is slightly more clever, and certainly will recognise various users by the noise of the sound alone. You’ll need to train the presenter to recognise each person’s voice by saying “OK Bing” and “Hey Google” several times, but after that point you shouldn’t have to worry about inadvertently getting traffic information for another person within home. 

Intelligence

When it first established, Alexa’s functionality had been fairly fundamental and restricted to more mundane conversations like asking in regards to the weather and/or time. As Amazon proceeded to develop the program, however, Alexa gained the ability to discuss calendars, activities and what we should have for dinner.

We’re not exactly living in a celebrity Trek-esque future, where the unit will understand your every demand, but Alexa is advanced level sufficient to comprehend multiple phrasings of the same question, including.

Amazon features a strong background the past 2 yrs, yes, but it is going up against Bing, a company that’s had a strong history in information parsing for the last 2 full decades.

Although Bing Assistant, the application powering Bing Residence, is new, the technology is based on the job Google has placed into its Bing Now sound search functionality.

This previous research, as well as Bing’s impressive search abilities, means the presenter features a lot of information at its disposal. Google Residence can, like, precisely imagine a song that’s described inside vaguest of terms. 

Echo can play songs by track lyric, that is handy in the event that you forget quite just what the name associated with the track is.

Both speakers are really a work in progress within respect, with incremental updates being released constantly, but we are going to say that Amazon’s appears better at hearing your commands to begin with. 

Verdict

Amazon’s Echo functionality is proven, and has been refined over the course of its very first 12 months of release. It is for a successful trajectory that, if it should continue, is likely to make the Amazon Echo a mainstream commodity in the next couple of years.

Meanwhile, Google’s current solutions already greatly integrate a variety of external apps and functionality, but although the search giant is planning on making complete utilization of its existing solutions, including Google Translate, Bing Maps and YouTube, this integration is not perfect yet. 

We are very excited for the future of both items, clearly, and can continually update this hub once the two items grow, shift, and evolve within the coming months. 

Apple HomePod release date, news and features

Unveiled at WWDC 2017, the Apple HomePod is Apple's answer to Amazon Echo and Google Home, equipped with the existing Siri voice assistant that we're familiar with from its inclusion on the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and Mac devices. 

After first appearing on phones, voice assistants entered the home in a big way with the Amazon Echo, a speaker that was equipped with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. 

While Apple has had a voice assistant, Siri, on its phones for some time now, it has so far been left behind when it comes to smart speakers. Competitor Google brought its own voice assistant to dedicated hardware with the Google Home speaker last year. That all changes with the introduction of the HomePod.

Rumors have been circulating for a while now that both Microsoft and Apple are planning on bringing their voice assistants, Cortana and Siri respectively, to the home in the form of smart speakers, and at WWDC 2017 Apple finally announced its version. 

We first heard reports of Apple employees testing the 'Apple Speaker' in their own homes in September 2016, and another round of rumors suggested home testing was still ongoing. More recently we heard rumors that the speaker was actually entering production. And now it's all confirmed.

So, read on for all the information we have so far about Apple’s HomePod. 

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? A smart speaker equipped with Apple’s Siri voice assistant
  • When is it out? December 2017 in the US, UK and Australia
  • What will it cost? The speaker will cost $349

Apple Siri Speaker release date

The Apple HomePod will be released in December 2017 at a price of $349. 

It will be available in both white and space gray. 

Apple Siri Speaker features

The HomePod is equipped with 7 tweeters on its base, along with a 4-inch upward-facing woofer. You can also pair two of the speakers together for a stereo configuration – but no specific mention yet of the ability to use the speakers in a 5.1 home cinema configuration, as is possible with rival Sonos gear.

The speaker itself is around 7-inches tall, and Apple has promised that setup will be as easy as it was with the W1 chip-equipped Apple AirPods. You'll need an iPhone 5s or later running iOS 11 if you want it to be compatible with the speaker. 

Apple has confirmed that the new speaker will be spatially aware, so it should know how to optimise its sound to suit your home. It can detect the space that it's in, directing channels as appropriate depending on its location.

Hopefully this should mean its sound won't boom too much if its left in a corner, but we'll have to see how it performs in the real world before we can say for sure. 

The speaker is equipped with 6 microphones that it will use to listen for voice commands. You can not only use it to control music, but you can also ask it questions about the music that's currently playing, such as for the name's of participating band members. "Who is the drummer in this?" was one specific (and cool) query Apple highlighted at the speaker's reveal.

You can tell the speaker when you like songs in order for Apple Music to recommend more that's similar to the tunes that's currently being played. 

Apple boasts that the microphone array is intelligent enough to cancel out background noise so that the speaker can hear you over the sound of its own music. This is helped by its included A8 chip, which Apple claims is the most powerful processor to ever be found in a speaker. 

The A8 chip first appeared in the iPhone 6 back in 2014, so it's not the newest chip Apple has to offer – but that's still incredibly powerful for a speaker. 

The  HomePod is also compatible with a number of non-music features, such as reminders, giving weather information, and controlling HomeKit supported smart home devices. 

Interestingly Apple has also said that the HomePod is "a great way to send messages", suggesting that it will include iMessage integration. 

However, Siri has some significant problems compared to competing voice services, and we'll have to see whether the HomePod is able to address these issues. 

For example, at the moment Siri heavily prioritises Apple’s own apps rather than allowing you to use alternatives. Ask Siri to play some music, and it will only be able to play songs that are located in your Apple Music app. Apple has explicitly said that HomePod is designed to work with an Apple Music subscription. 

This is in contrast to both Alexa and Google Assistant, which both allow you to use a music app of your choice, rather than restricting you to Amazon Prime Music and Google Play music respectively. 

Amazon has been especially open with allowing developers to integrate their services into its smart speakers. It allows the creation of ‘Skills’ which essentially act as apps for the smart speaker, and so far there have been over 10,000 of them created for the speaker

On a basic intelligence level, Siri also has a number of problems. Ask it when the Mona Lisa was painted (the year 1503, art buffs), and the voice assistant will happily tell you that ‘the answer is one thousand, five hundred and three,’ rather than being intelligent enough to realise that the year should be read aloud as ‘fifteen oh-three’. 

Of course there’s always the chance that Apple will put significant effort into improving Siri before the HomePod is released in December. Google did a similar thing when it overhauled Google Now, creating Google Assistant, in the months before the Google Home was released.

Disappointingly, recent comments by Apple VP Phil Schiller which suggested that Apple was thinking along the lines of a Siri speaker with an integrated screen – turned out to be false. 

A new challenger has entered the arena

Smart speakers are one of the most unexpected and cool technologies to have come out over the past couple of years, and interesting to see each of the technology giants repurposing their existing voice assistants to work in a home context. 

Apple isn't the only one with such a device on the horizon. Harmon Kardon is readying a home speaker equipped with Microsoft's Cortana voice assistant, and between that and Google's existing smart speaker efforts, the market is set to get crowded very quickly. 

Apple has a real chance of standing out when it comes to its home automation efforts thanks to HomeKit, but it's not as strong when it comes to integrating with non-Apple services such as Spotify. 

Hopefully the HomePod's audio technology will allow it to stand out against the competition. 

WWDC 2017: all the announcements from Apple’s big developer conference

Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) 2017 has begun, starting with a keynote packed full of major announcements. 

That includes iOS 11, as expected, but we've also heard about other software – such as watchOS 4 – and even some hardware.

We're not just talking new Macs, we've also had the iPad Pro 2 and even the HomePod (aka the Siri Speaker). We'll be updating this article with every announcement from WWDC 2017, so read on for what's been announced so far and keep checking back here for all the latest news.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Apple's software-focused conference
  • When is it? June 5 – June 9 2017

HomePod

Apple's long-rumored Siri speaker is here, and it's called HomePod. Siri is built in, so you can speak to it, ask it questions and generally use it as a voice assistant, just like Amazon Echo and Google Home.

And like those devices it's also good for music. HomePod has seven tweeters with beam formers and a four-inch subwoofer, so it should be loud, especially as you can link two of them together.

It's also spatially aware, so it can adapt the sound to the space it's in, and it's powered by an A8 chip, which is apparently the "biggest brain ever in a speaker."

You can't get HomePod yet though, as it's not shipping until December.

iPad Pro 2

We weren't sure it was going to happen, but Apple's announced the iPad Pro 2, and, along with a 12.9-inch model, it's in a new size – 10.5 inches.

That's 20% larger than a 9.7-inch display, but the borders have been reduced by almost 40% and it weighs just 1lb.

That 10.5-inch screen size allows it to display a full size onscreen keyboard and connect to a full size smart keyboard. It's also a True Tone screen, it's bright, it has ultra-low reflectivity, and for the first time on an iPad it supports HDR video.

The new iPad Pro 2 also has a 120Hz display refresh rate for smoother, more responsive content. And that helps the Apple Pencil too, which is now more responsive as well.

It sports a six-core A10X Fusion chip, with a 30% CPU performance improvement and a 40% graphics improvement over the A9X. The iPad Pro 2 also has the same camera setup as the iPhone 7, with a 12MP one on the back and 7MP on the front.

And the interface is improving, with productivity in mind. Notes has a built-in document scanner now for example, and by tapping on the lockscreen with the Apple Pencil you can head straight into the Notes app.

Apple promises 10 hours of battery life and both models are available to order from today, with 64GB now the smallest size.

iOS 11

We knew this was coming, but it still impresses, as iOS 11 is packed full of new features and changes.

Siri, of course, has been improved, and now sports a less robotic voice. The visual menus you get when you ask a question are now more detailed too, and Siri can speak in another language for you, if there's a language barrier with the person you're speaking to.

Siri is also learning to predict what you might want to do next and offering suggestions. And you'll be able to use Siri to control music in your home using AirPlay 2, which will also let you synchronize playback across multiple speakers in your home.

Apple Pay is also getting better, with the addition of person-to-person payments, and the ability to send money through iMessage.

Speaking of iMessage, all your iMessages will now be stored in the cloud, and stickers are getting easier to use.

Your photos and videos will also now take up less space, a long exposure mode is being added to the iOS 11 camera app, and Live Photos can be slowed down and trimmed.

Control Center is getting a redesign too, so that it's now all on one screen, and you can swipe up on the lockscreen to hide all of your notifications.

Apple Maps is also getting better, with lane guidance and speed limits shown when you're on the road, and indoor maps of malls being added, so you'll never get lost inside again.

And Apple Music is improving, as you'll now be able to see what your friends are listening to.

Perhaps the most noticeable change though is to the App Store, which is getting a complete redesign.

watchOS 4

Apple's shed some light on watchOS 4, revealing that it's adding several new watch faces, the highlight of which is the Siri face.

This automatically displays the information that’s most important to you, so whenever you raise your wrist the face will dynamically update with relevant information. For example, at noon you might get a reminder to make a call, while in the evening you might see the sunset time.

It will also provide traffic information when it knows you need to travel somewhere, and will bring you news headlines throughout the day.

watchOS 4 is also bringing animated Toy Story watch faces and a kaleidoscope face, which has a symmetrical pattern effect that you can activate by spinning the crown.

You'll also see improvements to the activity app, with monthly challenges being added, while the workout app is getting a new high intensity interval training mode.

Other small improvements are coming too, like the ability to switch between which exercise you're tracking with a single swipe, or track the number of lengths you've done in a pool.

And you can more easily control music, with intelligent playlists based on your workout and native Bluetooth support.

macOS 10.13 High Sierra

The new version of macOS has a name and it's….odd. Say hi to macOS 10.13 High Sierra.

There are a number of updates in this new version of macOS. Photos are going to be easier to sort through, as you can now filter them by tag or order. And the photo editor is also being made easier to use.

Spotlight is being integrated into Mail and will take up 35% less space as a result, and the Apple File System is the new default in High Sierra.

Safari's been improved too, and is apparently 80% faster than Chrome, and graphics performance should be better as well, thanks to Metal 2 (a new developer language), which also includes support for VR.

Overall, macOS High Sierra is seemingly more about polish than new features, and it's available from today as a developer beta and will be launching in finished form this fall.

iMac

Apple's updated its iMac line with improvements across the board in a new iMac 21.5-inch and iMac Retina 4K 21.5-inch. We're talking better screens, more RAM, the latest Intel Kaby Lake 7th gen processors, more storage and two USB Type-C ports.

Thanks to Metal 2 they're capable of 90fps VR graphics too.

These are shipping from today, but Apple also announced an iMac Pro that's coming later this year with a 27-inch screen, up to 18 cores in its processor and 16GB of VRAM.

MacBook

Apple's MacBook line is getting refreshed too, but it's only a small update, with the MacBook 2017, MacBook Pro 2017 and MacBook Air 2017 all getting faster chips. 

tvOS

Nothing much new here, but Apple has revealed that it's adding Amazon Prime video to its TV app.

  • We're already counting the days until MWC 2018

Apple AR glasses release date, news and rumors

Updated: Apple officially wants to rule the augmented reality space. At WWDC 2017, it revealed its new ARKit development software for Apple devices. If ever there was fuel to the Apple AR glasses fire, it's this. Read on for all the full details.

You’ve all-but perfected the smartphone with the iPhone, invented a new computing category with the iPad tablet, have embedded a voice assistant into enough gadgets to make Siri a household name, and have somehow encouraged an army of followers to accept the need to buy a junk-shop’s worth of dongles every time you tweak a product line. 

If you’re Apple, king of the tech hill, where do you go next?

The answer, it seems, lay with augmented reality. Specifically, Apple AR glasses seem to be the ‘next big thing’ that Tim Cook’s world-conquering tech brand is set to unleash upon the world.

So what do we know about the rumored Apple augmented reality glasses so far? When will the Apple AR spectacles be released, and what could a pair of Apple AR glasses offer that the world’s current smartphone screens and VR headsets can’t?

Read on to find out!

Cut to the chase

What is it? A new Apple wearable, a pair of glasses making use of augmented reality tech.

When is it out? No fixed date, but a reveal as early as summer 2017 is possible.

What will it cost? Based on Snap Spectacles pricing, anything from $130/ £105/ AU$170 and upwards – but anything ten times as costly could be possible depending on Apple’s final configuration.

What is augmented reality?

You’re familiar with the concept of virtual reality, right? Popping on a headset and having software transport you to an interactive, 360-degree, left, right, up, down, all-encompassing virtual world? 

Augmented reality works a bit like that but with one big difference. Rather than giving a window into an invented world, it uses either screens or transparent lenses to place digital items on top of the real world around you.

Pokemon Go makes the pocket monster appear in your world using AR

The most popular examples of this in action today would be Snapchat’s stickers (the ones that put slobbering dog tongues and cat ears on your moving videos intelligently), or Pokemon Go which puts Pikachu and co into your world through a combination of your phone’s camera and screen. 

Both see your real world “augmented” by software on your smart device. Essentially, AR lets you get context sensitive digital information overlaid onto your real world surroundings – look at a subway station and get train times automatically displayed, for instance, or walk down the aisles of a food store and have the specs recommend a recipe.

Apple’s iPhone 8 is thought to lean heavily on AR technology, but dedicated AR wearables already exist from rivals, too. Of the big name players, Snapchat’s nascent efforts see it cheat a little, with the Snap Spectacles amounting to little more than a head mounted camera in a glasses frame, feeding into the core Snapchat app. 

Google Glass was an ambitious AR headset, but simply not good enough to go mainstream

Microsoft’s HoloLens is more ambitious, putting Windows PC capabilities into a headset that lets you access everything from a web browser to Minecraft within your real world.

And then of course there’s Google Glass – which saw its buzz burn out pretty quickly, thanks to a screen that sat uncomfortably in front of your eye offering hard-to-read information overlays.

What is Apple ARKit?

ARKit is Apple's way of sticking its flag down into the augmented reality landscape, an attempt to claim the space as its own.

Revealed at WWDC 2017, ARKit is a new set of APIs to let developers build augmented reality applications for Apple devices. It's specifically being pitched currently for iPad and iPhone devices (making it the "largest AR platform in the world", according to Craig Federighi, Apple's Senior Vice President of Software Engineering), but certainly paves the way for an AR glasses device in the future.

Apple showed off a number of impressive demos, from simply placing objects like a digital coffee cup, light stand and a plant onto a tabletop (as viewed through an iPad camera lens and screen). But it expanded to include a mind-blowing sci-fi battle scene, complete with tiny, minutely detailed people and swooping starships, courtesy of director Peter Jackson's company Wingnut. It's an experience coming to existing devices before the end of 2017.

So how's this possible? ARKit enables "fast, stable" motion tracking, and accurate plane, ambient light and scale estimation.

As if there was any doubt, all this will require camera, CPU, GPU and motion sensor hardware working in tandem. So, whether tapping into a nearby mobile device, or viewed through lenses, Apple's ARKit has the same basic hardware requirements as all other AR gear we've seen so far. Specific spec requirements, however, will have to wait for now.

But developers will be happy – with support for Unity, Unreal, and SceneKit engines, Apple is looking to make its AR platform accessible for devs already working in the space. 

Why would Apple make AR glasses?

CAPITALISM. Those shareholders’ appetites for mansions and swimming pools won’t be sated! 

But on a serious note, Apple’s in need of a new product category. The last time Apple launched an inarguably successful new product line was the iPad – and even that has proved difficult to maintain momentum in. AR is an exciting new area, and one in which Apple (at least in hardware terms) wouldn’t have huge competition in, at least in the present. 

Yes, there’s the Microsoft HoloLens – but that’s primarily being billed currently as a business-orientated device. Google’s Glass failure has seen it put more time into its VR based Daydream View and Cardboard projects, while Samsung likewise continues with its Gear VR efforts.

It’s an opportunity for Apple to set itself aside from the pack and, for Tim Cook, to launch a product that doesn’t have the shadow of the late Steve Jobs looming over it.

Apple boss Tim Cook sees great potential in augmented reality

Tim Cook has sung the praises of AR tech, going so far as to say augmented reality use will become as common as "eating three meals a day".

"A significant portion of the population of developed countries, and eventually all countries, will have AR experiences every day," he said during the 2016 Utah Tech tour, before casting shade on VR.

"I can't imagine everyone in here getting in an enclosed VR experience while you're sitting in here with me," said Cook to those assembled for the Utah talk.

"AR is going to take a while, because there are some really hard technology challenges there," he added.

"But it will happen, it will happen in a big way, and we will wonder when it does, how we ever lived without it. Like we wonder how we lived without our phone today."

Apple AR glasses hardware: the evidence, the patents and the specs

So, we've established Apple’s definitely working on AR software. Sources claim that the iPhone 8 will be the big start for Apple’s AR device ambitions, with iPhone leading the charge for dedicated AR hardware to follow.

But it’s moving fast, and with big teams. Apple is said to have 1,000 engineers working on an AR project in Israel, and has purchased multiple AR firms including Tel Aviv's PrimeSense (focused on 3D sensing tech) and RealFace (facial recognition cyber security experts).

A glimpse at digital items placed in the real world

It’s also made a number of key AR talent hires. According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has poached a leading employee of Nasa for the project, hiring Jeff Norris, founder of the Mission Operations Innovation Office of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Lab. He is said to be working as part of an augmented reality team being headed up by another poached talent, Dolby Labs executive Mike Rockwell.

Apple has also been granted a number of patents related to AR and VR technologies, including a headset with headphones built in and a remote control. Perhaps most telling of all is a leaked injury report out of Apple’s Cupertino headquarters, which suggests Apple is working on a “prototype unit” which has resulted in eye injuries for two users. It’s unlikely an iPhone or MacBook prototype would result in eye injury at this mature stage in their ongoing development – but a potential new product, the details of which are still being hammered out, which will likely sit right in front of your eyes? We have our culprit, it seems.

Apple’s patented AR mapping idea

Software patents have trickled through too – a submission from February 2010 saw Apple trying to protect an idea it had regarding “augmented reality maps”, shows off how digital mapping data could be overlaid onto real-time video from an iPhone's camera. Any success with iPhone would likely be easily translated to the dedicated glasses devices.

There’s also a suggestion that, having severed ties with GPU chipset designer Imagination Technologies, Apple is looking to develop its own chipsets with AR technology as a key development target.

Apple also recently announced that it would be pumping $200 million of investment into Gorilla Glass manufacturers Corning. Though it's as likely to be fuelling a move to wireless charging for iPhones as anything else, Corning's work on lightweight, durable glass would make them a perfect match for a pair of AR specs. 

Corning have already dabbled in augmented reality projects – check out this concept of the company's AR car windscreen.

What will Apple AR glasses cost?

That’s a tough question, as there’s no real precedent for this sort of thing yet.
On one hand, you’ve got the incredibly basic Snap Spectacles which are priced around $130/ £105/ AU$170. But we’re expecting Apple’s AR glasses to be far more feature rich than this.

On the other, you have HoloLens. It’s not really a consumer device, and is only available on a limited basis to developers at a cost of $3,000 (£2,719, AU$4,369). But Apple’s glasses will likely be built to mass-market scale, and with consumers (and associated price tags) in mind.

So it’s a guessing game really. Keeping in mind that Apple tends to slap a premium on its devices, a broad estimate of somewhere between $500/$AU670/£400 and $1,000/£800/AU$1,300 could be the ballpark. But don’t hold us to that.