Apple Announces Smart Speaker, Device Upgrades, and iOS 11

ARKit created to work with iOS 11, which drops this fall.

Tech giant Apple made several big announcements today at its 2017 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), taking place from June 5-9 in San Jose, California.

But Apple is relatively "slow" as similar features have already been developed and adopted by local companies including Tencent with WeChat, Baidu and Xiaomi.

Apple showed new imaging and camera features and said that it will offer a new Depth API to developers to help them incorporate the technology into third-party apps.

There will be collections, a new Daily List centred around particular themes, and a second tab dedicated to new and popular Games.

Apple is also offering tips and gameplay videos in the store, along with interactive tiles showing other useful bits of information.

Thankfully, the Control Center is getting a huge makeover and now only takes up one page with no need to scroll. The new iOS also features a new keyboard that gives access to punctuation features by flicking down on keys, allowing for faster typing.

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iOS 11's Messages app will get a new update, which features an automatic synchronising of all your conversations across your iOS and macOS devices.

Siri, which was introduced in 2011 as an exclusive feature of the iPhone 4S, now works on iPhones, iPads, Apple TVs, Apple Watches, and Mac computers.

Tapping Apple's Siri digital assistant, such a speaker is expected to serve as a butler as well as an outlet for listening to music. Apple is leaning into artificial intelligence (AI) with improved machine learning and on-device learning aimed at making Siri more predictive and proactive.

Siri will now be able to perform translations in various languages including English, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

HomeKit support is now also coming to speakers. Oh, and the new iPad Pro uses Lightning, not USB-C.

When in a moving vehicle, the iPhone will show a blank screen and anyone who tries to contact the driver will get an automatic response, customisable in the settings menu.

WatchOS 4 will also bring updates to the watch's fitness tracking, including a new user interface for the workout app and new integrations with gym equipment manufacturers.

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