Alongside previewing iOS 11’s most-important tentpole features at the San Jose Mcenery Convention Center on Monday, Apple also gave us a sneak peek at what’s next for its three other platforms.
Seeding developer-only betas of watchOS 4, tvOS 11 and macOS 10.13 at the beginning of the week, the company announced a number of features that would be landing on Apple Watch, Apple TV and Mac – come this fall.
Like Amazon Prime Video, for example, which officially got the green light at this year’s WWDC and will see its launch on Apple’s streaming box – later this year.
The arrival of the retailer’s popular video-on-demand service will follow months of toing and fro’ing between the Californian tech giant and Amazon over the rights to stream the service’s content to Apple TV users, and will come just a few weeks after a separate report (via MacRumors) pegged the video option as landing on the box – this Summer.
Meanwhile, with watchOS 4, Apple says that its personal, fitness-driven wearable is more dialled in to you than ever before …
“A smarter coach and workout partner, better in tune with your taste in music, and an even more proactive all-day assistant” make for a more intuitive, intelligent watchOS experience.
Starting with Activity, you’ll now receive personal progress updates from the moment you put Apple Watch on – meaning you can learn more about the achievements you’re about to close in on, or simply get encouragement to keep your current streak going …
And in the evening, receive a boost at the end of the day as Apple Watch offers specific suggestions on how you can reach your goals.
Monthly challenges will also help to keep you motivated – with Apple Watch now able to set personalised challenges based on what you accomplished last month. “Track your process anytime in the Activity app on iPhone,” Apple says… as it notes you can also enjoy new full-screen effects that get better and more intense the more you achieve.
Set to make starting a workout as easy as just one tap, with its new custom heart-rate and motion monitoring Apple notes that watchOS 4 can now accurately track your calorie burn during your most toughest of cardio workouts.
While the software’s updated ‘Pool Swim’ workout will automatically track sets and rests, as well as pace and for each set and distance for each stroke.
Plus, it’s now even possible to switch the type of workout you’re doing (perfect for those multi-activity events) … and the upgrade will also see ‘Do Not Disturb’ automatically activated when you’re working out, so you can keep going without interruption.
Perhaps the most major change in Workouts, though, is the coming support for something called Gym Sync.
Set to take full advantage of Apple Watch’s hidden NFC sensor, you’ll soon be able to sync your Apple Watch with the physical equipment you most use at your local gym – and that means your most important metrics like heart rate, speed and calories, will be completely in sync.
watchOS 4 is set to know a lot more of what you love, and hold more of it – Apple says.
That is largely down to automatic sync now being included for both of Apple Music’s weekly curated playlists: My Favourite Mix and New Music Mix.
Designed to elevate the current moment – while anticipating the next, Apple’s new Siri watch face to debut in watchOS 4 will proactively display the information you need, right when you need it. There’s also a new Siri complication.
Of course, Apple’s enhancements don’t stop there.
The new ‘Kaleidoscope’ face turns static images into “mesmerising, intertwining patterns,” says the company, as it notes that users can also control these effects through the Digital Crown …
… and Disney Pixar fans will be excited to learn that they’ll soon see animated versions of Toy Story’s Woody, Buzz Lightyear and Jessie – right on their wrist.
As part of its expansion of its ever-more-proactive assistant, Siri, watchOS 4 will in addition include support for sending payments person-to-person through Apple Pay … (More on that over here).
While Apple News stories are gaining summary support.
A revision aimed at polishing the best parts of macOS Sierra, Apple describes macOS High Sierra (10.13) as containing new technologies, which -at their heart- will make your Mac more reliable, capable, and responsive …whilst also laying the foundation for future innovations.
A new file system
It starts with Apple File System.
An advanced upgrade to the company’s desktop file system -originally introduced in iOS 10- APFS features 64‑bit architecture that is designed for today’s flash technology and ready for tomorrow’s new storage capabilities.
Responsive to make common tasks like duplicating a file and finding the size of a folder’s contents happen instantly, the system is also safe and secure – allowing you to “enjoy even more peace of mind with built‑in encryption, crash‑safe protections, and simplified data backup on the go,” Apple says.
HEVC is the new standard for video in High Sierra.
Citing that the format can compress video up to 40 percent more than H.264, HEVC takes up less space on your Mac, while preserving the same visual quality – Apple notes.
Next is Metal 2.
Today’s Mac experience relies more than ever on the graphics processor (GPU) in your computer. And GPUs are becoming more and more powerful. Metal is a technology built into macOS that allows apps to unleash the full power of the GPU.
Metal 2 is described as not only taking the visual experience to the next level, but also adding capabilities like machine learning, virtual reality, and external GPU support for entertainment and professional creative apps.
“Whether you play games, create content, or develop software, Metal 2 provides the power to bring your imagination to life,” Apple explains.
There’s a lot to love in Photos, too:
An expanded sidebar. At the center of everything.
Quickly find what you’re looking for with the always‑on sidebar. An expanded Import view shows all of your past imports in chronological order, so you can go right to last month’s vacation photos. And the albums you make are always where you can see them.
Now you can organize your photos in a flash.
Instantly filter photo collections by your favorite criteria. A new selection counter keeps track of what you’ve selected, and lets you drag and drop collected images into an album or export them to the desktop. You can also rotate and favorite batches of images right from the toolbar.
Perfect your best shots with advanced editing tools.
Easily make sophisticated contrast and color adjustments to your photos with powerful tools like Curves for fine‑tuning and Selective Color to make any color more saturated. And new, professionally inspired filters let you quickly give your pictures a distinctive look.
Bring even more life to your Live Photos.
When editing a Live Photo, try the new Loop effect to turn it into a looping video that you can experience again and again. Try Bounce to play the action forward and backward. Or choose Long Exposure for a beautiful DSLR‑like effect to blur water or extend light trails. You can also trim, mute, and select a key photo for each Live Photo.
Relive your favorite moments with new Memories.
macOS High Sierra introduces more than a dozen new Memories categories — including pets, babies, outdoor activities, performances, weddings, birthdays, and sporting events — for even more personal and meaningful moments.
The People album gets even better with faces.
Easily find your favorite subjects in the People album with larger image thumbnails and more accurate groupings. And when you use iCloud Photo Library, your album stays up to date on all your devices.
You can find out more about what’s new in macOS High Sierra – at Apple.com.
Each of this week’s builds are available to download on the Developer Center for those who have an active Apple Developer membership, with install instructions and beta profile requirements for watchOS 4 and tvOS 11 remaining the same as previous builds.