The lights dim… Tim Cook takes the stage

His index fingers are pressed together in a pensive steeple. 5,300 developers in the audience inch forward in their seats, hanging on his every word.

It’s Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, where they’ve historically announced some of their biggest products updates, before shuttling attendees to surprise shows like an advanced screening of Finding Nemo (in 2003), or a Jimmy Eat World concert (2004, obviously).

Well, should we update our software or what?

If you hate websites with autoplay videos, then yeah. High Sierra, the latest OS, will be faster, more secure, and features a Safari that blocks autoplay, plus a new version of Photos with light-editing tools (kinda like Photoshop).

iOS 11 is unrolling new features like P2P Apple Pay (basically Venmo) from within iMessage, a new portrait mode for the camera, and — brace for it — a male version of Siri.

Siri will now also be featured on the new Apple Watch face, suggesting helpful info based on your location and calendar events.

And on the hardware side, the new $5k iMac Pro will be the most powerful ever made, with 5.5 teraflops (a real thing) of graphics processing power on its smoogletron (not a real thing).

But most anticipated announcement was their response to the Echo

In the form of a smart speaker system, the HomePod, which syncs in multiple rooms and scans the space around it to optimize audio.

And, the ‘Pod is smarter than marketers are letting on. While it’s currently positioned specifically for music (like a Sonos), you can still ask Siri questions about the news, weather, or sports, as well as control HomeKit-enabled devices like lights and air conditioning.

In other words, this could be a sneaky way to infiltrate homes that already have smart assistants which have mediocre music features and sound quality and then release a software update that makes HomePod way, way more powerful.

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(via The Hustle)

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