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WWDC17: Significant Technology Leaps for Apple

WWDC17: Significant Technology Leaps for Apple

Last week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC17) in San Jose, there were hardware, operating system and AR/VR announcements made. In the AR/VR arena, the emphasis by Apple is to help developers’ write code faster, thus flooding the market with new apps. Let’s take a moment to delve into what was announced at WWDC and how these announcements apply to you and the business environment.

Apple Hardware

iPad Pro

The new iPad Pro will come in two flavors, 10.5 and 12.9-inch devices. Each unit will have:

  • Retina display that supports a 120Hz refresh rate. Videos look spectacular because this is twice the refresh rate of a standard display
  • New A10X Fusion processor which is 30% faster than the A9X chip

Operating System

iOS 11

This software will only run on the following: iPhones 5s and later, iPad 5th generation, iPad mini 2 and later, all iPad Air and Pro models and the 6th generation iPod. It will be the basis for all AR/VR development and have the following business features:

  • Redesigned control center for easy customization of apps
  • Do Not Disturb feature to prevent using the device while driving
  • New app for managing files, including DropBox
  • Faster drag-and-drop capabilities
  • Fully support Apple AR and VR platforms

Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality

AR Kit

Debuted at WWDC was an Augmented Reality (AR) Kit, that provides a suite of tools for developers to create AR apps for the iPhone and iPad. This platform includes the following:

  • Estimations for Scale and Ambient Light
  • Stable Motion Tracking
  • Support for Unity, Unreal and SceneKit application templates


The new 27” iMac and iMac Pro will be VR ready right from shipment, with the ability to edit 360° videos in apps like Final Cut Pro, Final Cut Pro X, SteamVR, Epic Unreal 4 Editor, and Unity Editor. Developers will have everything they need to create immersive, 3D content. Apple’s VP of Hardware Engineering, John Ternus, called these new Macs, “great platforms for VR content creation”. The new iMacs have Retina 5K displays which are 43% brighter and a Fusion drive that is 50% faster than its predecessors.

The macOS High Sierra lets developers create interactive VR experiences on Mac for the first time, using the new iMacs or any supported Mac paired with the newly announced external GPU developer kit.

The SteamVR Beta allows for developers to experience VR, as it is being developed on the HTC Vive rental platform.

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