The 11 best new features in iOS 11

Yolanda Curtis
June 6, 2017

The "HomePod" speaker unveiled Monday is similar to devices from rivals like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.

HomePod costs $349 to start and will be available later this year.

If the speculation pans out, the speaker would be Apple's first new product since its smartwatch in 2015.

Music. Apple announced MusicKit, an API that lets developers integrate their services more tightly with Apple Music.

The company is casting Siri as a music connoisseur that will learn and cater to the tastes of the HomePod's owners, as well as answer questions about the songs as they are played.

Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the latest operating system for Mac computers.

Apple will begin shipping the HomePod to the United States, Britain and Australia in December. Google followed with its Home speaker, featuring its plain-named Assistant, last year. Apple Pay, which launched in September 2014 with the iPhone 6, is now accepted in more than 20 million retail stores, restaurants and gas stations worldwide, and used by over 12 million people regularly as of a year ago.

The speaker, while expected by some industry watchers, marked Apple's first new product announcement since the Apple Watch in September 2014. The new iMac will be available at the end of the year and can be configured with up to CPU 18 cores and Graphical Processing Units with performance of up to 22 Teraflops.

Apple said that watch wearers will be able to link their devices with the gym equipment through NFC. Apple has also introduced a one-handed zoom option.

Analysts said the smart home speaker market is ripe for Apple. That's especially important because people are starting to access information, entertainment and search in a more "pervasive" way that's less dependent on smartphones, he said.

I've said it time and time again, the biggest drawback of the iPad Pro is that its power has been restrained by the hampered software it runs.

AirPlay 2 is a new protocol that will enable HomeKit to communicate with speakers, including those from Apple-owned Beats, Bose, Bang & Olufsen, and a number of other manufacturers. New iMacs released Monday are getting better displays and graphics capabilities.

Cook said Apple now has 16 million registered software developers worldwide for its consumer electronics, including smartphone known as iPhone, and 3 million of them were added past year.

Safari, Apple's web browser, seeks to make users' online experience smoother and less annoying. It will not block the ads themselves, though. With a new dock, accessible from any screen, you can launch and switch between apps - just like with a Mac. It's part of Apple's effort to entice professionals with tablets that can handle many tasks previously reserved for laptops.

The technology, a feature of the wildly successfully smartphone game Pokemon Go, overlays digital information on real-world images and is seen as an area in which the keenly awaited 10th-anniversary iPhone can stand out from competitors. Apple also laid some groundwork for augmented reality, the projection of digital features onto real-world surroundings, by giving app developers tools for incorporating AR into their products. You can also now use Apple Pay, with TouchID authentication, so you can quickly send payments via iMessage. New features iOS 11 for the iPad were also introduced in the conference.

Ortutay reported from NY.

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