During its WWDC keynote address, Apple detailed the next major updates to its mobile and desktop platforms: iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra. macOS's latest name is a conversation duly reserved for another day, but that said, you'll probably want to get into these latest upgrades as soon as possible.
Here are the new features on iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra as well as how to sign up for the beta program now.
iOS 11: What's New?
Apple gave a full overview of iOS 11 during its WWDC keynote, highlighting new features such as an upgraded Siri, a redesigned App Store, indoor mapping, and more.
• Siri Has A New Voice: Siri gains a more natural-sounding voice once iOS 11 rolls around, and she also looks a bit different thanks to her new visual interface, which brings up multiple results for requests. Moreover, Siri can now translate phrases from English to a number of languages.
• Improvements To Messages: in iOS 11, Apple has redesigned the iMessage App Drawer to make it easier to find new apps, navigate between them, and more. Messages will also feature iCloud syncing, allowing users to view conversations even when they shift to another iOS device.
• Maps Indoor Mapping: For the first time ever, Apple Maps will include indoor mapping, letting users easily navigate indoor spaces such as malls, airports, and more.
• Augmented Reality: Tim Cook has been gushing about augmented reality for quite some time now, saying it's the next real innovation. That vision lines up with iOS 11's new augmented reality support, beginning with ARKit, a new developer platform to assist developers in creating AR-focused iOS apps.
macOS High Sierra: What's New?
macOS High Sierra is not exactly a major software upgrade — more of a beefy maintenance update, actually. High Sierra is all about refinements to make Macs more reliable, safer, faster, efficient, and more responsive while featuring virtual reality support.
That said, High Sierra will still feature cool new additions. Here are some of the best ones:
• New File System: With High Sierra, Macs will switch from the HFS+ file system to the new Apple File System, or APFS, announced at last year's WWDC. It brings an advanced 64-bit architecture and a responsive design to make common tasks, such as copying files faster.
• Photo Editing Tools: High Sierra will add new photo editing tools right inside the Photos app, including a curves palette for adjusting color and contrast, a selective dropper tool, and a brand-new set of filters.
• Metal 2: Apple's next-generation graphics API, Metal 2, will debut with High Sierra. It'll come with powerful new tools for developers, bringing 10 times the draw call throughput Metal originally delivered. In short, it'll result in better graphics.
Moreover, Metal 2 also comes with VR support, with High Sierra enabling developers to create VR experiences right on the Mac that can work with popular VR platforms such as the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
iOS 11 And macOS High Sierra: How To Join The Beta Program
The public beta releases for iOS 11 and macOS High Sierra will be available by the end of June, with the final, stable release positioned for a fall release.
For those who don't have developer accounts, you may sign up for Apple's Beta Software Program now to be notified when the public betas arrive. An Apple ID is required.
As with any beta releases, expect to encounter bugs and performance snags. But you can report those encounters to Apple if you decide to participate in the program. That's the purpose of a beta program, anyway.
You can watch the whole WWDC keynote at Apple's website.