WWDC 🙌

Apple kicked off its annual World Wide Developer Conference, aka WWDC, this week. New versions of its core platforms for phone, tablet, Mac, and watch were announced and are launching this fall. Highlights for the iPhone include new technology for augmented reality and person-to-person payments using Apple Pay from within iMessage. The iPad is receiving much overdue improvements for productivity and professional use. Apple continues its use of machine learning and computer vision to provide enhancements across all platforms. This is a developer’s conference, so most of the items announced are in early stages and not available until later this year. Look for new iPhone hardware and new App capabilities in September. Check out all the announcements on iMore. 🙌

Apple announced a new product for the home, called the HomePod. Just like the Amazon Echo and Google Home before it, the HomePod is a voice-controlled speaker for playing music, podcasts, and “talking” with Siri. There’s no word of developer features like skills or third-party integrations yet, but it’s early days. HomePod is scheduled to ship in December. Hands-on with The Verge. 😍

The WWDC events scheduled for later in the week also hinted at a new feature for iPhone called Business Chat. This feature will allow businesses and brands to engage with customers directly through iMessage to resolve support issues, get feedback, and make purchases. Customers can find businesses to chat with through the web and maps. Apple Developer. 💰