May 17, 2020

Apple announce iOS 11, new macOS and the HomePod at WWDC keynote

Callum Rivett
2 min
Apple announce iOS 11, new macOS and the HomePod at WWDC keynote
Apple's WWDC 2017 keynote event delivered much of what was expected of it on Monday, with the new iOS 11 and a competitor to Alexa the main talking poin...

Apple's WWDC 2017 keynote event delivered much of what was expected of it on Monday, with the new iOS 11 and a competitor to Alexa the main talking points taken out of San Jose.

Software updates are being rolled out across all systems and are expected to land in the summer, with the new macOS High Sierra boasting virtual reality support and improved graphics, as well as improvements to Safari, Mail and split view capabilities.

Also featured in High Sierra is the new Files system, with Apple say will be more secure thanks to native encryption and crash protection. The developer beta is out now, with the public beta expected in late June.

Unfortunately for some Apple users, iOS 11 will spell the death of all devices prior to the iPhone 5C. Support for earlier iPhones is ending with the release of the new operating system, which will only work with 64-bit devices.

This will also see support and security updates for any iPad 4 ending, with the updated interface and operating system only aiming to take advantage of the A7 processor that came with devices later than 2013’s iPad Air and iPhone 5S.

 ‘Reinventing music in the home’ is the slogan that accompanied the unveiling of the new HomePod – a new assistant that is targeting Amazon’s Alexa and it is expected to work in a similar way, whilst prioritising high-quality audio.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior VP of Worldwide Marketing, led the section about the HomePod and described it as packing ‘powerful speaker technology, Siri intelligence and wireless access to the entire Apple Music library.’

‘Apple reinvented music with the iPod and now HomePod will reinvent how we enjoy music wirelessly throughout our homes.’

Apple also showed what the new iMac Pro is capable of – the retina 5K display is coupled with an 18-core Xeon Processor and real-time 3D rendering.

The iMac Pro has been billed as the ‘most powerful Mac ever’ and will retail at $4999 in America.

Innovations for the upgraded Safari include autoplay blocking and Intelligent Tracking Prevention, which will stop adverts following you around the internet, especially if you actually purchased the product.

Partnerships with Valve and Unity promoted the Steam VR SDK which is coming to Mac, with a demonstration exhibiting the ease of manipulating objects in the simulator.

Meanwhile, tvOS will now support Amazon Prime Video and Tim Cook has promised more developments in regards to Apple TV throughout the year. 

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

Microsoft
NASCAR
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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