AT ITS ANNUAL developer’s conference keynote, Apple introduced the usual suite of software upgrades, with an added dose of augmented reality and the (sort of) surprise appearance of HomePod, Cupertino’s high-end Echo competitor. The products themselves, though, felt of secondary importance to the audience they were pitched to: the creative professionals that had, in recent years, faded from Apple’s view.
For the designers, developers, video editors, and other pro-grade creatives who grew up on Apple, it’s been a long, lonely stretch. The last significant update of the Mac Pro line came in 2013, in the form of a so-so cylindrical waste bin. More recently, Apple’s 2016 MacBook Pro refresh seemed to ignore the second part of its name entirely, lacking performance-focused specs, and topping out at a relatively wimpy 16GB of RAM. Even Apple acknowledged that its Pro line had fallen behind, offering something close to an apology to hand-picked press outlets in April.
At WWDC, Apple offered a reprieve from that neglect. It came primarily in the form of Apple’s hulking, space-gray iMac Pro desktop—which won’t ship until December—but also in features and demonstrations that introduced the latest iPad Pro. The message from the stage was clear: We haven’t forgotten you. And it couldn’t have come soon enough—both for Apple’s customers, and the company itself.