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Last Updated Thursday December 14 2017 02:26 AM IST

WWDC 2017: Apple unveils virtual reality, browser privacy features on Macs

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WWDC 2017: Apple kicks off event with virtual reality, browser privacy  Tim Cook, CEO, speaks during Apple's annual world wide developer conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California. Photo: Reuters

San Jose: Apple nodded to several up-and- coming technology trends, unveiling new device features touching on virtual reality, online privacy and a form of artificial intelligence called machine learning.

New iMacs unveiled Monday at Apple's WWDC 2017 (WorldWide Developers Conference) for software programmers are getting better displays and graphics capabilities. Apple said that it makes the Mac a great platform for developing virtual-reality experiences.

But Apple is late to the game on VR. Samsung and Google already have VR systems centered on their smartphones. Facebook, HTC and Sony have high-end VR systems, too.

Virtual reality has been described as the next big thing for decades. But so far, interest has been strongest among gamers, developers and hardware makers rather than everyday users.

Apple's entry into the market could change this. Its entry into digital music sales streaming with iTunes, or the smartphone market with the iPhone, upended those industries and took them to the masses.

Mac gets an upgrade

Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the latest operating system for Mac computers. Called High Sierra, it recognizes more faces automatically, which should make it easier to organize photos, and will offer more photo editing tools. Safari, Apple's web browser, seeks to make users' online experience smoother and less annoying. It will allow users to automatically block auto-play videos by detecting videos that shouldn't be playing when you open a webpage to read an article, for example.

The browser's new "intelligent tracking prevention," meanwhile, will use machine learning to identify and block digital-ad trackers in order to keep advertisers from following and profiling users. It will not block the ads themselves, though.

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