There is some encouragement at WWDC 2017 that Apple is refocusing on their Pro Video users. On the Mac Operating System side, the new update will be called High Sierra. Perhaps the biggest change for video users is a new file system. HFS is 30 years old. They are replacing it with the much more modern APFS (Apple File System). This appears to be similar to Sun Microsystems ZFS. APFS is much better suited to Solid State drives, does native disk encryption and tasks such as Finder level file copying of large files (such as videos) much faster.
They quickly mentioned FCP and Resolve and the reality of our 4K world (no real details) but they did say that High Sierra is going to move to h.265 encoding in software for everyone, and hardware accelerated h.265 encoding/decoding for people that have the most recent generation of hardware. The next version of iOS is also going to do HEVC encoding of videos shot on those devices.
High Sierra is moving to the Metal 2 API for handling graphics. They say it is up to 10x faster than Metal (which was 10x faster than non-Metal). Metal 2 is going to feature better support for external graphics card enclosures over Thunderbolt 3. There was quite a bit of focus on VR at the show, and this should help. In fact they announced a developer’s hardware package.
Maybe KOAT got a bit of a scoop on Saturday at CineGear when we talked to Michael Cioni from Light Iron Digital/Panavision. He voiced his desire for a amped up iMac Pro. Well guess what? Two days later and Apple has announced just that. Did Michael know? Doubtful as Apple holds its cards pretty close to its chest. Probably just insight into the iMac’s natural evolution, but it sure seems like quite a coincidence!
It will be available in December and they are touting it as the most powerful Mac ever (not just iMac). When you take three years to update your Pro machines, it stands to reason I guess. They also bumped the MacBook line with Kaby Lake processors, faster hard drives, and faster standard graphics on the 15″ line. They are available today.
The iMac Pro will support a whack of memory, and for the first time on an iMac, 10 Gig ethernet. I can’t help but notice that it appears to have a plain old USB-3 connectors in addition to Thunderbolt 3. It also has a UHS-ll SDXC slot. Did a newly humble Apple listen to the backlash over the absence of those ports on the latest MacBook Pro?
In general, Today’s announcements seem to denote that Apple has heard the outrage of their Pro users, and is taking steps to catch up to their expectations.