The new Essential Graphics panel in Adobe After Effects serves 2 purposes:
It allows you to group together commonly used effect parameters within your composition hierarchy for quick access
It allows you to export your composition hierarchy as a Motion Graphics Template to be used in Premiere Pro
When you open up the Essential Graphics panel in Adobe After Effects you select a composition as your root. This defines your 'composition hierarchy' as the root composition and any nested composition. You can then drag and drop any effect parameters within this composition hierarchy from your layer window into the Essential Graphics panel, give them descriptive names and adjust them without having to dig through your layers.
Once you are happy with your setup, you can export the composition hierarchy as a Motion Graphics Template.
All parameters in the Essential Graphics panel will be exposed and can be adjusted when you use the template in Adobe Premiere Pro.
Live Text Templates have gone the way of the Dodo. The new Motion Graphics Templates allow you to create complex animated titles and other visual elements, export your composition hierarchy into an .mogrt file and then import and use the template in Adobe Premiere Pro.
While there are still a few limitations, like not all types of effect parameters can be added into the Essential Graphics panel, the new Motion Graphics Templates is definitely going in the right direction. I really hope that Adobe will keep expanding its capabilities in future version of Adobe After Effects.
The Lumetri Scopes and Colour tools have been a part of Premiere Pro since CC 2015. Now, with the April 2017 release they are also finally available within Adobe After Effects.
The Lumetri Scopes panel contain waveform monitors, vector scopes and colour parades, everything you need to analyse the colour information in your image.
The Lumetri Color panel contains tools for adjusting exposure and levels, applying LUTs and tweaking coloud, everything you need to properly colour correct and colour grade your footage.
Sometimes your footage contains blurry frames due to camera shake. Even after stabilising the shot, the final clip seems to twitch due to these blurry frames.
Adobe After Effects April 2017 includes a new Camera-Shake Deblur effect that will analyse your footage and deblur these rogue frames. It is meant to be applied after the Warp Stabilizer to reduce the twitchy look of your footage.
In my opinion, Adobe After Effects has always been fairly behind in terms of GPU acceleration. However, with every release Adobe is adding GPU acceleration to more and more effects. In the April 2017 release, the following effects are now GPU accelerated: