And that's a wrap on WWDC 2023! After months of speculation, Apple has revealed latest and greatest software for iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac and Apple TV. And most excitingly of all, we've been introduced to the Apple Vision Pro headset and applications for Apple's new 'Spatial Computing' push, too.
Want a rundown of all the news as it happened? Scroll down for a blow-by-blow recap of WWDC 2023.
WWDC 2023: The big announcements
- WWDC 2023: Everything you need to know
- Apple Vision Pro: everything you need to know about Apple's Spatial Computing device
- iOS 17: what’s coming next to iPhone? Improvements to contact cards, autocorrect and more!
- macOS 14 Sonoma: Big on Widgets and some smart Safari updates
- iPadOS 17: supercharging your iPad for 2023 and beyond with Widget and PDF improvements
- WatchOS 10: More Widgets, mindfulness and sports improvements
- 15-inch MacBook Air rumors: bigscreen thrills, lightweight package
- Mac Pro: the long-awaited return of the king of Macs brings Apple silicon to the party
Latest WWDC 2023 updates
Want to get in on the new OS action... right now? Though the average iPhone, Mac or Apple Watch user is going to need to wait a while before all those smokin' hot updates land, those with dev accounts can get their devices prepped right now:
There were some great announcements tucked away in WWDC 2023's epic showcase that might slip between the cracks but are worth singing about. Here's a few of my favourites.
AirPods improvements: If you've got AirPods that can handle noise-cancellation or transparency modes, they're getting some smart upgrades for free, it seems. You'll be able to turn on an 'adaptive' mode that will listen to your surroundings and dial up noise-cancellation when annoying sounds come in, or dial up transparency when you need to hear important things like alarms or voices.
Safari Web Apps for Mac: got certain websites that you rely on every day? Safari can now save them as a 'Web App' shortcut in your Mac dock. These work great with Stage Manager and offer a stripped-back Safari interface, launching directly from your dock. They can offer live notifications, too.
Snoopy is getting his own animated Apple Watch face: no more description necessary for how awesome this is.
Game porting for Mac improved: Mac might finally get all the AAA gaming ports it deserves thanks to a new API that streamlines the process of getting games working on Apple's Metal graphics platform.
It seems Apple is being very selective over who gets to touch Apple Vision Pro too — Kate Kozuch from our buddies at Tom's Guide is in the hands-on area of the event, which sounds decidedly hands-off. People aren't allowed to get close, suggesting (along with that distant release date) that things might not be quite ready for the masses.
No one is allowed to touch the Vision Pro headset in this area. There are about a dozen displayed, with quite a few folks running crowd control and preventing us from getting to close to the device. https://t.co/YC625r8hzdJune 5, 2023
Apple Vision Pro is the obvious highlight. That was one of the slickest Apple promo reels I've ever seen them do. But so much of that experience is hard to really capture over a video stream. What's it feel like to wear? How sharp are those screens? What's the latency between movement and video feedback?
The 'mixed reality' elements weren't underplayed in the rumors that's for sure — Apple didn't use the term virtual reality once by my reckoning, and most of the time the blend of real and digital worlds was present. But I'm not sure about every one of the use cases suggested there — playing with your kids through a headset is not an experience I think Apple should be pushing. That's even worse than through an iPhone camera lens.
And take a look at that battery pack! That thing is not insignificant (though I'll accept it as the compromise for a more ergonomic on-head experience. A pocketable battery isn't all that bad.
But I'm really saddened by the lenses. The suggestion that all those millions of potential users wearing glasses are going to get a sub-par experience without buying additional corrective lenses is a real downer — unless you can squeeze your glasses in. But that doesn't marry up with the Eye Sight experience. So it'll be a tax on the near-or-far sighted I fear, and the proprietary nature of the lenses will hold those in need of them over a barrel in terms of pricing.
So, what did you make of that? My quick takes on each major announcement:
Apple Vision Pro — exciting, powerful, expensive and a long way off.
iOS 17: a minor update compared to last year, but I like the contact cards and dock view.
macOS 14 Sonoma: Widgets, finally! This one's a winner.
watchOS 10: Not for me, but those additional sports and mindfulness features sound good. I like the widgets again too. More widgets!
iPadOS 17: Widgets the winners here again too.
And I liked the updates to AirPods too, they're great added value to products we already own. I can see the MacBook Air 15-inch model being a hit too.
A quick trailer aaaaaand. That's a wrap! Time to dunk my hand in some ice water!
And it's back to Tim Cook for the wrap up. "There are certain products that shift the way we look at technology and the role it serves in our lives. Apple Vision Pro introduces an entirely new spatial computing platform. And this is just the beginning."
Apple Vision Pro starts at $3499, and will go on sale early next year.
Expensive, and a long way off folks. Time to get saving. That price tag is going to be a barrier to entry for many, but that was one hell of a presentation. How much do you get for a kidney on the black market these days?
With 5,000 patents inside, it's "the most advanced personal electronics device ever". There's the tagline, folks!
Optic ID is the security system, with on-device encryption, using retina recognition to protect user accounts. "Where you look stays private" too, so you're not offering data on the dodgy Twitter accounts you're just passing over...
And, of course, there's a VisionOS App Store, too.
A quick look at some of the third-party apps made now. There's a look inside a heart, a DJ-deck, a planetarium, an app for looking at car aerodynamics. Microsoft apps like Word and Excel work with the headset, while your digital Persona will work with apps like teams and Zoom, too.
Thousands of iPad and iPhone apps will port immediately over to the device too, in flat panes.
It's all powered by that M2 chip you'll find in a MacBook, running in parallel with a new chip, the R1, which processes data from all the sensors to reduce latency and help battle nauseating effects by speedy response rates to your movements.
EyeSight makes use of lenticular lens to shape your face naturally through that outward display to make for as natural as possible a recreation of your face. A scan of your face will create a Persona - that's what's shown on the outside of the screen, and what's shown to those who call you on FaceTime while you're in the headset. It's basically an avatar approximation of you.
Personalised sound delivered from integrated audio drivers, with spatial audio figuring out the shape of your room for what Apple's calling 'Audio Ray tracing'. Eye trackers on the inside too.
So what's going on inside? Apple Vision Pro makes use of a micro OLED backpane pushing 23 million pixels across two panels. More pixels than a 4K TV per eye, with a sophisticated three-element lens that wraps around and magnifies the postage stamp-sized displays. Text and messages should be crisp as a result.
Thermal design 'quietly' draws air into the system, with a soft textile band designed for comfort across thousands of head shapes. It's a modular system, so you can get different parts for different fits. Speakers offer spatial audio, built into the headband.
Those who need glasses will need to order custom Zeiss inserts — your specs ain't going to fit, and there's a cable-attached battery pack for your pocket. Two downsides there.
That's the sizzle, now we're onto the tech details, with Richard Howarth, VP of Industrial Design. "The result of decades of collective experience" across, Mac, iPhone and Apple Watch, he says.
The entire front of the product is glass, with sensors and lenses embedded, and an immersion-controlling digital crown.
Walt Disney making content for Apple Vision Pro, with CEO Bob Iger taking to the stage now. This feels like a concept reel though rather than what's actually landing anytime soon — video of Disney Plus content merging with character lookups, riding a Star Wars sandspeeder, getting a tabletop-view of an NBA game, bringing a virtual Mickey Mouse to your living room, etc etc.
Looks like 3D movies might be making a comeback then! Though being able to watch TV 'on a mountainside' does sound very fun. Lots of this is dependant on the quality of the screen, and the comfort of the headset though.
Photos in Vision Pro look very cool. You can almost 'step-into' videos and images. But the headset itself is also a 3D camera, letting you make recordings with depth for playback later. We're talking Spatial Photos and Spatial Videos now.
FaceTime for Apple Vision Pro. Not 3D avatar stuff, but floating tiles. This one's a little more prosaic, doesn't feel quite as revolutionary an approach to video calls as was rumored. What would the caller see here?
Link up your Mac, and it'll work side-by-side with your Mac. See your display through Vision Pro, and add additional screens to the side too. We had a feeling this was coming.
Everything you do on Apple Vision Pro is synced over iCloud, so your apps stay synced with changes from Mac, iPhone or iPad.
"You're never isolated from the people around you." Your eyes are displayed when someone is nearby. So...
CORRECTION: that frontpiece is NOT see through, but is a display on the front of the Vision Pro headset. It's a smart display, adapting to when people are nearby, so you can see what's going on in a room, and a person near you can see your eyes as they approach.
Input up next, reliant solely on eyes, hands and voice. No controller. Simply gestures and voice commands, with eyes acting as the focus point.
Environments can extend and transform the space around an app, captured volumetrically, expanding an environment around you or your screen.
Apple Vision Pro uses a fully three-dimensional interface, with a home view of circular apps that sit in front you of 'truly present in your room'. They cast shadows to help you understand scale and distance.
Place apps anywhere you want in your space, at any size. The OS here does seem as though it's going to lean into computing more than pure entertainment.
I see a battery pack cable there. This is exciting! Not a battery cable, the whole thing I mean...
"Vision Pro is a new kind of computer that seamlessly blends the new world with the digital world". It's AR at the forefront folks, it's see-through, controlled only by hands, eyes and voice.
"Watch your movies, shows and sports on a giant screen."
It's here! Tim Cook introducing Apple Vision Pro!
ONE MORE THING! It's happening!
It's got to be VR time now... right?
And that's watchOS 10. How's everyone doing? Still with me? My fingers are like sausages now.
Myopia, vision detrimentation, is next on the list Apple wants to help with. It'll take advantage of ambient light enjoyed during a day – an important factor for avoiding the onset of myopia. And distance from your screen can hurt too, so Apple will prompt you if you're sitting too close to your iPhone or iPad screen.
Health on watchOS 10 and iOS 17 now. Mental Health helping-apps up now, with new mindfulness logging functions in the Mindfullness app. You can use the digital crown to literally dial in your mood with Apple Watch, but you can do the same if you've only got an iPhone too.
Standardised assessments used in clinics will help you assess if you're suffering from depression and anxiety too — though, remember, will never be a replacement from a screening with your doctor. Take care of yourselves!
Updates for Tennis and Golf players coming too, using movement data from your wrist to help improve your game.
Updates to Hiking and Compass in watchOS 10 too. Cellular location waypoints will tell you where on your route you've got connection, while Altimeter data will give you topographical height details. A topographical map feature is coming too.
WatchOS Activities now include Cycling. Speed and cadence sensors, as well as power meters can be connected via Bluetooth. Apple Watch will estimate Functional Threshold Power, an important metric for peak performance cyclists.
Apps on WatchOS 10 are getting major redesigns. Here's the clock app
Here's a new-look Activity app...
...and some third-party apps using this new design language:
Here's some new Watch faces too: Palette, plus a new animated Snoopy watch face which looks just awesome. I'll be using that one for sure.
Next up, watchOS 10, with my brother-from-another-mother Kevin Lynch talking us through the updates.
"Comprehensive redesign" Kev's calling this one, and it's got a very slick intro video. It's a biggie!
It's Widgets for Apple Watch! Using Smart Stacks, turning the digital crown will blend Widgets into your watch face, while contextual information will bring most useful widgets to the fore first.
And that's Audio and Home updates wrapped up. Some really nice quality of life stuff in there.
tvOS 17 up now with a redesigned Control Center. Siri Remote if lost can be found by your iPhone. But most importantly, FaceTime is coming to Apple TV using Continuity Camera. It'll wirelessly connect your iPhone or iPad's cameras, and you can take a call on one device and hand it over to another. SharePlay lets you all watch a show together too, with picture-in-picture effect.
AirPlay now up! On-device intelligence will offer prompts for regularly-used AirPlay sessions based on you needs at that moment. AirPlay in Hotels will make it easier to share content when your at a hotel with devices that support it. Hotels will start rolling out the feature this year.
SharePlay for CarPlay on the way too. It rhymes!
Audio and Home up now, with what's new for AirPods. And some Black Sabbath! *duck yeah!
Adaptive Audio is the new feature coming to AirPods. It combines features of noise cancelling and transparency, based on the conditions of your surroundings. Distracting noises are reduced (like leaf blowers) while important sounds (bike bells, nearby voices) come through.
Start speaking and transparency modes automatically kick in, dial down your music and dial up nearby voices. Automatic switching across devices is improved too.
And that's macOS Sonoma!
Safari gets profiles too, so you can set up work and personal accounts. Web Apps area new feature that let you add most-used pages to your Mac Dock, turning the page into an 'app-like experience'. That's neat, and needs no extra work from Devs. Very handy for Stage Manager and Mission Control. It even supports notifications. This is a very nice feature.
Safari up next. "The world's fastest browser" now gets improved Private browsing, which blocks trackers from loading and removes URL trackers. You can also share passwords -- as Passkeys -- across Family Sharing.
Hideo Kojima, Metal Gear creator, now up. He's been to Apple Park and is delivering his own segment here. His company will be bringing Death Stranding Directors Cut natively to Mac. It's a great game, but already available on PlayStation and PC, but it's a good sign for the future if Kojima is back on board for Mac gamers. The footage looks top-notch here, so it'll at least be a solid port (if a late one). Heading to the Mac App Store 'soon'.
Next up, Gaming on Mac. Apple usually drops the ball here. Will it be any different this year? First up is the introduction of Game Mode.
Dramatically lowers audio and input latency with AirPods, Xbox and PS5 control pads. Works with any game you play on Mac. A new Game Porting Toolkit is designed to make porting to Mac far simpler. Could this finally improve the amount of gaming titles available on Mac compared to PC?
So what's on the way? First up, slow-motion video screensavers. But it's macOS Widgets that we've long wanted, and they're on their way!
Widgets adapt based on what you're doing on the Mac at that given time, and live in a Widget Gallery. They can be placed essentially anywhere you like on desktop, and don't even need to be installed on the Mac provided you're using the same ones you have on your iPhone on the same Wi-Fi network.
Now we're on macOS (which has already leaked here: macOS 14 Sonoma revealed at WWDC 2023 — widgets finally arrive
Stage Manager gets a nod too -- you'll be able to have more control over window resizing on iPadOS. And that's iPadOS 17!
Now the good stuff... PDF workflow improvements. Machine learning lets PDF entry fields by auto-completed now, reply with a completed form in Mail, and PDFs now live as full files in Notes, letting you annotate multiple PDFs in the same note, ready to tweak with the Apple Pencil. Live collaboration across devices between users.
Live Activities have come to the lockscreen too, taking cues from the iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island - track delivery details, multiple timers and more.
Also, Health is coming to iPadOS. Nice big-screen views of your health data, with HealthKit integration on iPad for devs.
iPadOS lockscreens can now be customized just like with iPhone's iOS 16 update, too. Widgets, font detailing, wallpapers with customisation in mind, all incoming.
*Widget interactivity is coming to Home Screens too.
Now it's iPadOS 17 time. Widgets are coming to lockscreen... WITH INTERACTIVITY! Finally — something Android tablet users have appreciated for years.
Siri update! No more need to say 'Hey!' -- just 'Siri' alone will wake the voice assistant. Not a big update for Siri there in the face of AI's progress.
Another new one...StandBy. It's that rumored always-on homescreen dock! Personalised, you can use it as a clock, photo shuffler, calendar, HomeKit control and more. As Smart Stack widgets, they'll update contextually based on what you need — from meeting times to food delivery updates.
Next up, something brand new, Journal, a brand new app coming to iPhone later this year. Uses on-device machine learning based on the things you've done in that day, from workouts to locations to songs played and photos snapped, and you can add these into your Journal postings. Include 'reflection' prompts to encourage mindfulness and gratitude.
AirDrop is up now, with loads of options for making sharing easier, including proximity alerts. Rattling through this fast is our Craig! Autocorrect improvements now, with sentence-level autocorrects. *ducking hell! This looks like a really much needed addition. Predictive will be faster, and based on personalised phrashing per person. Dictation gets a neural-level improvement too.
BREAKING NEWS: macOS 14 Sonoma revealed — widgets finally arrive
(This one's leaked ahead of it being revealed on stage - stick with that breaking news post above to be ahead of the keynote itself!)
Stickers now live in a drawer and can be made from animated live photos. Lots of time being spent on this, suggests it's going to perhaps be a quiet year for iOS 17?
There's a new 'Check in' feature coming too, letting someone get safety-concious location updates with trusted friends.
Live Voicemail next. Offers a live transcription of the voicemail message being left, letting you more easily ghost cold-callers without missing key important calls from family. Live transcriptions handled on device to preserve privacy.
FaceTime will now let you leave a recorded video message too if you can't answer.
Now Messages, improved search filters with multiple terms, a catch-up arrow lets you jump to the latest stuff, and you can swipe to reply inline on a bubble.
Who hands straight over to Craig Federighi, Hair Force One himself! Into iOS 17.
Three apps getting major updates: Phone, Facetime and Messages.
For Phone, Apple's adding personalised contact posters that you make yourself, that show up on the recipient's phone, nice! Made in a similar way to a lockscreen, and updates a person's contact card, too. For devs, it all works with CallKit.
Mac Studio with M2 Max = $1999
Mac Pro = $6999
... in their entry configurations. Both up for pre-order this week. All Macs are now on Apple silicon. Woohoo!
Now back to Tim...
New Mac Pro can have as much as 192GB RAM, the equivalent of seven Afterburner cards, capable of ingesting 24 4K camera feeds and encode them in real time. 8 built in Thunderbolt ports (6 front, two on top), six gen-4 PCIE expansion ports. Networking, storage, audio and video upgrades are yours to be had! This sounds ace.
Oooh, return of the Mac! It's the Mac Pro now with Apple Silicon. M2 Ultra, plus expandable innards. It's the dream!
50% faster video processing, 3X faster photo processing, 22 streams of 8K Pro-Res streams simultaneously for the MAc Studio with M2 Ultra. Beastly. Higher HDMI bandwidth, capable of driving 6 Pro Display HDR screens.
192GB of memory supported by M2 Ultra, 134 billion transistors, with as many as 24-CPU cores and 76 GPU cores. 2nd gen 5nm tech in there. Looking very, very powerful.
Next it's the return of Mac Studio. Wasn't sure if we'd see another one this soon, but it's been a big hit with creatives apparently.
"The Mac Studio's first big update," it's getting an M2 Max chip, with 21% faster performance than M1 Max. 4X faster than comparable Intel Mac.
It's also getting an M2 Ultra chip, doubling performance of M1 Ultra.
Available to pre-order now, it'll start at $1,299. Good price for that.
Apple's claiming 50% more battery life and 40% thinner than the comparable 15-inch Intel laptop. Always take those notes with a pinch of salt.
Mac! A recap on the 13-inch MacBook Air, which is the world's best-selling Mac. But the big new device, as expected is the 15-inch MacBook Air.
"The world's best 15-inch laptop."
11.5mm thin, making it the world's thinnest 15-incher, and weighs just over 3 pounds. MagSafe, two Thunderbolt ports and a headphone jack. 15.3 inch screen with 5mm borders. 500 nits of brightness, 1 billion colors. 1080p camera, 3 mic array. Available in four shades.
But it's the M2 chip making its return, rather than an M3 upgrade.
Tim's back under the Apple Park rainbow arch, talking the 15 year history of the App Store.
"Our teams are continuing to innovate, building breakthrough experiences for our customers. It's something only Apple can do, and today we're going to make some of our biggest announcements EVER."
Pulling no punches here Tim, that's a bold start.
First up. Bubbles! There's a clip playing of a guy rushing around the streets, chasing a bubble that refuses to burst. It's like an alternative reality. A virtual one, even, where anything is possible...
... is the point we guess?
Tim Cook has taken to the stage at Apple Park to address the gathered media and devs. Hey Tim!
....and we're off!
Could a Marvel VR announcement be on the cards?
Quite possibly. As spotted by Ben over at XDA Developers, Marvel cinematic universe head honcho Kevin Feige is in attendance at Apple Park today. And over his right shoulder is Gerard Butler's Apple-universe doppleganger, too. For Sparta!
12 minutes to go and the pre-show playlist has kicked off. This one's 'We Saw the Sun!' by Lil Yachty.
See kids? I've still got it.*
*(Still got Shazam, that is)
It's time to talk Watch
We've talked VR, Mac, macOS 14 and iOS 17, so let's turn our attention to (and kill some time with!) the Apple Watch. We're expecting to find out a lot more about watchOS 10 today.
So what are the top rumors surrounding Apple's timepiece? Following the success of the Apple Watch Ultra launch, there's a lot of new Watch owners looking to get an upgrade to their pricey wristwatches. Leaks around watchOS have been slim going into WWDC, but we're hearing there will be a greater focus on widgets than have previously featured on Watch. Also, there's rumors circulating that Apple Watch and macOS interoperability will improve, meaning your Apple Watch won't be so dependent on an accompanying iPhone.
As for things we're hoping for, we'd like to see the Fitness app offer better 'rest day' functionality, better integration with third-party watch faces and the return of the Time Travel feature!
- WatchOS 10: counting the seconds to the wearable upgrade
It's nearly kick off time, with just 30 minutes to go until the WWDC 2023 keynote begins. If you want to comment on our coverage, share your hopes and dreams (preferably for WWDC but heck, why not life too?), or just show off your meme game, join us over at the iMore Forums. It's basically Christmas Day in Apple land, so it's the perfect time to sign up.
The 15-inch MacBook Air could prove very popular
Apple's rumored 15-inch MacBook Air will be announced at the WWDC 2023 opening keynote very shortly (assuming those rumors are true!) and one analyst has been explaining how well they expect it to do.
DigiTimes research analyst Jim Hsiao states that he expects "the notebook's shipments to reach 2.5–3 million units in 2023."
The report goes on to say that "the upstream supply chain pointed out that the new MacBook Air has already entered volume production, but only received minor upgrades in hardware." The 15-inch MacBook Air is expected to feature the same M2 chips as the existing 13-inch model, with the display size being the only difference between the two machines.
However, the report does note that bigger changes are coming — just not yet.
"The product line is likely to get brand new machines or a major hardware enhancement in 2024 or 2025," the report says while citing an unnamed source in the supply chain.
T-minus 45 minutes to go! Here's a quick refresher on what we're expecting to see:
... and some other items too. Wanting to follow along with the event live? Here's how to watch the WWDC 2023 keynote wherever you are.
Apple stonks are up in anticipation of what's going to be announced at WWDC, with AAPL now up 40% since the start of 2023.
That would make for an interesting morning...
Only way Apple WWDC could interest me is if they announced that they're shutting the company down.June 5, 2023
Frittatas for everyone!
Developers, media, and employees are beginning to funnel in.#WWDC23 pic.twitter.com/R7dn2WpsADJune 5, 2023
Why on earth does the Apple store go down before every event? Well, we're not really sure why anymore. Does Apple really need to do this? Or is it just to generate hype? iMore's Daryl Baxter has had enough!
Here's where the lucky WWDC 23 attendees will be seated as the event unfolds today!
Yes! They nailed the shade for outdoor seating this time 🙌 #WWDC23 pic.twitter.com/D6ot1AFx9tJune 5, 2023
BREAKING NEWS: Apple Reality Pro headset shipments may not start until 2024
A new report from top insider Ming-Chi Kuo claims that while Apple will unveil the Reality Pro VR headset at WWDC 2023 today, the headset won't be made available for purchase until much later this year, with shipments kicking off in late 2023 or perhaps even 2024.
Some 11th-hour news coming on what to expect from the Apple Reality Pro headset later today. According to reasonably-reliable leaker @URedditor, the Reality Pro headset will have multiple cameras including what could potentially be a TruDepth Camera for Face ID authentication. Other cameras include two low-light infrared illuminators and two RGB cameras. Two Apple chips (a main processor, and another handling co-processing duties) are said to be present, alongside multiple sensors including a compass, magnetometer, and ambient light sensor. Accelerometers and gyroscopes are in there too.
The same leak also suggests that "there's also some sort of audio accessory" for the Apple VR although it isn't clear what that might be — it may well be something as simple as some built-in speakers. Not long to go until we find out for real!
Looks like Timmy C is awake and ready for the big day...
WWDC is always one of my favorite moments of the year — and this one is going to be our best ever! Tune in for our special event at 10 a.m. PT pic.twitter.com/SmkLT3VXldJune 5, 2023
Don't skip breakfast, Tim!
HTC is ready for a new VR challenger
HTC lead the way when it came to modern VR development with its HTC Vive headsets. Now Cher Wang, HTC Vive co-founder and chairwoman is welcoming a bit of healthy competition from its new rival Apple:
HTC, early leaders in VR, welcoming Apple to the virtual reality party at #WWDC23 with a note from HTC Vive co-founder and chairwoman Cher Wang: pic.twitter.com/TWyGVVumcnJune 5, 2023
Siri needs a sirious overhaul
On a more pressing note, however... what's going on with Siri?
Apple's voice helper has long felt unloved. It's just about good enough at answering smartphone requests and pulling in contact details for phone calls. But it's not quite the 'do-everything-with-your-voice' feature that it's often been presented as.
Voice helpers like Siri — including the rival Alexa — are now facing a more existential threat, in the shape of AI-powered language model chatbots like ChatGPT. Yes, they serve very different purposes — chat bots, perhaps thankfully, haven't been integrated into the smart home yet. But they're far more convincing in their ability to ascertain a user's intent, even if the resulting query answers that come back aren't always accurate.
With the stock market shooting for the moon whenever the word AI is mentioned, Apple would do well at WWDC 2023 to give a glimpse at an AI-fuelled future for Siri.
- Want more? Read: At WWDC, we need to talk about Siri
How about what we WON'T see at WWDC 2023
We know there's a load of software updates coming. We know there's probably a few new Macs, and fingers crossed that the VR headset turns up — if only for the sake of our past selves on iMore who've been reporting on the damn thing for months! But what about what's not going to make an appearance at the show. Daryl's had some fun with this one...
macOS 14 potential names
... and of course there's the name too, which is always a fun guessing game ahead of a macOS release. Apple loves to name its macOS releases after landmarks and locations in its home State of California, and goes to lengths to trademark places that could be used down the line for macOS updates. Here's a list of spots it's not used it, but has trademarked:
How about macOS 14?
If there's one update I'm personally most looking forward to, aside from any VR news, it's macOS. I'm a huge macOS fan, and it's the beating heart of WWDC, bringing all new features to MacBook Air, iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini and... well, basically everything with 'Mac' in its name.
So what can we expect this year? Last year brought divisive additions like Stage Manager for multitasking on Mac and a new-look system preferences area, but this year we're hoping to get wider support for Widgets (maybe outside of the Notification Center), a Translation app for Mac, Health and Watch app integration for iPhone-free Apple Watch monitoring, and, of course, VR integration. Some tweaks to how Stage Manager arranges windows would be good, too.
Who wants to see what's in the WWDC goodie bag?
Swag alert! Here's what's being given to those lucky enough to be in attendance at Apple Park for the big keynote address today:
Inside the bag, there's a set of enamel pins that include custom Apple logo designs, the "face holding back tears" emoji, an iPhone 3G, the Finder app icon, and the Apple Park spaceship. There's also a thermos with the WWDC23 logo on it and a nice blacked-out hat.
Having been at Apple Park for last year's event, the new protocol post-Covid is to hold the keynote outside. More airflow, more room for more attendees, etc etc. That said, you're in direct sunlight too, and the cap I was given was a life-saver, so don't knock it!
A new, bigger, MacBook Air?
One of the most persistent hardware rumors surrounding WWDC 2023 is the expectation that Apple will introduce an all-new size for its ever-popular MacBook Air range.
Looking to bridge the gap between ultra-portability and large-screen productivity, it's thought that Apple is expanding the screen size of the MacBook Air up from 13-inches to 15-inches.
That screen size change aside however, don't expect many, if even any differences between it and the M2 MacBook Air which launched to widespread acclaim last year at WWDC 2022. So that means that same squared-off fanless design, Apple silicon, TouchID power button, MagSafe charging and two Thunderbolt ports. We awarded it 5 stars (I own one, I thought it was so good!).
So if it ain't broke, don't fix it — embiggen it!
Whether there's an Apple VR headset or not however, it's the almost-certain unveiling of iOS 17 that's going to affect the most people out there. The underlying operating system of the most popular phone on in the world, millions of people will see the benefit (or annoyances!) of whatever changes Apple has in mind for iOS 17.
Though there have been fewer leaks on the topic than we'd have expected to see at this point, a few interesting things have slipped through. Firstly, there's the suggestion that an extra emphasis on home management may make its way to iPhone with iOS 17's alleged new landscape docked lockscreen. Then, straight from Apple itself, is the pre-launch news on a raft of accessibility features coming to iOS 17. With iOS 16 opening the floodgates to increased customization on iPhone, expect iOS 17 to expand on that with new homescreen styles and widgets, too.
Could Apple VR land at a more affordable price than expected?
Now folks, we're using 'affordable' here in relative terms, but a new report has landed that suggests that maybe the Apple VR headset won't be quite as expensive as initially thought.
Here's Oli with the details:
"If $3,000 was too expensive, how does around $2,000 sound? Or $1,999 to be exact.
"That's how much Korean blog Naver (and the user yeix1123) claims that the headset will cost. It remains to be seen how accurate that is, and we'd have to urge caution before anyone gets their hopes too high. The source, spotted by MacRumors, isn't confirmed of course, and with $3,000 having been the price we've expected for so long now it would be a surprise if this 33% lower price turns out to be accurate.
"However, while the Reality Pro Headset price tag might now reach such heights as $3,000, it still won't be cheap. But will it be cheap enough to get people to buy it?"
Could the Hollywood writers' strike unexpectedly affect WWDC 2023?
This just in from our very own Tammy Rogers:
"The WGA, or Writers Guild of America, has been on strike for the last few months, looking for fairer treatment during the industry's current streaming phenomenon.
"The writers are (understandably) not happy about studios' work on streaming platforms. Series now have fewer episodes than ever and much lower residuals than ever before, leaving writers far worse off than they have been before. Apple TV Plus is no stranger to the issue, with several of its shows being affected by the strikes as they continue.
"While the Writers Guild will not be making its way to the WWDC 2023 event at Apple Park itself, its members WILL be picketing Apple Stores, including the Visitors Center at Apple Park. Members will be handing out pamphlets to customers and members of the public – the guild is calling this the 'Apple Day of Action.'"
How to Watch WWDC 2023
Of course, with all this new-fangled gadgetry in our pockets you don't need a drone to spy on the event when the keynote itself kicks off. The whole thing will be streamed live across every conceivable video platform in existence.
Apple's WWDC 2023 keynote will be live today, June 5, at 10 am PT/ 1 pm ET/ 6 pm BST. Find out how to watch below:
Eye-in-the-sky drone reveals VR demo area
What IS true though is that Apple has cordoned off part of its Apple Park campus specifically for Apple VR headset demoes:
It appears similar to the large outdoor tent area that Apple constructed for its Apple Watch debut. According to the report,
"Drone footage of Apple Park has been shared that clearly shows two areas built specifically for WWDC. One of which is a covered Keynote viewing area where developers and the media will be the first to see what Apple has been working on. On the left of the image, the other site is said to be where Apple will host demos of the Apple VR headset."
First hands-on images of Apple VR are in!*
Looks like Apple Music star Elton John is first to walk down the yellow brick road in VR!
*only kidding folks, this is an old photo in case you were in any doubt. Snazzy threads as ever though, Elton
Apple VR to take center stage
But unlike the Apple Car, Apple VR is almost certainly a #RealThing and is likely to be the crown jewel in today's WWDC 2023 keynote.
So what can we expect about Reality Pro — if that's what it's truly set to be called? Here's a run down of the key (rumored!) specs so far:
- microLED panels (1.41-inch diagonally)
- 4K pixels per eye
- 5000-plus nits of brightness
- Augmented reality and virtual reality modes
- Digital crown for jumping between VR and AR modes
- xrOS operating system with ports of iPhone and iPad apps, including FaceTime
- Front-facing screen for mirroring wearer's eyes
- Chipset comparable to M2 MacBook silicon
- Potential $3,000 price tag.
Take all these with a pinch of salt until any official reveal, but rest-assured — it's going to be a high-end, expensive device.
BREAKING NEWS: Apple store down ahead of WWDC 2023
The App Store is down!
As is customary when Apple is about to make big announcements, it has taken its App Store retail website down for maintenance. That gives it time to make the place look all nice and fresh when the new gear arrives.
But this is a very early pull of the plug by Apple this year, hours away from the expected kick off of WWDC 2023, which suggests much bigger changes to the store than you'd usually see.
Almost as if a whole new product category was being introduced, right? *cough*VR*cough*...
It's all about the devs
It's right there in the name — 'WWDC' stands for Worldwide Developer Conference, and while we're excited to find out more about new features coming to iPhone, iPad, iOS and macOS, and the potential for new hardware, the event is really about empowering the coders and designers working on software for all those devices.
And not just this generation of coders! Tim Cook has been tweeting ahead of the big event about meeting students from across the globe working on accessibility projects:
As we get ready to kick off #WWDC23 tomorrow, I met with students from all over the world who are creating apps that turn iPhone into musical instruments and bring the experience of reading braille to iPad through haptic feedback. Excited for what's to come! pic.twitter.com/LpOTFmPmvPJune 5, 2023
... and more!
There has been lots of speculation as to what we're going to get from this year's event. Held again at Apple Park, the company's sprawling Cupertino campus, we're hearing Tim Cook and co. will present a mammoth two hour+ presentation, expected to be the companies longest-ever keynote showcase.
And with so much to see, that's no surprise. Here's a handy pre-show guess-list from @TechcOfficial9 over on Twitter, which pretty much sums up everything we're likely to find out about today.
Aaaaaaand... we're off! Gerald Lynch, iMore Editor-in-Chief in the hot seat for this year's WWDC 2023 liveblog. We've been gearing up for months here at iMore for this special event, capturing every rumor we could find on the latest software and hardware releases expected from Apple at the show.
The excitement is brewing, so get involved over at the iMore Forums. We’ve got a fantastic community of Apple fans discussing all-things Cupertino over there everyday. Now’s the perfect time to sign up. And if you want to drop me a fun liveblog tip, hit me up over at @geegeemidnight on Twitter.
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