- Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) got underway on June 5 with a flurry of announcements.
- While most of the attention at the event was cornered by the Vision Pro, Apple’s Spatial Computing glasses, there were a number of other revelations about Apple products, present and future. There were also some product launches.
- Here is a quick look at the key announcements at WWDC 2023, from the Vision Pro glasses to the new MacBook Air!
On the first day of its week-long Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) 2023, Apple made some really high-profile announcements. The biggest highlight of the two-hour-long presentation was undoubtedly Apple Vision Pro, the glasses that mark Apple’s entry into the smart glass zone.
But there was much more to the first day of WWDC 2023 than just mixed-reality headsets. The Cupertino tech giant gave the world a sneak peek of a number of software updates and services and even launched a few new products. So if you missed what happened or want a quick refresher of what happened, then here are ten key takeaways from Apple’s big event:
Table of Contents
Apple Vision Pro: Apple puts on glasses to see the future
There is no question about what the biggest highlight of the event turned out to be: a product that is not a typical Apple product. Apple showcased its mixed reality headset, the Apple Vision Pro, during its keynote, and it made the biggest headlines. Apple claimed the headset is nothing like anything that has been created in the space so far as it would allow the users to give commands using their eyes, head, fingers, and voice, resulting in a typically intuitive Apple experience.
The Vision Pro, at first glance, looks like fancy ski goggles. The glasses-like front is what would create the 3D augmented reality experience for the users. Apple mentioned that the headset would run on VisionOS, which is the first-ever spatial operating system. The Vision Pro features a digital crown, much like the one we see on the Apple Watch, only bigger and has a battery that is expected to last for up to two hours.
The device will be powered by Apple’s M2 processor and will also come with a new chipset called R1 which is designed for real-time sensor processing as per Apple. The headset will get launched early next year in the US, followed by other countries, and will come with a starting price of $3,499. 2024 is already looking very interesting.
A new MacBook Air: A breath of traditional Air, in a bigger form factor
Apple Vision Pro may have made the biggest headlines, but there was another product that caught the attention of many. On the first day of WWDC this year, Apple kicked off the keynote by launching a new MacBook Air.
The 15.3-inch MacBook Air comes with a Liquid Retina display and is powered by the Apple M2 chipset. It features an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU and offers up to 18-hour battery life. Of course, as this is a MacBook Air, it is super sleek. It is a mere 11.5 mm thick, with a fanless design, and weighs just 1.3 kg, which is quite light for a notebook when it comes to laptops.
The 15-inch MacBook Air comes with a starting price of USD 1299 / Rs. 1,34,900, will be available in four color options, and will be available from next week onwards.
Upgraded Mac Studio: Chipping in for yet more power
Apple introduced the Mac Studio last year, which took the concept of Apple’s desktop to a different level. At WWDC, Apple further improvised on the idea and launched the successor of Mac Studio.
The new setup is powered by Apple’s in-house processors. One can choose from the base M2 Max processor or the new M2 Ultra chipset. The new processors feature faster CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance, and would be able to handle even the toughest, most power-hungry tasks, as per Apple, giving you the power of a proper studio set up in a compact form factor.
The new Mac Studio also comes with powerful connectivity options and features 12 high-performance ports—all of this at a starting price of USD 1999 / Rs 2,09,900, available from June 13 onwards.
New Mac Pro: Powerful Mac for the Pros!
Apple introduced the Mac Pro, which is powered by the company’s most powerful personal computing chipset, the M2 Ultra. The processor features a 24-core CPU with up to 76-core GPU. It features a number of powerful connectivity options, including eight Thunderbolt 4 ports, and comes with PCLe expansion.
The device also comes with simultaneous support for up to eight displays, making it a great option for those looking to build an elaborate setup with it at the center. The new Mac Pro comes with a silver stainless steel finish and has a starting price of USD 6999 / Rs 7,29,900. No one said that sort of power comes cheap.
MacOS Sonoma: MacOS gets more widget-y
While Apple flexed a fair amount of hardware muscle at WWDC’23, there was a lot of Apple software magic on the show as well (hey, WWDC is a developer’s conference, after all). The company showcased the new version of its macOS, macOS Sonoma.
The new OS comes with an interface that has the ability to customize widgets and make them more interactive. Thanks to Continuity, the widgets users enjoy on their iPhones can also be used on their Macs seamlessly. Apart from widgets, MacOS Sonoma brings a smarter video conferencing experience to the table. With the new software, users would be able to share their work and presentations through any video conferencing app. Also on board are Reactions which would let users share how they feel.
Mac OS Sonoma also comes with new screen savers, a smarter browsing experience on Safari, and a dedicated game mode which would enhance the gaming experience on Macs.
iOS 17: Journal-ing new features
As with most WWDC conferences, this one, too, gave users a look at the next version of iOS, iOS 17. The new software for iPhones brings a number of new features and functions. The most notable of these is Name Drop, which allows one to share contacts by simply bringing two iPhones close, customizable contact posters, real-time voicemail, and audio message transcription (do not giggle, Android crowd!), new stickers and live stickers for the Messages app.
There is also a Check In feature that helps you keep track of friends and family when they are traveling alone.
A highlight of iOS 17 is Journal which is essentially a digital journaling app that allows you to note and add pictures and details to remember important days and events. There is also a new feature called Standby which will display some basic information while the phone is on charging or when it is sitting idle.
Of course, the update will be available to a number of iPhones, going all the way back to iPhone XR! We have curated 17 best iOS 17 features in this post.
iPadOS 17: A lot on the tab!
On show at WWDC also was the next version of iPadOS, Apple’s software for the iPad. And it comes with some serious software power, looking to make iPads more versatile and interactive.
With the iPadOS 17, users will be able to customize their lock screens and choose from one or multiple photos to be their lock screens. They can also use a Live Photo or even a slow-motion video to give their iPad their own touch.
Apple has also taken its widget game up a notch by making them more interactive with the iPadOS 17, allowing users to do more right from the widget instead of having to open up an app through it. The new OS also brings features like Auto Fill for PDFs (look out, Adobe) and lots of improvements for the Messages and FaceTime apps. And well, iPadOS17 also brings the Health app to the iPad.
Watch OS 10: Watch out for this one
It might not make as many waves as its counterparts on the Mac, iPhone, and iPad, but Apple’s operating system for its smartwatches has a place of its own in the Apple ecosystem. Sure enough, Apple announced a new WatchOS, WatchOS 10, for Apple Watch at WWDC.
The OS now features a new design interface, and apps like Weather, Stocks, and Maps make better use of the display space. A new feature called Smart Stacks stacks up widgets that show information based on the time and location of the user, so you get news when you wake up, traffic information when you travel, and so on. In a small but significant UI change, hitting the side button invokes Control Center, while double-clicking the crown gets you recently used apps.
There is also a truckload of new watch faces, and our favorite feature is actually the Snoopy and Woodchuck watch face!
Apple tvOS 17 calling: It’s time for FaceTime!
Apple also revealed details of the next installment of tvOS, the tvOS 17. The biggest highlight was the availability of FaceTime on Apple TV. And it is not just about taking and seeing your friends on the big screen.
tvOS 17 comes with the Center Stage feature seen on the iPad, which keeps you perfectly framed even if you move around. And Split View lets you watch shows and film videos with your friends and also see them on a FaceTime call. Multi-tasking the Apple TV way!
Smarter AirPods: Adapting to sounds and silence
They do not have an OS named after them yet, but Apple’s TWS is very much on the software update list.
WWDC saw Apple announce an update that will bring Adaptive Audio to AirPods. The mode will appear as a new option alongside ANC and Transparency modes and is actually a blend of the two.
Adaptive Audio will basically tweak ANC and transparency mode too. Apple says the update will enable the AirPods Pro to analyze your environment and adjust ANC and transparency for the optimal listening experience, giving you the best of both sounds and silence.
There is also a feature called Conversation Awareness which seems like a page taken out from the Sony TWS book – it lowers music volume when the AirPods detect that you are speaking.