Apple’s headset is here. At WWDC 2023, Apple gave the world a first look at the Vision Pro, a mixed-reality headset that is its first new tech platform in years. Tim Cook said the device “puts big virtual screens on the world.” It’s controlled using your eyes, hands, and voice, and has an Apple Watch-like dial to adjust between virtual and augmented reality.
The event also included major new hardware releases for the Mac Pro and Mac Studio, plus the debut of a new 15-inch MacBook Air. Apple also used the event to announce updates for many of its operating systems and apps, including iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and more.
If you just want to watch the highlights from the keynote presentation, we’ve got you. This video runs through the most important details in a little over 25 minutes, or just scroll down and check out every update posted about the event as it happened.
- Apple Vision Pro first look: the mixed reality future is (almost) here
- Apple announces macOS Sonoma with game mode and support for desktop widgets
- Apple announces Mac Pro with M2 Ultra, starting at $6,999
- Apple’s new 15-inch MacBook Air is the ‘world’s thinnest’
- Live blog: Apple’s VR headset, iOS 17, and more at WWDC 2023
Apple has announced an augmented reality headset called Apple Vision Pro that “seamlessly” blends the real and digital world. “It’s the first Apple product you look through, and not at,” CEO Tim Cook said of the device, which looks like a pair of ski goggles. As rumored, it features a separate battery pack and is controlled with eyes, hands, and voice. It will start at $3,499 and launch early next year, starting in the US market with more countries coming later in the year.Read Article >
Vision Pro is positioned as primarily an AR device, but it can switch between augmented and full virtual reality using a dial.
Jun 24LG is going to support that hotel AirPlay thing.
It wasn’t the biggest announcement at WWDC this year, but Apple debuting TV AirPlay in hotels is a welcome thing, and LG announced Thursday it’ll support it on LG Pro:Centric Smart Hotel TVs later this year (via MacRumors).
When you encounter one, you’ll be able to connect and start AirPlaying TikToks or whatever by scanning a QR code on the TV.
Despite some hints toward a possible Apple smart display with its new StandBy feature for iPhones, Apple’s WWDC was underwhelming for the smart home. But Apple did announce one noteworthy addition, Siri will soon handle “multiple commands” in succession without you having to say its name again.Read Article >
This might seem like a small update, but for anyone who uses voice control in the smart home, saying, “Siri, turn off the dining room lights,” then “Lock the front door,” then “Turn off the fan,” will be an improvement. However, it’s also another example of how Apple is still playing catch-up in the smart home.
For a lot of developers, watching WWDC is a trepidatious affair where they wait to find out whether they’ve been “Sherlocked” — that is, their apps have been outmoded by Apple building their features into its operating systems. We saw it this year when Apple announced Journal, which many have compared to the third-party app Day One. Last year, it was Continuity Cam, which is a lot like smartphone-as-a-webcam-app Camo, and before that, there was Screen Time, which gobbled up traits from Moment.Read Article >
We’re used to seeing Apple’s new features come from some currently popular app. But it’s less common for Apple to reach back and find inspiration in old, once-ubiquitous tech that predates the iPhone and even the company itself — and this year, that’s exactly what it did, starting with answering machines.
- You can buy the new 15-inch MacBook Air today.
Monica’s review called it exactly what was asked for:
This device doesn’t manufacture a need; it found a need, and it’s filling it. We don’t need to be convinced that we want the Air 15. We’ve been waiting for it.
Jun 12NordVPN is looking into making a VPN app for Apple TV.
But the VPN provider needs more details before it commits:
“We are concerned that there may be some limitations for consumer VPN products and the update will only benefit B2B VPN solutions,” NordVPN PR Manager Egidijus Jurgelionis wrote in an email to The Verge, “If not, our users will be able to use NordVPN on their Apple TVs sometime in the nearest future.”
Jun 11YouTuber Christopher Lawley asked developers and creators about their favorite features from WWDC 2023.
It’s interesting what they’re looking forward to — Overcast creator and podcaster Marco Arment says SwiftUI code will be “way less error-prone,” while David Sparks of MacSparky called out what he says is much-improved dictation.
Apple TVs will get native VPN app support in tvOS 17, according to an Apple press release (via 9to5Mac). It’s one of many features that didn’t make it into the keynote at WWDC 2023, but it could be a big deal for some folks. Assuming native VPN apps on Apple’s streaming box work as they do elsewhere, you might not have to wait to get home to catch up on streaming shows when traveling with an Apple TV 4K in tow.Read Article >
Right now, in tvOS 17, to use a VPN with your Apple TV, you’ll need to do something like install a VPN on your router to do it, and not all routers support this. Native VPN support is one of the rare advantages Google’s Chromecast or Amazon’s Fire TV devices hold over the Apple TV right now.
Apple used the Vision Pro’s $3,499 price tag to give the headset every advantage over the competition. It has dual 4K displays, runs one of the best laptop chips in the business, and comes with sophisticated eye- and hand-tracking technologies. But it also has one advantage money can’t buy: Apple’s developer ecosystem. Perhaps the headset’s single biggest advantage will be the ability for iPhone and iPad developers to easily plug their existing apps into the device’s operating system using familiar tools and frameworks.Read Article >
Already, the system stands in stark contrast to headsets from Meta, Valve, PlayStation, and HTC, which mostly rely on apps and games made in Unity or OpenXR to power their virtual and augmented reality experiences. While some competitors, like the Meta Quest, have key apps like Microsoft Office, Xbox, and Netflix, offerings beyond this are limited. In the several years that Meta’s headset has been out, the Meta Quest Store has only released about 400 games and apps. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it’s a sign that there’s a serious lack of content optimized for VR.
Jun 9Even Apple’s Vision Pro can’t escape dongle life.
In Apple’s WWDC Platforms State of the Union video, the headset is shown on a table with what looks like a USB-C dongle, as pointed out by MacRumors. It could be a way to connect the headset to a Mac for development, a more convenient power connection than the battery pack, or maybe some kind of Apple-only diagnostic tool.
- Raise a glass to the Vergecast vs. Waveform tech trivia competition!
If you didn’t catch the recent podcast bonus episode pitting the Vergecast crew against Waveform in a round of tech trivia, it’s a great Friday afternoon listen.
There’s a segment about G Fuel gamer energy drink flavors that had me in stitches. It also reminded me I have a stash of the stuff from, like, I think PAX East 2017? Why not finally try it?
“Yes, hello? Poison control?”
This week’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) wasn’t all about operating system updates and Apple’s new mixed reality headset. Apple also revealed a number of new Macs, including a 15-inch MacBook Air as well as revamped versions of the Mac Pro and Mac Studio with Apple Silicon. All three will be available on Tuesday, June 13th, though you can currently preorder them from Apple, Amazon, and other retailers.Read Article >
Apple claims the newest MacBook Air is “the world’s thinnest 15-inch laptop.” Its 15.3-inch screen boasts 500 nits of brightness, but it’s otherwise similar to last year’s redesigned 13-inch model. It comes equipped with a 1080p webcam, a MagSafe charging connector, and Apple’s base M2 chip, which is the same processor found in the 13-inch MacBook Air.
Apple has spent years slowly making green bubbles feel like a worse kind of message — no typing indicators, tiny photos, no end-to-end encryption — but those constraints have always been limited to conversations in Messages; use any other app on your iPhone, and there’s generally parity with Android. But with iOS 17 later this year, Apple will expand those platform differences to phone calls, adding a big, splashy sign that your friend or family member bought the wrong phone.Read Article >
The biggest change is thanks to Apple’s new Contact Poster feature for phone calls, one of Apple’s banner improvements for iOS 17. When you set a Contact Poster, you choose a photo of yourself that fills an iPhone’s entire screen along with the font that displays your name. The vibe is very similar to the customizable lock screens added with iOS 16. Then, when you call someone, your personalized contact card takes over the screen of their phone instead of the large blank page that appears today. (Notably, you can limit sharing to contacts only or require iOS to ask if you want to share it.)
A couple of years ago, laptop sales were through the roof. With the majority of the population stuck at home for both work and school, plus flush with cash from government stimulus checks, many people were in need of better computers for use at home. And many of them bought laptops, to the tune of 340 million units in 2021.Read Article >
But that wave is long over. Overall laptop sales fell by double digits in 2022, and they haven’t bounced back in 2023. Apple, ever the outlier in so many markets, did manage to squeak out an increase in 2022 over 2021. But the last two quarters have seen the sharpest year-over-year percentage decline in revenue from the Mac in half a decade. Last quarter’s Mac revenue was the lowest since the third quarter of 2020. (Jason Snell over at Six Colors has a lot of handy charts that illustrate this — you want to look for the “Mac revenue” and “year-over-year Mac revenue change” charts.) Despite a huge bump from the revamped MacBook Pro that came out in late 2021 and strong performance from last year’s M2 Air, Mac sales have slowed down a lot.
Jun 9Today on The Vergecast: They sherlocked Chumby!
It’s the mid-2000’s again, apparently, because widgets are back and everybody’s bumping their phones to share contact information. So we spent the show debating which of Apple’s new-old ideas might stick around this time — plus where the new set of crypto scandals might lead the industry.
Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t seem fazed by Apple’s introduction of the Vision Pro.Read Article >
In a companywide meeting with Meta employees today that The Verge watched, the CEO said Apple’s device didn’t present any major breakthroughs in technology that Meta hadn’t “already explored” and that its vision for how people will use the device is “not the one that I want.” He also pointed to the fact that Meta’s upcoming Quest 3 headset will be much cheaper, at $499 compared to the Vision Pro’s $3,499 price tag, giving Meta the opening to reach a wider user base.
Jun 8Watch the Vergecast crew talk about Apple’s Vision Pro — and the best of WWDC.
Plus, we grabbed Marques Brownlee and our friends from the Waveform podcast to talk about all their favorite stuff, too. Grocery lists came up too often, and we’re very sorry about that. Plus, a long debate about whether the Vision Pro is any good — and how much it matters.
Apple’s revealing that its new Vision Pro mixed reality headset is outfitted with displays that have a 90Hz refresh rate. The new detail comes in an online WWDC session for developers where Apple shares how 2D video and stereoscopic 3D video work in the headset.Read Article >
It’s common to see 90 to 120Hz screens on tech from smartphones to PC gaming monitors, as it provides quicker responsiveness and smoother motion than slower displays. Apple has generally used 60Hz displays on everything it makes other than some of its “pro” devices like the iPad Pro and MacBook Pro that have 120Hz ProMotion displays. For a screen directly in front of your eyes, that added speed will make a big difference.
- The Vergecast vs. Waveform WWDC trivia challenge is live!
You can watch it on the WVFRM YouTube channel or listen to it in the Vergecast and Waveform podcast feeds. I’m not going to spoil the winner, but I will say that Nilay, David, and Dan holds their own against some tough competition.
Jun 7xrOS lives!
Apple’s Vision Pro virtual reality headset (yes, it’s VR) runs on “visionOS.” But if you dig into the developer sessions at WWDC, you’ll notice “xrOS” on various slides and named videos. It was the rumored name and also probably the internal name for the operating system. And now it gets to have a legacy.
Apple has a new development framework that can be used to turn your iPhone into an autonomous pet-tracking camera. According to documentation on Apple’s website, developers can use pet-tracking features with motorized phone stands to capture and follow your pet around your house while you’re not home.Read Article >
As noted by Apple, developers can achieve this using a new framework called DockKit, which can create “photo and video experiences” while an iPhone is mounted on a motorized stand. From there, devs can then use something called the Animal Body Pose API (application programming interface), which is capable of identifying and tracking animals with your phone’s camera. It’s able to identify a pet’s pose, too, including if your pet is sitting down, standing up, or begging for food.
I still remember using the iPhone 4 for the first time in 2010. That was when Apple shipped its first-ever Retina display and Steve Jobs said that, once you use it, “you can’t go back.” It was something I couldn’t unsee, like looking through prescription glasses for the first time.Read Article >
That’s exactly how I felt after a demo of the Apple Vision Pro yesterday at the company’s headquarters in Cupertino, California. A computer you strap to your face should be primarily judged not only by what you can do with it but also by the quality of what you can see through it. The Vision Pro blows away every other headset in this regard. It’s the industry’s Retina display moment. There’s no going back.
Jun 7“Vision Pro outclassed Meta Quest Pro and every other headset I’ve ever tried to a degree that is utterly show-stopping.”
High praise for Apple’s Vision Pro headset from UploadVR.
Apple held a monstrous WWDC this year, and a ton of what was rumored, it turns out, will actually see the light of day. There’s the new 15-inch MacBook Air, M2-powered Mac Studio, and Apple’s finally realized AR headset — which we now know is called the Vision Pro.Read Article >
As usual, Apple didn’t touch on everything new during its opening keynote. But lots of small features that could change the way you use your Apple devices (or are just fun to play with) get packed in, and we’ve collected as many of those as we could find here. To keep this article from being a mile long, I’ve noted in the top iOS 17 section where I could confirm features will hit other platforms. So take a deep breath and dive in.