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.
In recent years, Apple’s Macs have been on not one but two journeys. The first is obvious; it’s the company’s transition away from using Intel chips toward its own Arm-based Apple Silicon. And with the new Mac Pro announced this week, this transition is complete. Intel’s chips have been expunged from Apple’s computers.Read Article >
But Apple has also been on a second journey: to build high-end machines for professional users that those pro users actually want. It’s been almost exactly a decade since Apple launched the now-infamous trash can Mac Pro, which the company failed to keep updated with the latest and greatest hardware due to its compact and inflexible design. It was a difficult era for professional Mac users working in production environments where every ounce of speed matters.
Apple Maps is getting a feature that users have been wanting for years: offline maps. With the launch of iOS 17 later this year, you’ll be able to download portions of a map for offline access to turn-by-turn navigation.Read Article >
Just like when you’re using Apple Maps online, the offline map will be able to show nearby places and your estimated time of arrival, along with directions for driving, walking, cycling, and public transit.
Jun 7Apple announced the Vision Pro, and that means an emergency Vergecast.
David, Nilay, and Dan hopped into a studio in Cupertino so we could talk about their impressions of the Vision Pro, and then, the WVFRM crew stopped by for a deeply fun and chaotic lightning round. But stay tuned, because this is just the first of many Vergecasts this week.
As Apple CEO Tim Cook was winding up to reveal the company’s new Vision Pro headset on Monday, I was struck by his very particular choice of words: “So today, I’m excited to announce an entirely new AR platform with a revolutionary new product.”Read Article >
Catch that? He didn’t say “VR” or “virtual reality,” which might have positioned the headset and its new software more directly against Meta’s headsets. Before we knew anything about the Vision Pro — what it looked like, what it could do, what it cost — Cook said that Apple was announcing a new augmented reality platform, setting us up for a device that would enhance and not obscure the world around us.
Jun 7Cyberpunk 2077 the way it was always meant to be played — hacked onto an M1 MacBook.
Apple’s new Proton-like Game Porting Toolkit for macOS has already allowed people, like this Redditor, to get Windows PC-only DirectX 12 games running on Apple Silicon, including Cyberpunk 2077 and Diablo IV.
Did it get them running smoothly? Not so much (although I wonder what it would look like on a Mac Studio or Mac Pro), but to be fair, it’s already ahead of how the game ran at launch on a base PS4 or Xbox One.
Apple’s AirTag item trackers are about to get more useful — with iOS 17, you’ll be able to share them and other Find My objects with up to five other people, the company has quietly revealed.Read Article >
That means you can begin tracking communal property, not just wholly personal items. Where are the household car keys? What about the Apple TV remote we duct-taped an AirTag to because it unfortunately still does not come with a UWB locator of its own? It’s my turn to play Zelda — where’d the Switch go?
If you want to try out iOS 17, watchOS 10, or macOS Sonoma developer betas right now, you no longer have to pay for Apple’s developer program to be able to do so. As shown on an Apple developer website, you now only need an Apple ID to be able to try out developer beta releases (via MacRumors).Read Article >
To see if you can install the developer betas, make your way to the software update section on your device. On my iPhone 12 Mini, I opened Settings, then tapped General > Software Update > Beta Updates > iOS 17 Developer Beta, and from there, I had the option to download and install the beta. Digging through the settings of my Apple Watch, MacBook Air, and Apple TV, I found options to install the latest developer betas on those devices, too.
- Here’s some of our favorite coverage of Apple’s Vision Pro.
The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern: Apple Vision Pro: I Tried the New Mixed-Reality Headset
Wired’s Lauren Goode: Hands on With Apple’s Vision Pro: The Opposite of Disappearing
TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino: First impressions: Yes, Apple Vision Pro works and yes, it’s good
Good Morning America: Tim Cook says Apple Vision Pro will change how people engage with tech
From a purely technical perspective, I had the same experience using the new Apple Vision Pro that most others who have tried it seem to. This headset is remarkably polished for a first-generation product: its screen looks much better; the field of view is much wider; and the gesture control is much more natural than any other headset on the market. The Vision Pro did get a little heavy on my face after a while, and obviously, all we’ve seen so far are controlled demos in a controlled situation, but there’s no doubt this is a remarkable piece of hardware.Read Article >
Which brings up the other, much more interesting question: what is this thing for? Apple has a few answers: it’s for taking super-immersive videos of your kid’s birthday; it’s for adding more monitors to your office setup; it’s for staring at a 3D human heart while it beats quietly in your living room.
- Here’s the first video of someone actually using Apple’s Vision Pro headset.
Apple let Good Morning America film Robin Roberts using the new device. There’s nothing too surprising about her experience, especially if you’ve read other impressions. And it doesn’t appear that Apple’s EyeSight feature is active, meaning you can’t see Roberts’ eyes while she’s using the headset.
But if you wanted to see the Vision Pro in a setting that wasn’t Apple’s keynote video, you might want to watch this video.
Jun 6The iOS 17 beta lets you auto-delete verification codes.
On Android, which has had the feature since it first debuted in 2021 in India, codes are deleted after 24 hours, but iOS does so immediately after they’re autofilled.
To quote my colleague Dan Seifert in Slack: “FINALLY.”
Apple has acquired Mira, a Los Angeles-based AR startup that makes headsets for other companies and the US military, according to a post from the CEO’s private Instagram account yesterday seen by The Verge and a person familiar with the matter. Apple confirmed the acquisition.Read Article >
The news comes just one day after Apple unveiled the Vision Pro, a $3,499 mixed reality headset that the company has billed as a new “spatial” computing platform. It’s unclear how much Apple paid for Mira, which raised about $17 million in funding to date. Jony Ive, Apple’s former design chief, was an advisor to the startup at one point, according to two former employees who requested anonymity to speak without the company’s permission.
- The Vision Pro reminds me of this (in a good way).
Remember Heavy Rain? The Vision Pro’s dial-in-your-preferred-amount-of-reality feature legitimately sounds awesome to me, because it’s a 2010 gamer’s dream come true.
(Minor note: I had forgotten that the game strongly implies these glasses cause brain damage.)
- It’s interesting what Apple didn’t choose to show.
We didn’t see the Vision Pro used for:
Fitness, VR gaming, AR gaming, really any gaming you can’t do on a normal television, in a car, on a bus or train, at a sports game or concert, at a social gathering, to access the metaverse, to interpret the world around you, while a human is moving more than a meter per second, while drinking a beverage, or literally anything outdoors.
Five minutes into Google’s I/O conference in May, Verge staffers started taking bets on how many times “AI” would be mentioned onstage. It seemed like every presenter had to say it at least once or get stuck with a cattle prod by Sundar Pichai. (In the end, we stopped betting and made a supercut.) Watching WWDC, though, the book ran in the opposite direction: would anyone from Apple mention “AI” at all? It turns out, no, not even once.Read Article >
The technology was referred to, of course, but always in the form of “machine learning” — a more sedate and technically accurate description. As many working in the field itself will tell you, “artificial intelligence” is a much-hated term: both imprecise and overdetermined, more reminiscent of sci-fi mythologies than real, tangible tech. Writer Ted Chiang put it well in a recent interview: what is artificial intelligence? “A poor choice of words in 1954.”
Apple’s upcoming iOS 17 update will add daily crossword puzzles to the Apple News app, but only for News Plus subscribers, the company said on its iOS 17 preview website. The addition of crosswords could make News Plus a more enticing subscription offering — right now, the main benefits to News Plus are access to digital versions of publications and audio versions of some articles.Read Article >
Interestingly, adding crossword puzzles will put the Apple News app in even closer competition with The New York Times. The NYT is famous for its own crossword puzzles, which you can access in both the main NYT app and NYT Games app, and similar to what’s coming for Apple News, the full NYT crossword is only available in those apps with a paid subscription. However, in the NYT’s apps, you can play other games like the mini crossword and Wordle for free.
Apple’s WWDC keynote brought a new Mac Pro and Mac Studio, software updates around iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS, and even a “one more thing” moment. However, the newest Apple product people are likely to buy is not a mixed reality headset but the forthcoming 15-inch MacBook Air.Read Article >
For the first time since Apple phased out the 11-inch model, the Air is now offered in two distinct sizes and three different models: a 13-inch model with an M1 chip, a 13-inch model with Apple’s newer M2 chip, and a new 15-inch configuration with an M2 chip (which is available June 13th for $1,299). It’s the most crowded lineup of MacBook Airs ever, so allow us to help you sort out the differences and determine which laptop might be right for you.
Apple announced its $3,499 Vision Pro headset yesterday, and among all of the flashy demos, it got me thinking... what does “pro” actually mean for Apple’s new headset? While the iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro have all been targeted at high-level professionals in the past, the audience for the Apple Vision Pro is a lot less obvious.Read Article >
It’s one of the first times we’ve seen Apple launch a “pro” device without a corresponding entry-level equivalent since the MacBook Pro in 2006. And just like the MacBook Pro, the Apple Vision Pro was a “one more thing” surprise at the end of an Apple keynote. But the original MacBook Pro was obviously designed primarily for professionals in a way the Vision Pro isn’t.
Apple’s Communication Safety feature for iPhone — designed to protect children from viewing nude images over iMessage — is being expanded to cover adult users in addition to video content and other communication methods. Announced during the WWDC event on Monday, the protections will arrive with iOS 17 later this year with all image and video processing happening right on the device itself to ensure everything is kept private, even from Apple.Read Article >
The Communication Safety in Messages feature uses on-device machine learning to automatically blur nude images in iMessages before a child can view them. With iOS 17, the expanded feature will also protect children from viewing or sharing photos that contain nudity via AirDrop, new Contact Posters, FaceTime messages, and when browsing their image library using Photo Picker. Alongside still images, it can also scan video content for nudity. Apple hasn’t confirmed if this feature will also apply to live video content such as FaceTime video calls — we’ve reached out for clarification and will update this story should we hear back.
The first bar has been cleared — critics agree the $3,499 Apple Vision Pro is an amazing tech demo. But is it a new computing paradigm with limitless possibilities? That’s not quite the impression I got from the company’s marketing, which has remarkably strong ideas on where and when you’d use this technology.Read Article >
Let’s take a look, shall we?
I just walked out of a long demo session with Apple’s new $3,499 Vision Pro headset, which the company announced at WWDC 2023 as “the world’s most advanced consumer electronics device.” It’s... a really really nice VR headset with impressive displays and video passthrough. And I mean incredibly impressive displays and video passthrough: I was happily using my phone to take notes while wearing the Vision Pro, something no other headset can realistically allow.Read Article >
That said, while Apple would obviously prefer that people think of the Vision Pro as a “powerful spatial computer” or an augmented reality device, there’s really no getting around the essential VR headset nature of the thing, down to the adjustable headstraps which definitely messed up my hair. It looks, feels, and behaves like a VR headset. If you’ve used a Meta Quest, just imagine the best possible Meta Quest running something very much like iPadOS, and you’ll get it.
- Tim Cook is really trying to make “spatial computing” happen.
I’ve been wondering for weeks what term Apple would land on: AR? VR? Mixed reality? Something else? Based on this teaser for a Good Morning America interview airing tomorrow, it sounds like Cook’s term of choice is “spatial computing.” We heard it a few times in the keynote today, and I suspect we’re going to hear it a lot more going forward. A lot more.Apple CEO Tim Cook unveils 'VisionPro'
What does the Apple Vision Pro look like? Imagine a pair of ski goggles. The fanciest, most sci-fi ski goggles you’ve ever seen. There, you’ve got it.Read Article >
Apple just announced the Vision Pro headset at its WWDC developer conference, during which executives spent a long time detailing both how the hardware works and how you’re meant to use it. After the event, we were able to take a brief look at the $3,499 Vision Pro itself — we couldn’t use it or even touch it, but we could gaze upon its metallic wonders in a demo room at the Steve Jobs Theater.
Apple’s just-announced iOS 17 won’t be coming to the iPhone X, the device that ushered in the era of Face ID. It was announced in 2017 along with the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, which will also miss out on the next iOS upgrade. That makes the iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR the oldest devices that will be eligible for iOS 17 when it becomes available this fall, but that doesn’t mean they’ll get every new feature.Read Article >
Every phone that’s eligible for iOS 17 will get the biggies: the new design-driven contact cards, the StandBy display for quick info while you’re charging, and the Check In feature to notify someone that you’ve arrived home safely. But a few features are reserved for newer iPhones. Gesture-based reactions with AR effects in FaceTime will require an iPhone 12 or newer, for example.