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 offered a preview of iPadOS 17 at WWDC 2023 today. The new tablet software update is set to gain many of the same features of iOS 17, including a handful of new Messages features (like automatic voice note transcriptions), expanded AirDrop capabilities, and smarter autocorrect for text input.Read Article >
The iPad is also catching up to iOS with the ability to personalize the lock screen; this works much the same way that it does on the iPhone. Apple’s software VP Craig Federighi also showcased new interactive widgets that can be placed on the homescreen. iPadOS 17 will also bring over the Health app. And last, the iPad will be able to display Live Activities just like iOS.
Apple is changing Siri’s trigger phrase from “Hey Siri” to just “Siri.” The change, part of iOS 17, will make it easier to summon the virtual assistant on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and other devices and follows a report from Bloomberg in November that Apple was working on moving Siri to a single wake word.Read Article >
Apple has been using “Hey Siri” up until now since the underlying engineering and training work is easier against a two-word trigger phrase. Moving to a single wake word is a significant shift, even if it might seem simple. Amazon allows Alexa users to trigger the assistant using “Hey Alexa” or just “Alexa,” and even Microsoft supported just “Cortana” as a wake word before shutting down its voice assistant on iOS and Android in 2021.
Apple has announced Journal, a new journaling app for iOS that allows iPhone users to regularly log their daily activities. Announced at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, Journal is the company’s latest step into the health and wellness segment, joining other iOS apps like Fitness, Sleep, and Breathe that help users track and manage aspects of their everyday lives.Read Article >
Journal will be released on iOS 17, which is expected to roll out in September later this year. Apple says that the new iPhone app will use on-device machine learning to curate personalized suggestions for users to commemorate within their digital journal, pulling information from contacts, pictures, music, workouts, location data, and more.
Apple’s iOS 17 is official, making its debut on WWDC 2023’s keynote stage. Highlights include new safety features, a built-in journaling app, a new nightstand mode, redesigned contact cards, better auto-correct and voice transcription, and live voicemail. And you’ll be able to drop the “hey” from “Hey Siri.”Read Article >
Your contact book is getting an update with a new feature called posters, which turns contact cards into flashy marquee-like images that show up full-screen on your recipient’s iPhone when you call them. They use a similar design language as the redesigned lock screens, with bold typography options and the ability to add Memoji, and will work with third-party VoIP apps. There’s also a new live transcription feature for voicemail that lets you view a transcript of the message a caller is leaving in real time. You can choose to ride it out or pick up the call, and it’s all handled on-device. You’ll also be able to leave a message on FaceTime, too.
It’s finally happening. Apple is bringing back the Mac Pro with new chips designed for 2023. It’s the first big update to the Mac Pro in four years, and it completes Apple’s transition to its own Arm-powered Silicon. The new Mac Pro model will be available starting June 13th for $6,999.Read Article >
The new Mac Pro looks the same as the old Intel version with the cheese grater metal front, but there are some major changes on the inside. The Mac Pro will come with Apple’s M2 Ultra chip, as well as six open PCIe Gen 4 slots for expansion, and offer eight built-in Thunderbolt ports. It can be configured with up to a 76-core GPU and 192GB of memory. With a fully specced model, Apple says it can be up to 3x faster than the old Intel version.
Apple is updating its Mac Studio desktop system with M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips. The miniature desktop Mac Studio has the same design as last year’s M1-powered device but much more powerful processors inside. The updated Mac Studio will start at $1,999 and start shipping on June 13th.Read Article >
M2 Ultra is the big news here, with Apple describing it as “a monster of a chip.” It’s essentially two M2 Max dies connected with Apple’s UltraFusion technology, with a 24-core CPU and up to a 76-core GPU that’s 30 percent faster than the M1 Ultra. Apple claims that a single system with this type of GPU can train ML workloads that discrete GPUs can’t handle due to memory constraints.
Apple has unveiled a new 15-inch MacBook Air at its 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference. Apple claims that the device will be “the world’s best 15-inch laptop.” It’ll come with Apple’s M2 chip, with an eight-core CPU, a 10-core GPU, and a 16-core neural engine.Read Article >
The new model is 11.5mm thick, which Apple says makes it the world’s thinnest 15-inch laptop, and it will weigh just over three pounds. It has two USB-C Thunderbolt ports (supporting up to a 6K external display at 60Hz), a MagSafe charging connector, and a headphone jack and will come in midnight, starlight, space gray, and silver colors.
It’s time to see Apple’s plans for virtual reality. At WWDC 2023, the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple is expected to introduce its first VR headset and tell the world why it thinks this tech is the future.Read Article >
There’s a lot riding on the introduction: this is one of only a few major new product categories that Apple has stepped into under CEO Tim Cook, and it’s one that many other companies have tried and struggled to succeed in. Meta’s high-end Quest Pro was a flop; Samsung discontinued the Gear VR; HTC has struggled to gain support from app makers. And more generally speaking, it’s still not clear how many hours a day anyone wants to keep one of these things on their head.
Jun 5“Code new worlds.”
Certified augmented reality enthusiast Tim Cook would like to remind you (in case our list of top stories allowed you to forget) that Apple will have an event later today, complete with a brief and conveniently loop-friendly musical interlude.
Just press play, and come back here at 10AM PT / 1PM ET for all the news from WWDC 2023.
- Kuo: Investors are taking a wait-and-see approach to Apple’s AR headset.
While many are champing at the bit to see Apple’s new AR headset, some investors are more interested in potential AI announcements at WWDC, according to a tweet today from supply chain analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
As Kuo explains it, the headset “may not be a substantial revenue and profit contributor for suppliers in the next two years compared to AI.”
- These are issues Apple may fix in later versions of the “Reality Pro.”
We may not know until after WWDC, but Apple's mixed reality headset probably won't address every AR issue right out of the gate. As pointed out by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman in his Power On newsletter today:
I expect that future versions will fix problems in the first model — such as nausea complaints, performance hiccups, overheating concerns and a lack of cellular connectivity — and bring down the price.
That’s not surprising, and doesn’t paint the “Reality Pro” as doomed, just a first attempt likely aimed at developers and very early adopters. As Casey Newton writes for The Verge, whether Apple’s new platform succeeds depends more on its evolution than on tomorrow’s device.
As Apple prepares its long-rumored jump into augmented reality on Monday, doubts have shadowed every step of the way. There are reports of frequent changes in direction and skepticism inside Apple’s ranks. The device has allegedly been hard to manufacture and required numerous compromises. The process has taken years longer than Apple expected. And at a rumored $3,000, even Apple reportedly expects slow short-term sales.Read Article >
But among AR professionals, the mood is jubilant. “This is the single greatest thing that could happen to this industry,” says Jay Wright, CEO of VR / AR collaboration platform Campfire 3D. “Whether you make hardware or software. We’re excited about it.”
Jun 3“Hey Siri” is about to get chopped in half.
Late last year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman said Apple would change Siri’s invocation phrase to just “Siri” but was unsure about how long that shift might take. Now he says the change will be announced along with everything else we’ll hear about at WWDC next week.
If Apple’s mixed reality headset is going to succeed, it’s going to be because of the apps. On Monday, Apple will take the stage at its 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference to talk about FaceTime and Apple Books and all the other cool built-in stuff you’ll be able to do with its ski goggles strapped to your face. But if it can’t get third-party developers on board, and those developers don’t figure out how to build life-changingly great stuff for those goggles, the Reality Pro (or whatever it’s called) doesn’t stand a chance.Read Article >
Apple knows this better than anyone, of course. The iPhone took off when apps like Instagram and Uber showed what you could do with a camera and a GPS in your pocket. The iPad became a creative tool because creative people kept building cool stuff to do on such a huge touchscreen. And developers at places like Nike and Strava did more to make the case for the Apple Watch than Apple’s Walkie Talkie app and weird heartbeat-sending thing ever did. Apple’s product strategy for 15 years has been to make the coolest gadget it can, show it to developers, and ask them what they think.
Jun 2Apple’s VR/AR goggles might come with some important warning labels.
Apple’s recent focus on accessibility in its devices includes features like the upcoming Personal Voice and Assistive Access mode. Now, according to Mark Gurman, Apple’s considering including warnings that people with specific health conditions should not buy or use the headset that it’s expected to reveal next week.
That includes people with Meniere’s Disease, past traumatic brain injuries, post-concussion syndrome, migraines and vertigo.
A similar notice (PDF) for Meta’s Quest notes the risk of seizures and possible interference with medical devices. In another tweet, Gurman said Apple could add additional warnings for ADHD, anxiety, pacemakers, pregnancy, and more.
Apple’s upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) is expected to be one of its biggest yet. After years of rumors and leaks, Apple could finally take the wraps off of its mixed reality headset, entering the company into a new product category and giving the world a first look at its attempt to prove that virtual reality is worth investing in.Read Article >
There’s also certain to be a lot more: operating system updates, new apps and features, and possibly some new hardware, too. Here, we’ve pulled together details on how and when you can watch the main WWDC keynote as well as some of the announcements that we expect from Apple.
Just when the metaverse had mostly faded from the headlines, a heavily rumored new product launch appears poised to bring it roaring back. Today let’s talk about what’s happened in the world of virtual and mixed reality since last we left it and whether Apple can find mainstream uses for headsets that go beyond the games that have defined it so far.Read Article >
Monday marks the start of Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Unlike most years, when coming software updates dominate the keynote, this year hardware is expected to take center stage. After more than seven years of development, Apple is reportedly set to unveil the Reality Pro, a roughly $3,000 headset that aims to serve a variety of productivity uses. (Apple almost certainly will not use “the metaverse” in any marketing materials, though, however convenient it might be for those of us writing about the space.)
Jun 2Today on The Vergecast: It’s headsets all the way down.
Meta’s got a new headset. Apple’s almost certainly got a new headset. Can I interest you in a headset? What do you look for in a headset? When I say “headset,” what do you think of? What’s it gonna take to get you into a headset today?
We also spend a lot of time previewing WWDC. But let’s be real: this is the year of the headset.
Heading into WWDC 2013, Apple had a lot to prove. The company was still licking its wounds from the botched launch of Apple Maps in iOS 6, and complaints had been growing around iOS’s increasingly stale design. Though the iPhone was by then a proven hit, iOS was starting to look outdated. Remember the notepad-like Notes app? The weird linen background behind Notification Center? The felt-ish green background of the Game Center app? When compared to things like Microsoft’s very flat and, for the time, very modern Windows Phone platform (RIP), it felt like iOS needed a shake-up.Read Article >
So it was no surprise that, on June 10th, 2013, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced what’s perhaps become Apple’s most important iOS update ever: iOS 7. But he didn’t linger onstage, quickly giving up the spotlight to a video narrated by Apple’s then-SVP of industrial design, Jony Ive, who had taken over software design from the ousted iOS exec Scott Forstall just months before.
Jun 1Sean Murray sure seems to be teasing No Man’s Sky for Apple’s unannounced VR headset.
The game just came out on Mac, already supports VR, and he tweeted about a surprise in the “VERY near future” and what appears to be a picture of the game’s Steam page with the Windows logo, Apple logo, and the words “VR Supported.”
With Apple’s WWDC keynote in the very near future, it looks like we might see No Man’s Sky as a featured game during the show.
- WWDC might bring Mac Studios with M2 chips.
A new report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman says that Apple is testing new computers with M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips. Given that the Mac Studio is now more than a year old and runs on the M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips... I’ll let you connect the dots.
Next Monday is going to be a really big show, isn’t it?
Apple could have a pretty big Worldwide Developers Conference next week, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. In addition to the rumored mixed reality headset and the usual updates to its operating systems, Gurman is expecting Apple to focus on “several” new Macs at the show, he said in a tweet.Read Article >
Gurman has already reported that a MacBook Air with a larger 15-inch screen and M2 chip is in the works, and it seems possible that could be one of the stars of the WWDC show. Apple revealed the redesigned M2-equipped 13-inch Air at last year’s WWDC, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility that Apple would once again use the event to introduce a larger Air.
Many have predicted the death of the iPhone. We’ve been at Peak iPhone a bunch of different times. We’ve seen “stagnant growth,” “looming trouble,” and prognostications that other companies would steal Apple’s market share or that wearables or hearables or AR or VR or XR or SomethingElseR would usurp the smartphone. And yet, the iPhone remains what it has been for a decade and a half: the most successful product in consumer electronics, a $51 billion business in the first three months of this year alone.Read Article >
A more fair thing to say might be that the iPhone is complete. That’s what we get into in this Status Update. It’s not dead, it’s not dying, but maybe it’s a product on which there is not much more work to do. It’s true of smartphones in general, really; billions of people have slabs of glass in their pocket, and for most people, those slabs are appliances now. Users, by and large, don’t want whiz-bang new features or huge interface overhauls. (We’ll see if folding phones can spark another cycle of new ideas, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.) They just want their device to be a little faster, last a little longer, and maybe cost a little less. They replace theirs when it breaks and not a moment sooner.
May 31Macs, OS updates, and that all-important headset coming next week.
He’s expecting it to be a big year for hardware, with Apple’s new mixed-reality headset debuting alongside “several” new Macs, and annual updates to Apple’s range of operating systems.