WWDC 2023 was a jam-packed event with several hardware announcements, like the Vision Pro headset and Apple silicon-powered Mac Pro, which made their first appearances, alongside details of the upcoming software updates to your devices. But this description doesn’t do justice to everything Apple announced; Hence, here we will briefly detail every bit of information revealed during the two-hour-long keynote to help you learn about the newly available devices and other changes coming in Fall 2023.
Apple Vision Pro
The Vision Pro was the “One More Thing” at WWDC 2023, showcasing a product Apple has been steadily developing for several years; the constant growth even racked up over 5,000 patents. For $3,499, the headset will offer what Apple calls spatial computing, describing it as the next thing after personal and mobile computing, introduced by the Mac and iPhone, respectively.
The device works with hand gestures through and through with no controllers showcased. The operating system it runs is visionOS, which makes the entire world your canvas for operation. There’s a lot of unique hardware built into this device, and while its initial release will be limited — it’s only coming to the United States in 2023 — we remain excited to see what it offers.
New Mac Hardware
The Vision Pro overshadowed a bunch of other key hardware announcements, as Apple finally unveiled the 15-inch MacBook Air, M2-powered Mac Studio, and the Apple silicon Mac Pro, completing its transition away from Intel-based hardware.
There’s a new processor to see packaged in the Mac Studio and Mac Pro — the M2 Ultra — which combines two M2 Max processors, alongside improved I/O performance, RAM, and storage configurations. The two devices even come with Bluetooth 5.3 and Wi-Fi 6E for better wireless connectivity.
As for the MacBook Air, the primary update is in terms of size, which makes the device a more viable option for those who need a larger canvas to work with! Other aspects of the device remain similar to the 13-inch variant of the M2 MacBook Air (which has seen its price drop by $100).
Every Mac announced at WWDC 2023 is available for pre-order from June 5, 2023, and retail availability will start from June 13, 2023. As for pricing, MacBook Air starts at $1,299, Mac Studio starts at $1,999, and Mac Pro starts at $6,999.
Coming to the OS updates, iOS 17 continues the trend of personalization we’ve seen in the last two major iOS releases. Phone, Messages, and FaceTime have slightly revamped UIs making the user experience more pleasant, while new apps like Journal promote ways to improve your well-being.
There are many other additions throughout iOS that will improve the privacy elements of the operating system and also make it easier to share and communicate with friends and family. The update will make its way to users in Fall 2023, with some features slated to arrive later in the year. A feature I’m really excited to experience is StandBy on my iPhone 14 Pro, which will convert it into an always-on information hub of sorts.
Also, keep in mind, you will need an iPhone XS and later to download the free update; this confirms that Apple is dropping support for iPhone X and the iPhone 8 lineup.
Moving onto iPadOS, after announcing the addition of pro apps like Final Cut and Logic to the platform last month, Apple is improving the iPad experience by finally bringing features that put its personalization offerings on par with the iPhone.
The update brings Lock Screen customization to the tablet alongside other updates to Messages and FaceTime that Apple spoke of with iOS 17. There’s even support for interactive widgets on the Home Screen and Lock Screen. Also, Health is now available on iPad, letting you assess data on a larger screen.
As for iPad-specific features, there’s a new improved system to work with PDFs where you will able to seamlessly enter data into fields that your iPad recognizes. Stage Manager is also improving to be more flexible with its resizable windows.
With iPadOS 17, Apple is dropping support for a few iPad models, though the cut isn’t as large as many expected. iPad (5th generation), iPad Pro 9.7-inch, and the iPad Pro 12.9-inch (1st generation) will not get the updates, all other models — released after these — will receive the update.
Coming to the operating system of Apple Watch, as the rumors indicated, watchOS 10 sees a huge visual overhaul make its way to the platform. The larger displays on Apple Watch are now being utilized better with more data being present at a glance. And the addition of Smart Stack — a widget carousel — makes information more accessible on any watch face.
Activity, Weather, Stocks, and other core Apple Watch applications have also been redesigned with the new visual design. There are also two new watch faces coming to Apple Watch this fall, Palette and Snoopy & Woodstock, the former being more colorful, while the latter adds a nice comic element to the wearable.
The update will make its way to Apple Watch Series 4 and models released after, provided they are paired with an iPhone running iOS 17.
macOS 14 Sonoma
The last major update Apple introduced on the stage was macOS 14, monikered Sonoma. The primary additions with this update are the new Interactive Widgets, video conferencing features — like Presenter Overlay— and Game Mode for Mac. The Safari experience will also be improved with support for profiles (also available on other Apple devices). Like the other software updates, macOS Sonoma will be available in Fall 2023.
WWDC 2023 sets up Apple devices for more personalized experiences
WWDC 2023 was an event with a huge spread of announcements, all of which are bringing useful changes and new experiences to Apple devices. Be it with the Adaptive Audio on AirPods or with the Contact Posters on iOS, or the realm of possibilities brought to life by visionOS and the Vision Pro. It looks like we’re set for an exciting few months as the updates and hardware roll out, and we can’t wait to test and tell you more about them.