Apple's annual 2023 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) conference occurred early this morning. And while the event is geared towards developers on the latest software releases, there were a few hardware announcements as well. Plus, it doesn't hurt for the rest of us non-developers to be privy to what the tech brand has on its upcoming slate. Here are some takeaways from the keynote:
Throwing its hat into the mixed reality ring, Apple introduces the Vision Pro headset. This was the keystone's marquee piece that can do all the things you can do on your iPhone—answer calls; FaceTime; open e-mails; watch movies, browse the Internet... but in a mixed-reality landscape. It's Apple's answer to spatial computing, where apps come alive in your own personal space. Alas, it looks like you look like you're going snowboarding and given the external two-hour battery life, this device is clearly meant for indoors. There's also the issue of the price tag (US$3,499!) that many might baulk at. May the Vision Pro do what previous mixed reality predecessors (Google Glass; Oculus) have failed to do: be relevant.
Next year, Apple Watch users can expect an upgrade for its iWatch. Users can expect updates to their Apple Watch experience like being able to add widgets to their smart stack; new apps; more utility with the digital crown, which showcases various widgets and new full-screen displays. The software update has your health covered, thanks to a focus on your mental well-being, determining if there's a safe distance between your screen and your eyes and getting you to spend time under the sun.
The MacBook Air has always come in 13" for the longest time because it needed to live up to the lightness of the 'Air' part of its name. The 15" promises to remain lightweight while giving you a bigger display to work off from. Weighing slightly over 1.3kg and comes with an M2 chipset, the 15" MacBook Air is due to launch on 13 June.
With a new MacBook Air on the way, why not a new OS update? Named after California's famed wine country, users can expect a bunch of upgraded features like the Game Mode function. This directs processing power to your games on the CPU and GPU of your Mac and lowers your background tasks' usage. Expect reduced latency with your wireless accessories, consistent frame rates and better responsiveness.
Gone are the flying toasters and forever-extending pipes from hell but the OS update grants you a more contemplative feel with the screensaver mode. There are new slow-motion screensavers depicting places of grandeur that aren't your drab office space.
Video conferencing will take on a more intuitive approach. Its Presenter Overlay keeps the spotlight on you with your screen framed next to you on a separate layer; this allows you to move in front of your content. Move You can move, walk, and talk in front of your content. If you want to look like a disembodied floating head, you can use the small overlay to appear in a movable bubble over your shared screen. Move yourself around the screen and make a spooky moaning sound during your presentation. Go on. Do it. Be the life of the office.
Another OS update, this time for your iPhone and it'll affect your phone, FaceTime and Messages apps. Calling for Siri will be twice as fast... when the update drops the 'Hey' from 'Hey, Siri'. The update will add more personality to your iPhone as you can customise your contact posters using either photos or Memoji. Call your friends and let them see you want yourself to be seen.
Live transcription in real-time for phone voicemails is also on the cards. As well as, this cool feature that allows you to share contacts, music or other shared activities with another iPhone user when the two of you bump your iPhones or Apple Watches together.
For more information on WWDC 2023, check out the Apple website.