What to Expect from Apple’s WWDC 2023

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Apple Headset Concept via 9to5Mac

We’re heading into the weekend and next Monday will be Apple’s big annual developer conference kickoff, known as WWDC.

This year Apple is expected to finally take the wraps off its mixed-reality headset that runs xrOS, and the may be named Reality Pro, Reality One, or XR Pro.

Mark Gurman from Bloomberg today provided his preview of what to expect from WWDC. There’s no one else to trust when it comes to leaking Apple’s product roadmaps. He’s provided a summary of Apple’s mixed-reality headset, plus what’s coming in next versions of iOS, iPadOS, watchOS and macOS.

Below is a summary of the Apple headset specifications according to his sources up until now:

  • Design: High-tech ski goggles made of glass, carbon fiber, and aluminum.
  • Display: Dual 4K screens for Virtual Reality (VR), with a curved external screen for Augmented Reality (AR).
  • Processor: M2 chip.
  • Memory: 16GB RAM.
  • Battery: External battery pack, similar to a larger version of the MagSafe Battery Pack for the iPhone. Approximate usage time is two hours per charge.
  • Control: Eye and hand control, with pinch gesture for selection. Includes Siri voice assistant.
  • Audio: Array of microphones, with speakers mounted near temples. Enhanced spatial audio through AirPods.
  • Connectivity: Wired connection to battery pack.
  • Charging: Magnetic charging system with clockwise twist lock mechanism.
  • User Interface: Digital Crown for toggling between AR and VR. iPad-like home screen of icons and widgets.
  • Apps: Supports a multitude of iPad and iPhone apps including Books, Camera, Contacts, FaceTime, Files, Freeform, Home, Mail, Maps, Messages, Music, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari, Stocks, TV, and Weather. New Wellness app focusing on meditation and sports watching portal also included.
  • Features: Advanced videoconferencing, virtual meeting rooms with realistic avatars, collaboration tools via Freeform app, and the ability to work as an external monitor.
  • Price: Expected to be around $3,000 USD and possibly debut in US only to start (no surprise for Canadians).

Apple has built a demo area at Apple Park to allow for demos of the headset to take place. Apple is also contemplating issuing warnings to potential customers with specific conditions such as Meniere’s Disease, migraines, vertigo, and past traumatic brain injuries due to possible health impacts.

iOS and iPadOS 17

The new operating system, codenamed Dawn, is set to bring several new features. For iPhone, a smart display mode will be introduced. This feature will offer a unique interface for displaying upcoming events and other essential data when the device is locked and placed in landscape mode. It will also provide notifications in this mode.

A new journaling app will be available, allowing users to record notes and share their activities such as cycling trips. This app is designed to help users keep track of their moods and emotions and will integrate with the iPhone’s location services.

Apple’s Wallet app is slated for a big upgrade, reflecting the company’s growing focus on financial services. The new update is expected to facilitate deeper integration with third-party credit cards, providing balance information similar to the Apple Card experience—which is of course not available in Canada.

SharePlay will receive improvements related to the new Apple headset, while AirPlay will simplify the process of streaming content to non-owned TVs and speakers, such as those in hotels.

The Health app will see the addition of mood logging features and tools for managing vision issues, while also debut on iPad.

watchOS 10

Apple is reintroducing widgets to the Apple Watch in watchOS 10. These widgets will resemble those seen on the iOS and iPadOS home screens, offering easy access to information such as weather updates, stock ticker data, and upcoming calendar events.

Also, Apple will alter certain button functionalities on the Apple Watch. For instance, the Digital Crown will be repurposed to open the new widget interface, instead of jumping to the Home Screen of apps.

Apple is set to redesign all of the core apps on the Apple Watch, designed to maximize the potential of the larger displays available on the Apple Watch Ultra and larger standard models.

Mac and macOS

Apple is set to spotlight its Mac products and unveil a new 15-inch MacBook Air, which bears a similar design to the current model but in a larger size. This was supposed to debut last year according to Gurman.

In addition, Apple is close to launching updated versions of the Mac Studio line. The new models, codenamed Mac 14,13 and Mac 14,14 or J475, will replace last year’s M1 Max and M1 Ultra models and will come equipped with M2 Max and M2 Ultra configurations. The M2 Max chip is identical to those found in the latest 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, while the M2 Ultra is a brand-new addition.

The M2 Ultra chip, which boasts 24 CPU cores and up to 76 graphics cores, will also provide RAM options of 64GB, 128GB, and 192GB. This high-performance chip is also expected to be incorporated into the Mac Pro following the termination of development on an even more potent chip.

While it’s unlikely that these models will be addressed at the event, Apple is also developing M3 versions of the MacBook Air, entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, high-end MacBook Pros, and iMac.

Lastly, the new Mac operating system, codenamed Sunburst, is not anticipated to have major updates this year. Instead, it will enhance compatibility for new features launching in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.

You can click here to learn how to watch the WWDC23 keynote, which kicks off on Monday at 10am PDT/1pm EDT. We’ll have all the coverage of WWDC news, stay tuned.

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