What struck the most attention on the first day of WWDC 2023 is undoubtedly the long-awaited mixed reality headset, called Vision Pro.
As far as we know, it will be publicly available next year, at a shocking price of $3,499, making it the most expensive in the category so far.
So, how does it work?
It has no hand controllers but rather registers the signal from your fingertips and eye movement to give you a virtual environment, on top of the real one, that you can easily and intuitively navigate. The fact that it doesn’t completely isolate you from the real world makes it less intrusive and more adaptable to everyday life.
Another interesting thing refers to the fact that, when you have a FaceTime call, for example, it will create a deepfake of you (without the headset), mimicking your exact expressions, posture and movements. That way, you can use this “persona” even when you’re not all dressed up and ready to be seen.
You can also adjust the size of the digital screen so that it doesn’t interfere with your regular activities.
According to the comments online, the only downside for now (apart from the price) is that Vision Pro uses a cable tied to an external pocket-sized battery that presumably lasts for around two hours.
Apple users can look forward to iOS 17 coming in the fall this year.
So, what’s new compared to the previous versions of iOS?
For example, now, when somebody gives you a call, you’ll see their photo (the so-called Contact Poster) centered on your screen. Each user can create it for themself, and customize it whenever needed. This info will be automatically collected when you communicate with someone.
Not only that but, when you bring together two iPhones, or Apple Watches, you’ll see something called NameDrop (a reference to an AirDrop), meaning that the users’ Contact Posters will show up and you can decide on the spot which information you’d like to share with the other person.
And the best part is, this new feature allows you to seamlessly share photos to another iOS device even after you leave the AirDrop range.
But, back to phone calls. You can now see the real-time transcription of the phone call when you tap the “Voicemail” icon. Moreover, this icon serves another purpose – as the name suggests, you can now leave a voicemail to another user during a FaceTime if they don’t pick up.
And, considering how many users showed interest in sharing their location with family and friends, a new feature will be introduced, called CheckIn, which allows you to do the mentioned and will even notify the people you shared your location with that you arrived home safely.
Another new app announced yesterday is called Journal, with a mission to motivate you to sum up your day and be a little more thoughtful and introspective than usual. For those who are not used to this kind of entries, the app will provide you with simple questions that’ll make the evaluation of the day easier.
Smaller upgrades will also be made in the Messages App, as well as with the Autocorrect option and Siri.
Same as for iOS, a new operating system for iPad devices will be coming this fall, aimed at making the user experience neater and getting things done in fewer clicks. That way, for example, they will introduce an interactive widget that’ll allow you to interact with apps directly from the homepage.
In other words, you won’t have to go into individual apps anymore to, let’s say, play music.
For those who use iPad to edit PDF files or to draw, you’ll be happy to learn that Apple has made progress in this area as well, making it easier and smoother to do inline editing.
Another upgrade is related to your lock screen, where you can now add animations or change the font to make it more personalized and creative.
What you can expect from the new macOS Sonoma is, for starters, to have plenty of new widgets, that you can now pull directly to your desktop, and somewhat similar upgrades already mentioned with iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, and a completely new feature called the Game Mode.
But the real innovative feature is related to dynamic webpages, called the Web Apps feature, meaning that you can now save a website to your dock and it will have the same effect as using an app for the exact website.
Safari will also see smaller upgrades, such as creating personalized profiles for both professional and personal purposes.
When thinking about new upgrades to the Apple Watch, Apple wanted to tackle its biggest downside – the screen size. Since it doesn’t make much sense to make the watch bigger, since it wouldn’t be as wearable, they decided to go with another option – you can now twist the crown to see a short stack of your most-used widgets and relevant notifications, based on your calendar, location, and more.
Other upgrades support the health priority, making it easier to connect the device with Bluetooth accessories used as exercise equipment, especially for cycling workouts. The Mindfulness app is also getting some upgrades, with more precise guidelines for expressing how you’re feeling and encouraging you to regularly check your mental health with standardized clinical questionnaires.
The new MacBook Air doesn’t come as much of a surprise compared to the last year’s Air edition, apart from the fact that the screen size has been upgraded, from 13 to 15 inches. Respectively, it’s somewhat thicker and heavier than the 13-inch version, coming to 3.3 pounds and 11.5 mm.
Expectedly, the previous Air version is cutting down its price by $100, whereas the new model will be available starting next week, at a price of $1,299.
If you are interested in finding out more about the Audio & Home announcements, you can still watch the complete demonstration on Youtube.