With WWDC 2023 just days away, it could be Apple’s biggest and most important event in a decade. At this year’s WWDC, Apple is expected to introduce a major update for iPhone users with iOS 17 and a redesigned interface for Apple Watch users with watchOS 10. Most notable, however, is the expected announcement of the Reality Pro headset with AR and VR features, as well as a new software platform xrOS.
When is WWDC 2023?
WWDC 2023 starts on Monday, June 5th. Apple will open the week-long event with a special keynote on June 5 at 10:00 AM PT / 1:00 PM ET. During this keynote, Apple will announce major updates for iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch. The company will also showcase its Reality Pro headset and xrOS software platform.
The WWDC 2023 keynote is expected to feature a high production value pre-recorded video, a beautiful video footage of Apple Park, and speeches by several Apple executives and engineers.
This year, WWDC 2023 includes an in-person component for developers and members of the press. Developers will have the opportunity to attend Monday’s keynote, take tours of Apple Park, and attend special Apple announcement sessions.
Also on June 5, Apple will announce the winners of the Apple Design Awards and has already announced the list of finalists for this year’s celebration. Following the keynote, Apple will also host a “State of the Platforms” that will feature more details on Apple’s announcements. There will also be a special evening event that Apple says attendees “won’t want to miss.”
How to watch WWDC 2023 from home
For those not visiting Apple Park, Apple will be streaming the entire WWDC live on multiple channels. You’ll be able to tune in to the WWDC keynote through the Apple website, Apple Developer app, Apple TV app, and YouTube. This means you can watch on any device you may have, including iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple TV.
The State of the Union platforms will be available to view through the Apple Developer app and website at 1:30 PM PT/4:30 PM ET. Apple will also be live streaming the Apple Design Awards on June 5 at 6:30 pm PT / 9:30 pm ET.
What to expect at WWDC 2023: iOS 17
First of all, Apple is announcing iOS 17 at WWDC this year. This will be an annual major update for iPhone users, bringing new features, changes, bug fixes and more. So what’s on the list of new features in iOS 17? Here’s what the rumors say.
A brand new diary app. The app will reportedly be integrated with Apple’s Find My app to create a “smart” logging app that integrates a number of different location-based features.
New Smart Display Mode: For the iPhone 14 Pro series, Apple is planning new features for the always-on display. iOS 17 will reportedly include a new horizontal interface for the always-on lock screen, which can display things like calendar appointments, weather forecasts, and notifications.
New features of the Health app. Apple is reportedly adding new mood and emotion tracking features in iOS 17. This will allow users to log their mood on a daily basis, answer specific questions about each day, and track results over time. The Health app is also expected to get new features for managing vision conditions, such as the ability to store contact information and eyeglass prescription information.
Unpublished download and third party app stores. In response to regulatory pressure in the European Union, Apple is preparing to open the iPhone to third-party app stores and unpublished downloads for the first time. This will allow iPhone users to install apps from sources other than Apple’s own App Store. Rumor has it that these features will be included in iOS 17 but will only be available in the European Union.
Wallet app updates. According to Bloomberg, Apple is preparing “significant” changes to the Wallet app as part of iOS 17. At this time, there are no further details on what these changes include.
AirPlay and SharePlay: Apple is also working on improvements to SharePlay as part of iOS 17. The company is also working on expanding AirPlay to more places, including hotels.
Rumors aside, Apple is likely developing other new iOS 17 features as well. The company is generally pretty good at preventing most of its software from being leaked. This means there is always an element of surprise during WWDC keynotes as Apple announces new features and changes.
Learn more about iOS 17 in our complete guide.
For iPad users, Apple is announcing iPadOS 17 at WWDC this year. Currently, rumors about what to expect from iPadOS 17 are rather weak. The most specific rumor we’ve heard so far has come from Bloomberg, which reports that iPadOS 17 will include a Health app. This will be the first time Apple has expanded the Health app beyond the iPhone.
There are a few other features that seem likely for iPadOS 17 this year. In particular, we expect Apple to bring the lock screen customization options that first appeared on the iPhone as part of iOS 16 to the iPad this year. We may also see the iOS 17 logging app coming to the iPad with iPadOS 17.
As with iPadOS 17, there are few rumors about what will be in macOS 14 this year. The update will likely include some of the new features from iOS 17, such as some sort of integration with the new journaling app and access to new Find My features.
Then at WWDC 2023, Apple will announce watchOS 10 for the Apple Watch. This is expected to be a major update with a brand new user interface for the Apple Watch. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, watchOS 10 will be a “pretty extensive update” focused on “noticeable UI changes.”
The key to this new design will be a new emphasis on widgets. watchOS 10 will reportedly use widgets as the “centerpiece” of the Apple Watch software. The new design is rumored to be similar to “widget stacks,” a feature on the iPhone and iPad that allows users to stack multiple widgets one on top of the other and scroll through them.
According to Bloomberg, Apple Watch users will be able to scroll through widgets for things like activity tracking, weather, stocks, calendar appointments, and more. The new interface will be “available as an overlay for any watch face.”
Apple’s focus on widgets could go as far as including new features for the Digital Crown hardware on the Apple Watch. In the current version of watchOS, pressing the Digital Crown takes you to the Apple Watch home screen. However, in watchOS 10, Apple is testing to have the Digital Crown open a new widget interface instead.
In addition to widgets, watchOS 10 will also likely include many of the new iOS 17 features. For example, features such as mood and emotion tracking in the Health and Journaling apps will likely have some integration with watchOS 10.
Learn more about watchOS 10 in our complete guide.
tvOS 17 for Apple TV and HomePod
There are no rumors about what Apple TV and HomePod users can expect at WWDC this year. tvOS 17 will be the latest software for Apple TV users, while HomePod Software Version 17 will be available for HomePod and HomePod mini.
15 inch Macbook Air
In terms of new hardware, Apple is expected to unveil a new 15-inch MacBook Air at WWDC. Currently, the MacBook Air is only available in one screen size, 13.6 inches, and this will be the first time Apple will offer a larger-screen version of its most popular laptop.
According to Bloomberg, the 15-inch MacBook Air has the same screen resolution as the 14-inch MacBook Pro. This means the display will be slightly less sharp than the 14-inch MacBook Pro since the same resolution has been bumped up to 15 inches.
In terms of performance, the 15-inch MacBook Air is expected to use Apple’s M2 processor and offer “on par” performance with current M2-based Macs.
The exact price of the 15-inch MacBook Air is unknown. However, given the $500 price difference between the base 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, we expect the 15-inch MacBook Air to cost $500 more than the 13-inch M2 model. Thus, the expected price of the 15-inch MacBook Air will be around $1,799.
Apple Reality Pro and xrOS
Last but not least, all signs point to Apple unveiling its long-awaited Reality Pro headset at WWDC 2023. This headset will offer both mixed and augmented reality capabilities and will feature state-of-the-art specs and hardware.
The first Apple Reality Pro headset is expected to be an ultra-premium product priced around $3,000. It will have top-notch specs, including an “innovative triple-display configuration” with two Micro-LED 4K panels. Apple is also currently working on a more affordable headset product, but it is expected to be ready for mass production until at least 2025.
The headset will reportedly run xrOS, which reportedly stands for “augmented reality” at Apple. The software platform will support a wide range of features, including FaceTime, content consumption, gaming, the ability to create virtual worlds and rooms, and more.
The Reality Pro headset will allow users to switch between AR and VR modes, a feature that will be an integral part of the xrOS software. The VR mode on xrOS will provide a complete immersion experience. By rotating a digital crown-like switch on the headset itself, xrOS gradually enters AR mode so users can see the world around them.
This year at WWDC, Apple will host a series of sessions and workshops for developers to expand their understanding of xrOS. This includes topics such as creating apps for the headset, strategies for porting apps from other platforms to the headset, design guidelines for an immersive VR experience, and more.
But even though Apple will announce its new headset and xrOS at WWDC 2023, it’s not expected to be available for purchase until later this year.
Learn more about xrOS in our complete guide.
As you can see, WWDC 2023 promises to be a major event for Apple. The event will include not only annual software updates for Apple’s existing updates, but will also introduce Apple’s first new software platform since the Apple Watch in 2014.
Keep it tied to for in-depth coverage leading up to the event. We will also be attending WWDC 2023 all week long. What do you most want to see at WWDC 2023? Let us know in the comments below.
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