5 biggest reveals from the Apple WWDC 2023 keynote

Apple WWDC 2023

Apple hosted its highly-anticipated WWDC 2023 keynote overnight which was filled with a huge number of announcements. From the long-awaited reveal of a mixed reality headset to massively-powered desktops, and significant software updates, there was a lot to absorb.

While our coverage of the many WWDC reveals is ongoing, we thought we’d share the five biggest announcements so you can dazzle your friends with knowledge. There’s both new hardware and software to get excited about, so let’s dive into what caught our attention.

Apple Vision Pro is the long-rumoured mixed reality headset

It exists, it’s actually a real thing. Despite many rumours over the past few months and years about when Apple would enter a new device category, it finally revealed the headset it’s been working on.

Called the Apple Vision Pro, it’s a mixed reality headset that combines virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. Built for the visionOS platform that connects with other Apple devices, Vision Pro uses not only an M2 chip but also a brand-new R1 chip to power its immersive experience.

Apple refers to the device as a “spatial computer”, a phrase we’ll likely hear plenty of in the coming years. While wearing the Vision Pro, you can meet, work and play in an environment akin to a personal cinema for your eyes. You can control it via eye-tracking and hand gestures, which we’re looking forward to testing out.

Out next year, the Apple Vision Pro comes with a price of US$3,499, which will be well in excess of $5,000 in Australia based on the current exchange rate. Apple appears committed to the long game here, one that spatial computing may be a part of for years to come.

New M2 Ultra chip unleashes Mac Studio and Mac Pro power

After the previous generation’s top-of-the-line M1 Ultra chip, we were wondering when the M2 equivalent would surface. It’ll be here very soon, powering the latest Mac Studio and Mac Pro desktop computers.

As one would expect of a processor upgrade, it’s faster and more powerful than any Apple silicon chip before it. Built for high-end creatives who need all the multitasking and rendering grunt under the sun, the new Macs wield some mighty-looking specs.

Apple reveals slim 15-inch MacBook Air at WWDC 2023

Another big WWDC 2023 reveal came in the form of the 15-inch MacBook Air. Apple refers to it as the world’s best and thinnest 15-inch laptop, citing the device’s svelte form factor as a big point of difference. At just 11.5mm thick and 1.51kg, it’s an extremely portable 15-inch laptop, for sure.

Performance-wise, it houses many of the same components as the 13-inch MacBook Air, including the base M2 chip. One of the other main features is its six-speaker array capable of producing Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos sound. Not bad for such a light device.

The 15-inch MacBook Air is next week, accompanied by a welcome price drop for the 13-inch model.

Heaps of features and improvements come with iOS 17

Alongside the hardware reveals were plenty of exciting software updates. Arguably the most notable is iOS 17 coming to iPhones this spring in Australia.

There are plenty of nice-to-haves in addition to heaps of genuinely helpful features out soon. From Live Voicemail providing real-time transcriptions to the safety-focused Check In feature, you’ll have plenty to try out when the major update arrives.

Major Apple Watch update delights cyclists and hikers

WatchOS 10 was another highlight of the WWDC 2023 keynote, especially if you’re into working out. For cyclists and hikers in particular, the upcoming software update adds more ways to track your exercise so you get the most from your outings.

Cyclists will get more data by viewing the workout in the Live Activity view on iPhones, plus you’ll be able to connect to Bluetooth bike accessories to measure more specific performance information.

Meanwhile, hikers benefit from navigation updates to the Compass app. One of the most helpful is the ability to view waypoints where you last had phone signal in low-reception areas. This means if something happens and you need to call for help, you know where to go to find phone signal.

We’re still diving into all of the details from WWDC 2023 and will continue our coverage throughout the week. Let us know if anything stood out to you and what you’re most looking forward to following the event.

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Valens Quinn attended Apple WWDC 2023 in Cupertino as a guest of Apple Australia