As regular as the tides, Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference has become a big and highly anticipated part of our calendar. As is usual, this year’s keynote announcements will include all the usual improvements for iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, macOS, and more — but this year is also likely to be different, thanks to the reveal of a brand new area for Apple, the Reality Pro headset.
The keynote is jammed full of content, as usual, and it’s running right now. But not everyone can tune into the keynote as it unfolds, which is why we’ve collated all the biggest announcements right here. Here’s everything announced at WWDC 2023, but this is a developing story, so make sure to refresh for the latest news.
A new Macbook Air 15-inch
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Apple kicked off WWDC by introducing a new Macbook Air, a 15-inch variant of the regular 13-inch Macbook Air. Apple claims it’s the world’s best 15-inch laptop, and with a thin and light, but durable design, extremely powerful Apple M2 processor, and gorgeous 15.3-inch Retina display.
According to the announcement, regular 15-inch laptops tend to come with a lot of trade-offs and compromises, something which the Macbook Air 15 will avoid. It comes in four different colorways, and comes with the MagSafe charging port, two USB-C ports, and a headphone jack. The display has a billion colors, with a 1080 webcam above, and six speakers below.
The Macbook Air 15 will cost $1,299 ($1,199 for educators). The Macbook Air 13 will get a small price drop to celebrate, falling to $1,099, while the M1 Macbook Air will fall to $999.
New Mac Studio and Mac Pro
The professional Mac Studio is getting some new versions using Apple’s most powerful new cores. There’s now an M2 Max and M2 Pro version of the Mac Studio, but the new Mac Studio will also sport a brand new Apple chip — the Mac M2 Ultra. Basically two M2 Pro processors stuck together, the M2 Ultra is a stunningly powerful chip, and is capable of 22 streams of 8K ProRes footage in Final Cut Pro, and is 6x faster than the fastest Intel-powered Mac Pro.
The Mac Studio isn’t the only Mac product getting the M2 Ultra. There’s a new Mac Pro with the M2 Ultra as well, giving the Mac Pro a much needed and powerful upgrade. This new Mac Pro has eight Thunderbolt ports, six expansion slots for customization, and it comes in both tower and rack mount enclosures.
The M2 Mac Studio starts from $1,999, while the M2 Ultra Mac Pro starts from $6,999. Pre-orders open today, with shipping starting next week.
As has become tradition, the new version of iOS took center-stage at the WWDC keynote.
There’s no big headline-grabbing feature this time around, with Apple focusing largely on quality-of-life improvements over fancy new additions, but even with that in mind, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about iOS 17.
iOS 17 will add personal contact “posters” when called by specific contacts, giving you the ability to customize your contact screen the same way you’d customize your lockscreen. That’s not the only part of the Phone app being updated too, as Apple is also adding Live Voicemail, which offers a live transcript of any voicemail being taken, so you can choose whether you want to pick up the call or not. Finally for calls, FaceTime is also getting video voicemails.
Messages is getting search filters, a catch-up arrow to jump to where you left off in a particular chat, so you don’t have to keep scrolling to get back to where you left off, and a live location feature. This comes hand-in-hand with the new Check In feature, which lets specific contacts know if you’ve gotten home safe. It’ll also be able to let specific contacts know if it seems as if something has gotten wrong. On a lighter note, the Sticker feature has been expanded with a new Sticker drawer, the ability to use all emojis as Stickers, and being able to use Stickers anywhere on iOS.
AirDrop on iOS 17 will support NameDrop, a new way of transferring contact information between iPhones. To use it, simply place your iPhone near another and choose which contacts to transfer. It’ll even work with an Apple Watch. AirDrop will now also continue transferring over mobile internet if you leave AirDrop range.
The keyboard’s autocorrect is getting supercharged, with more intelligent corrections and automatic word-learning for a more personal touch. Dictation will also benefit from these changes, making it more accurate.
Apple leaned hard into the lockscreen changes last year, and iOS 17 is building even further on that. In iOS 17, your iPhone’s lockscreen will morph into a smart home display-like state called “Standby”. When it’s not in use and in a horizontal orientation, it’ll show the weather, upcoming appointments, notifications, and other important information. Apple’s aim is to make your iPhone more useful even when you’re not using it, and it helps to fill a smart display-sized hole in Apple’s Homekit offerings. Siri works in Standby from just saying “Siri”, and it adapts for nighttime as well, shifting into a less intrusive red-light.
One of the more surprising additions to iOS 17 is Journal. Essentially a diary app on steroids, Apple’s new app will use machine learning to prompt users to add the details of their day, along with their thoughts and feelings.
Using this information, the app will analyse your day, determining what an average day for you is, and how often you’re likely to step outside of your norm. It’ll also be able to detect nearby friends, and integrate with texts and phone calls — but all processing will be done on device, in order to ensure user security.
Journaling is a well known mindfulness technique, and so it’s easy to see this as Apple pushing further into the physical and mental health world. We’re excited to try this out.
iPadOS 17 will be getting a lot of the same updates and tweaks as iOS 17, but with a few additions just for the large screened operating system.
Widgets are getting improvements in iPadOS 17, and you’ll be able to quickly interact with any widget on your homescreen without needing to shift to the widget’s app.
iPadOS is catching up the iOS, as well, with lockscreen customization. Once you’ve updated, you’ll be able to customize your iPad’s lockscreen to match or contrast with your iPhone’s lockscreen, with the benefit on seeing it on a much larger screen. Live Activities is also coming to iPadOS’s lockscreen, as well as multiple timers at once.
One of the biggest and best improvements to iPadOS, though, has to be the addition of the Health app. Apple provides a lot of health data, so it’s great to have the large screen of an iPad to really dive deep into your latest workouts, health reports, and more.
PDF support is getting improved too, and now iPads will be able to detect the text entry portions on a PDF, giving you the ability to quickly and easily fill in the entries you need to complete, before sending it off. PDFs will now also be stored within the Notes app, giving you unparalleled ability to store multiple PDFs within a single Note, or work with someone else on the same information using Live Colloboration.
As expected, the new version of macOS debuted at the WWDC Keynote. Named macOS Sonoma, this new update includes a lot of the new additions coming to iOS and iPadOS. Sonoma includes a number of stunning new videos screensavers which slowly scroll across gorgeous places around the world.
Do you love widgets? We do. Sonoma is adding the ability to add widgets directly to your desktop. You can add them wherever you like, and they intelligently adapt to what you’re doing on your Mac at any time. They’ll change color depending on your wallpaper, and when you’re using an app they’ll fade into the background so they’re less distracting. Like iPhone and iPad, Sonoma’s widgets are fully interactable directly from the desktop.
Gaming hasn’t traditionally been macOS’s strong suit, but Apple’s M-series processors are changing that. Sonoma is getting a Game Mode, which optimizes your Mac to run games, reducing non-game processes to make sure your Mac runs your games in tip-top condition.
That wasn’t everything on the gaming side, too. Legendary game creator Hideo Kojima made a surprise appearance to announce that the Death Stranding Directors Cut would be coming to Macs later this year.
macOS isn’t all play and no work, too. A presenter overlay will pop-up during video presentations, giving you more immediate feedback on your current presentation, while watchers will be able to respond to your presentations with interactive reactions. These will work on most video presenting platforms, including Zoom and FaceTime.
Safari will now allow for secure password sharing, and introduces a new Profile system, which will allow you to separate your browsing history and cookies between work and play, or just between users on a single machine. If you use specific websites a lot, the new WebApp feature can turn those websites into a pseudo-app interface, removing the website from Safari, and giving it its own specific window.
Audio and video
The most popular headphones in the world, AirPods are getting some new abilities. Adaptive Audio combines Noise Cancelation and the Transparency mode to intelligently adapt and swap between audio modes when required. So distracting noises will be tuned out, while anything important will be highlighted. Conversation Awareness plays into this by automatically lowering music volume when it detects you’re starting to talk to someone, and focusing the Transparency mode on the person you’re talking to.
AirPlay is also being improved. AirPlay will learn when and where you tend to use your different Airplay devices, and will start to offer AirPlay ahead of time. AirPlay in Hotels is another new addition to AirPlay, which will allow for quick and easy pairing to specific hotel sound systems.
tvOS’s control center has been improved, making it easier and quicker to use. Your iPhone can also be used to find your Siri Remote, reducing that annoying time spent hunting for a remote.
The most exciting additon to tvOS, though, is the addition of FaceTime to Apple TV. You can quickly and easily send your FaceTime calls to your Apple TV, and all the usual features, like Center Stage, will work great on Apple TV’s FaceTime. You can even use SharePlay for the ultimate viewing experience with friends.