WWDC 2023 has officially come to a close, and it was one of the biggest events in Apple’s history. This year, Apple unveiled its new Vision Pro headset and visionOS software platform, alongside new Mac hardware, iOS 17, macOS Sonoma, and much more.
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15-inch MacBook Air
We kicked things off this week with the new 15-inch MacBook Air powered by the M2 chip inside. This new MacBook Air features a 15.3-inch display with two Thunderbolt ports and MagSafe for charging. Apple touts that it’s 40% thinner and half a pound lighter than the average 15-inch PC.
The 15-inch MacBook Air is available to order now for $1,299, and the first shipments will start arriving next week. Along with the introduction of this new 15-inch MacBook Air, Apple also cut the price of the 13-inch MacBook Air powered by the M2 chip to $1,199. The M1 MacBook Air is also still in the lineup at $999.
Apple’s desktop lineup of Macs also received some love during WWDC this year. First off, the Mac Studio has seen its first upgrade since its launch last year and is now available in M2 Max and M2 Ultra configurations. Apple says the new Mac Studio with M2 Max is up to 50 percent faster than the previous-generation Mac Studio.
Meanwhile, the Mac Studio with M2 Ultra offers twice the performance and capabilities of M2 Max. It is up to 3x faster than the previous-generation Mac Studio with M1 Ultra.
The new Mac Studio is available to order now and starts at $1,999. The first orders will arrive next week.
The Mac Pro also got its long-awaited upgrade to Apple Silicon. The new Mac Pro features a design that’s nearly identical to the previous generation, but inside, you’ll find the M2 Ultra chip. The Mac Pro is also the first Apple Silicon Mac with PCIe expansion, featuring seven expansion slots inside.
Other specs of the new Mac Pro include eight built-in Thunderbolt ports, a 24-core CPU, up to 192GB of memory, up to a 76-core GPU, and much more.
The Mac Pro’s switch to Apple Silicon officially marks the end of the Intel transition. This means Apple no longer sells any Macs powered by Intel. The new Mac Pro is available to order now, starting at $6,999. The first orders will arrive next week.
Next up, Apple introduced iOS 17, its forthcoming software update that will launch to iPhone users later this year. Here’s a rundown of some of the new features in iOS 17:
Phone and FaceTime:
- Personalized contact posts that appear when someone calls you
- Live Voicemail that gives you voice-to-text transcription before answering
- FaceTime voicemails
- Improved search
- Swipe on a message to reply and start a thread
- Transcription for audio messages
- In-line location sharing
- Redesigned access to iMessage apps
- Upgrades to stickers
- Check In: A new feature for notifying family when you arrive safely; automatically recognizes when you don’t make progress or respond and shares update with family
- NameDrop allows you to share your phone number and email between nearby iPhones
- Sharing media is also redesigned, and long media transfers can continue over the internet
- SharePlay API adding AirDrop integration
- The keyboard now leverages “transformer language model” to improve predictions
- Craig Federighi: “When you just want to type a ducking word, it’ll learn”
- Predictions personalized by your words and usage
- Improved and more accurate dictation
- An all-new app that encourages you to journal and provides prompts for things like photos, workouts, and interactions
- Uses on-device machine learning to create personalized suggestions
- New full-screen smart display-like experience that displays information in landscape mode
- Can be personalized to show data like clocks, photos, widgets, weather, Home controls, and third-party widgets
- Supports Live Activities
- Siri works in Standby with a special landscape user interface
- New one-word “Siri” prompt for triggering the voice assistant
- Widgets are now interactive
- Health app adds new mental health features: mood logging, depression and anxiety assessments, momentary emotion tracking, and more
- Sharing passwords and passkeys through iCloud Keychain
- AirTags can be shared with up to five other people
- Apple Music adds collaborative playlists, crossfade, and new CarPlay queuing features
iOS 17 is available to developer beta testers now, and a public beta will launch in July. The update will be available to everyone sometime later this fall. iOS 17 supports the iPhone XS and newer, dropping support for the iPhone X.
iPadOS 17 is coming to iPad users later this year with its own share of new features.
- Customizable Lock Screen with widgets, new wallpapers, new font and color options, and more
- Live Activities are now available on the iPad via the Lock Screen
- Interactive widgets for things like playing a song, marking a reminder as complete, and more.
- Improvements to PDF editing thanks to machine learning, which is used to identify fields in a PDF to make them easier to edit and fill out
- The Health app is now available on iPad
- Stage Manager updated with more flexibility for positioning and sizing windows
- New video calling effects in FaceTime
iPadOS 17 is supported by the iPad (6th generation and later), iPad mini (5th generation and later), iPad Air (3rd generation and later), 12.9-inch iPad Pro (2nd generation and later), 10.5-inch iPad Pro, and 11-inch iPad Pro (1st generation and later).
Here’s a rundown of what’s new in macOS Sonoma for Mac users this fall:
- Interactive widgets are now available on the macOS desktop, including iPhone widgets that can pull data right from your nearby iPhone
- New video calling effects in FaceTime and third-party apps like Zoom and WebEx
- Safari adds user profiles, updates to Private browsing, the ability to save web apps to your Dock, and more
- Apple TV-style aerial screensavers come to the Mac
- Game Mode: smoother and more consistent performance by making sure games get the highest priority on the CPU and GPU
- A new game porting toolkit that makes it significantly easier for developers to bring games from other platforms to the Mac
macOS Sonoma is compatible with the following Macs:
- MacBook Pro: 2018 and later
- MacBook Air: 2018 and later
- Mac mini: 2018 and later
- iMac: 2019 and later
- iMac Pro: 2017
- Mac Studio: All models
- Mac Pro: 2019 and later
macOS Sonoma will launch later this fall.
- Any watch face now reveals widgets in a smart stack; this lets watch faces without complications more informative with just a spin of the Digital Crown
- Widgets can also include groups of complications
- Two new faces: Pallete, a color-focused face, and Snoopy & Woodstock from Peanuts
- World Clock now includes background colors based on time of day
- Workout app includes new trophy case and full-screen videos for each Activity ring
- Third-party apps are being redesigned with full-screen layouts
- Apple Watch can connect to cycling power accessories over Bluetooth to improve workout tracking
- Power zones based on FTP are coming to cycling workout tracking
- Cycling workouts become a Live Activity on iPhone when tracked from Apple Watch; tapping the Live Activity takes over iPhone display to view speed and workout metrics while cycling
- Hiking experience upgraded with Compass; cellular connection waypoint shows last connection to cellular; emergency waypoint shows where you can call from any carrier network; 3D view of waypoints
- Maps on Compass enhanced with trail routes and topographical view
- Workout APIs for developers allows third-party apps to access high-frequency motion data to improve golf and tennis tracking
- Mental health focus with state of mind logging on iPhone and iPad in Health app; data from watch can put this into better context
- Standardized assessments will help discover risk of anxiety and depression that can be shared with care providers
- Vision health is the other focus with myopia front-and-center; time outdoors can be measured with ambience sensors and stored in Health app
- Screen distance on iPhone and iPad can use TrueDepth camera to measure distance while reading to reduce digital eyestrain and discover vision constraints
watchOS 10 will be available later this fall and supports the Apple Watch Series 4 and newer.
For Apple TV users, tvOS 17 brings the following new features:
- Redesigned Control Center
- Support for VPNs
- FaceTime app
- Denser Home Screen layout
- A new Find My Remote feature for the Siri Remote
tvOS 17 will be available later this year for the 2015 Apple TV and newer.
Vision Pro and visionOS
Last but not least, Apple unveiled its brand new “spatial computing” platform in the form of Vision Pro and visionOS. Instead of rehashing the details here, check out our coverage below for everything in-depth:
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