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What to Expect at Apple’s WWDC 2023



apple is secretive. The company is known for staying super tight-lipped around upcoming product launches. But we can always rely on the annual Worldwide Developers Conference—which is centered around new software capabilities across Apple’s entire product line—for insight on what to anticipate for its yearly hardware event in the fall. This year’s WWDC starts with a keynote address at 10 am Pacific on Monday, June 5.

Typically, rumors leading up to the event are full of new features for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, a majority of which end up being true. And while Apple has a tendency to give a little more TLC to some operating systems than others, the list of new features coming to these platforms in 2023 seems rather light. It almost feels like Apple has been focusing all its energy on something else—like an entirely new product category, perhaps.

If you’ve been keeping up with the Apple rumors, you’ve seen plenty of headlines about the company’s first mixed-reality headset for augmented reality and virtual reality experiences. Following years of reports and whispers, it looks like Apple is finally taking the wraps off the highly anticipated device at WWDC. We might also get to see it in action at the conference, since it is reported to use an entirely new operating system called xrOS that’s been developed specifically for the headset and should be able to run a few key apps at launch.

Of course, this is all based on speculation. We were expecting to see the mixed-reality headset at last year’s WWDC too. Regardless of whether the company will push the reveal back yet again, one thing is certain: We’ll definitely see some new software features for existing devices. We’ve heard Apple might even throw in some new Mac hardware announcements.

We’ll be following all the news on WIRED, where we’ll be running a liveblog and rounding up the big reveals. To bring you up to speed before the show, however, here’s a rundown of what you can expect at this year’s WWDC. I’ll also tell you how to tune into the keynote on Monday morning.   

iOS 17


With iOS 16, Apple introduced the option to add widgets to the home screen to display things like the weather, activity rings, and social media feeds. Building on this feature, it’s possible we could see a new smart-home display mode with iOS 17, according to a report from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The feature will kick in whenever the iPhone is locked and placed horizontally, allowing you to see notifications, weather conditions, calendar appointments, and more—similar to Google’s Nest Hub or Amazon’s Echo Show. To make it easier to read at a glance, it’ll use bright text against a dark background.

As for additional updates, Gurman says Apple is rumored to launch a new journaling app, the ability to sideload apps to comply with European Union regulations, a mood-tracking feature within the Health app, and improvements to its location services. A report from MacRumors says that more functionality will be added to Dynamic Island (the pill-shaped cutout on the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max that acts as somewhat of a secondary display), like Siri integration, so it’s less intrusive on the main display.

We’re also anticipating new accessibility features. In May the company announced it will be launching software features for cognitive, vision, and speech accessibility that will be available “later this year.” Among the list of capabilities is Point and Speak in Magnifier, which makes it easier for those with vision disabilities to interact with physical objects that have text labels, and Live Speech, where users can type messages to be spoken aloud during phone and FaceTime calls.

iPadOS 17

As usual, iPadOS 17 will likely share a lot of the same features as iOS 17, including the aforementioned smart-home display mode, journaling app, and the ability to sideload apps. It’s possible we could finally see the Health app on iPad too, complete with the mood-tracking feature. 

The biggest update appears to be centered around Apple’s existing Stage Manager feature. Introduced last year with iPadOS 16, the multitasking feature mimics the experience of a desktop computer. You can organize apps to see at a glance as well as group, resize, and overlap windows. It’s not the most intuitive feature, though. According to 9to5mac, Apple may introduce more capabilities to improve the experience—like webcam support for an external monitor, sleep mode for the iPad display while the external display stays on, and a resizable dock (via the external display).

Source: Wired


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