Apple (AAPL) unveiled a host of new hardware and software updates at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2023 (WWDC) today – including its long-awaited mixed reality headset, the Vision Pro. The event, led by CEO Tim Cook, emphasized themes including continuity and personalization as well as a few mentions of AI.
Here's a roundup of Apple's major announcements:
The mixed reality "spatial computer" – Apple's first new product category since the Apple Watch in 2014 – was the company's biggest announcement at WWDC. The Vision Pro is controlled through technology that detects movement of the user's hands, eyes, and voice. Users can navigate the immersive Vision Pro screen with the flick of a finger or the movement of their eyes.
"It's the first Apple product you look through and not at," CEO Tim Cook told the audience.
Using a specialized software called visionOS, Vision Pro will enable immersive ways of using common Apple apps like Notes, Keynote, FaceTime, and Messages. It will also be compatible with Bluetooth accessories.
One of Vision Pro's features, EyeSight, uses machine learning to show people around the user what they are focusing on by either offering a computer-generated glimpse of their eyes or blurring the front-facing part of the headset.
The hardware includes a 3D camera, spatial audio technology, five sensors, and six microphones. It will become available early next year at a starting price of $3,499.
watchOS, AirPods, and Home products
A host of updates is coming to how users are able to interact with their Apple Watches, Apple TVs, AirPods, and HomePods.
In watchOS 10, Apple will bring Smart Stack to the Apple Watch, letting users scroll through their most important widgets overlayed on the watch's face. There are also several new Fitness features for the Apple Watch, including topographic hiking maps and a 3D elevation dial that lets users see where their cellular location was last traced.
Other new features to Apple's products include FaceTime for the Apple TV, adaptive audio for the AirPods Pro, and Siri support for AirPlay on the HomePod.
[Read more: The Apple Watch gets new features at WWDC 2023]
iOS 17 and iPadOS
Apple also unveiled the latest iteration of the software that powers its iPhones and iPads.
iOS 17 will include a variety of updates to the Contacts, Phone, and Messages apps, as well as a new Journal app and a Standby feature for the iPhone to display the most important information when placed on a stand.
One new feature is contact posters, with which users can personalize how a contact appears when they get a phone call or view their Contacts card, by using full-screen photos or memojis. Using contact posters, NameDrop will let users share their contact information with a new acquaintance by having both people bring their iPhones – or an iPhone and an Apple Watch – close together.
Also new to iOS is a Journal app, which will use machine learning to prompt users to reflect with a journal entry.
For the iPad, the latest version of iPadOS will include new features for working with PDFs, including text box autofill and Live Collaboration in the Notes app; as well as a specialized version of the Health app.
15-inch MacBook Air, M2 Ultra, and macOS Sonoma
A slew of new Macs are coming to Apple stores, including a larger MacBook Air and more powerful desktops. The new, $1,299 15-inch MacBook Air uses a Liquid Retina display that supports 500 nits of brightness, and the new $6,999 Mac Pro will offer an impressive 192 GB of memory.
The new Mac Pro will be powered by the M2 Ultra chip, which Apple called the most powerful chip ever used in a personal computer. It has twice the memory of the M2 Max and will also be found in the new Mac Studio desktop.
Apple also announced macOS Sonoma, named after the famous California wine country. Among other features, macOS Sonoma will bring widgets to the desktop screen and overlay technology for users presenting in video calls on popular apps such as FaceTime, Zoom, and Teams.
Jared Mitovich is a writer at Yahoo Finance. Follow him on Twitter @jmitovich