It’s officially that time of the year again, where Apple announce its latest pieces of technology that generate electric buzz worldwide. With Tim Cook delivering the keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC23) chockful of industry-shaking news (including a whole new category), here are the key takeaways from the event.
Apple Vision Pro—a whole new category for Apple
In a first for the tech giant, Apple unveiled the Vision Pro, a first-of-its-kind mixed-reality headset device, along with the all-new visionOS with a three-dimensional interface. On stage, Cook says that this is “just a beginning,” leaving many (including us) on the edges of their seats.
From the announcement, the gear allows its users to stream videos, play games, and work all in one device. For a whopping US$3,499 (approx. MYR16,000), the goggles will only be available for the US market in early 2024.
MacBook Air pushes the limit
If you missed out on the 2022’s MacBook Air, then this might be the drop for you. At just 11.5mm, the new MacBook Air is described as the world’s thinnest 15-inch laptop. It’s fitted with the M2 Ultra Chip—Apple’s most powerful chip yet—and an immersive six-speaker sound system that supports spatial audio. At the WWDC23, the tech giant claimed that it can last up to 18 hours on a single charge.
This costs US$1,299 (approx. MYR6,000), and should be available soon in Malaysia.
Health takes centre stage
Love the Health app? Great, because it’s about to get better. The update is set to arrive via iOS 17, watchOS 10, and iPadOS 17 (yes, the app is finally coming to iPad), and it will introduce new elements to the chart: mental health and vision health. According to Sumbul Desai, M.D., Apple’s vice president of Health, these new integrations aim to “empower people to take charge of their own health journey.”
As one might expect, the mental health element of this will include steps such as logging your feelings and possible triggers. However, integrations for vision health are where it gets interesting. To decrease the risk of myopia (or nearsightedness), these Apple gadgets will alert you throughout the day. WatchOS 10 will measure time spent in daylight and nudge you out the door, while iPhones and iPads will now encourage users to move devices further away when reading.
macOS Sonoma is all about boosting creative productivity
Mac users, rejoice! At the WWDC23, viewers were allowed a preview of the macOS Sonoma, and it looked incredible. Powerful, interactive widgets will allow users to push their productivity even further, and thanks to the magic of Continuity, they can now access the extensive ecosystem of iPhone widgets on their Mac, and fulfil various tasks all directly from the desktop.
Aside from stunning new screen savers and all the major updates to Safari, Sonoma also introduces smarter video conferencing experiences. From students to business owners, everyone will benefit from the Presenter Overlay, a video effect that allows the user to appear on top of the content they are sharing.
This software update is set to roll out later this year.
iOS17 gets even more up close and personal
If we can’t have news about the iPhone 15, we’ll take some hot news on the all-new iOS. At WWDC23, Apple announced a major update that will have upgrades to the communications experience across Phone, FaceTime, and Messages. Not only that, it’s going to be easier to AirDrop (and NameDrop!) once the update rolls out towards the end of the year. And on top of all the new Health app updates, the brand also unveils a new app, Journal, where you can reflect and practice gratitude with suggestions that are powered by machine learning.
There is a lot to look forward to for this update. Incoming calls will now feature personalised Contact Posters (should you have those designated), and you can also see a real-time transcription of a voicemail as the caller leaves it, with the opportunity to pick up the call. FaceTime, on the other hand, allows callers to leave audio and video messages.