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September 24, 2023


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WWDC 2023: From VisionPro to iOS17 features, Apple finally gets into your head; Here are 4 key things to know

3 min read

Apple Vision Pro

At the keynote, Apple chief Tim Cook said that the company has filed and been approved for over 5,000 patents when coming up with Vision Pro. It can process both AR and virtual reality (VR) display modes, and an Apple Watch-like rotating crown on the headset periphery will help users to switch between the translucent AR mode (where users’ eyes will remain visible outside), and the opaque VR mode.

Apple Vision Pro runs on an M2 chip, as well as a custom R1 chip built to cater to AR and VR processing tasks. It does not have a controller, and mostly uses hand and finger gestures for navigation and usage. There are 12 cameras in total, and two 4K displays are affixed on the eyepiece. Apple will use Optic ID retinal scan for biometric unlocking in the interface, and its EyeSight feature will help users view their actual surroundings, even when applying AR tasks atop the reality.

The headset, which will likely rival Meta’s Quest range and HTC’s Vive range in the market eventually, will run on its own operating system, called Vision OS, and have its own app store. One of the first third party collaborations that Apple announced on the WWDC stage was with Disney, where the latter will bring its streaming service to the headset.

Vision Pro will ship only in the US from early next year at $3,499, and will be made available in other countries, “soon”.

M2 Ultra chip

Apple also unveiled its most powerful PC chip until date — the Apple M2 Ultra. The company said in a statement that it has used a proprietary technology called UltraFusion to effectively fuse the base platform of two M2 Max chips, thus creating the M2 Ultra. Apple’s keynote underlined that the new chip is 20% more powerful, 30% faster in terms of its GPU, 40% faster in its Neural Engine, and supports 50% more memory.

The latter, Apple said during its keynote, can help it find application in training and processing AI models — among other tasks in movie and audio production houses.

iOS 17, macOS Sonoma and others

The regular spate of announcements expected from WWDC 2023 have come, which include iOS 17. Key software updates include contact posters, ‘Live Voicemail’ for live transcribing an incoming audio call, FaceTime audio and video messages to record a message in case a user misses a call, check in for sharing geolocations via Messages, NameDrop to share contact cards wirelessly, and more.

MacOS Sonoma gets interactive widgets on desktop as its biggest feature addition, as well as a host of others such as Overlay in any video conferencing app, added privacy controls in Safari web browser, new screen savers, and interestingly, new AAA games — a space where Apple is practically non-existent against Windows.

Prominent AAA titles that are joining macOS to begin with include Death Stranding, No Man’s Sky and World of Warcraft, among others.

Among others, tvOS, the OS that powers Apple TV devices, gets FaceTime in 4K for streaming video calls on TV. Apple’s watchOS 10 for smartwatches bring Smart Stacks, or widget groups, a reworked overall interface, new UI navigation and watch faces, and new activity tracking additions such as cycling.

15-inch MacBook Air, Mac Studio and Pro

Apple also finally met the rumours midway and launched the 15-inch MacBook Air, which has been a long time coming. It is powered by the M2 chip, and offers up to 24GB RAM and 2TB storage. The key addition here is the use of a 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display, and prices of the new MacBook Air begins at 1,24,900 in India.

The Mac Studio and Mac Pro get M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips, which signify their biggest upgrades. The overall design remains the same, while both the workhorse desktops from Apple get a vast range of RAM and storage configurations to pick from. Prices of the two start at 2,09,900 and 7,29,900 in India, respectively.

Follow Mint’s entire Apple WWDC 2023 coverage here

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Updated: 06 Jun 2023, 06:15 AM IST

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