WWDC 2023: 8 Biggest Apple announcements you need to know



By Rachel Au

WWDC 2023: 8 Biggest Apple announcements you need to know
Apple’s WWDC 2023 event brought about a ton of exciting updates for the iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple Watch, but the biggest deal was Vision Pro, the world’s first of its kind
From the new 15-inch MacBook Air to iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, we knuckle down everything Apple announced at WWDC 2023 for your easy reading pleasure below. We’ll cover how they work, their release dates and other possibly popular questions anyone might have about the updates and products, starting with the big spatial elephant in the room…

1. Apple Vision Pro

apple vision pro
Are they AR goggles or something for VR games? The answer is both and more, but the official name for the Apple Vision Pro is “spatial computer”. While it’s giving us Ready Player One vibes, Apple Vision Pro is indeed every part of a computer—versus just some form of fancy AR goggles—with its features
Complemented by the world’s first spatial operating system, visionOS, users can see a complete 3D interface that’s interactable with their eyes, hand and voice. Here’s what you need to know about the Apple Vision Pro:
  • Its two displays offer an ultra-high resolution system with 23 million pixels 
  • You can interact with apps, revisit memories in the form of photos and videos, watch TV shows and movies, play over 100 Apple Arcade games, and connect with loved ones via FaceTime

apple vision pro looking at memories

  • Apple Vision Pro will have its own all-new App Store where users might even find their favourite iPhone and iPad apps adapted for the new system, creating new experiences
  • Thanks to Apple Immersive Video, it delivers 180-degree high-resolution recordings with Spatial Audio
  • ‘Environments’ is a feature that transports users from a physical room to dynamic, beautiful landscapes with a twist of the Digital Crown to control the immersion level
  • Apple Vision Pro comes with Apple’s first three-dimensional camera to capture, relive and immerse in precious memories, complete with Spatial Audio
  • FaceTime calls transform users into a Persona, a digital representation of the user that can even reflect face and hand movements in real-time

apple vision pro eyesight

  • EyeSight allows users to see when someone is near them and the device, in turn, will display the user’s eyes too
  • It supports Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad and popular game controllers
  • The battery life ranges from two hours of use (when in wireless mode) to all-day use (when plugged in).
The Apple Vision Pro starts at US$3,499 and will be available early 2024 on and Apple Store locations in the U.S.
*There is no information yet on its availability in Malaysia and other countries.

2. New 15-inch MacBook Air

There’s a new MacBook Air coming, and it’s a sleek beauty with the following key specs:
  • 1.51kg in weight
  • 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display
  • Powered by the M2 chip
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life
  • Silent, fanless design
  • Six-speaker sound system, delivering immersive Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos
  • 1080p FaceTime HD camera
  • MagSafe charging
  • Two Thunderbolt ports
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • Four colours: Midnight, starlight, space grey and silver.
The new 15-inch MacBook Air with M2 starts at RM6,199 and will be available soon.
*The 13-inch MacBook Air with M2 will have a new starting price of RM5,199 instead.

3. Mac Studio and M2 Ultra

The new Mac Studio drives performance even further with the M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips. To illustrate, the new Mac Studio with M2 Max is up to 50 per cent faster than its predecessor—imagine rendering in After Effects at up to twice the speed than before. With the M2 Ultra, it’s up to three times faster than the previous generation Mac Studio with M1 Ultra—that’s akin to 50 per cent faster video processing for colourists using DaVinci Resolve
The new Mac Studio starts at RM9,499 and will be available soon.

4. iOS 17

Your iPhone is about to get even more personal with you—in a good way. Here are some of the new features you can expect to come your way in the upcoming iOS 17 update:
  • Journal: Apple’s version of a native journalling app
  • StandBy: Turns your iPhone into a digital clock or photo album when it’s on its side and charging
  • Contact Posters: Choose how you want to appear on your loved ones’ iPhones when you call. Whether it’s a photo or Memoji, with typography and your choice of font colours, the combos are up to you
  • Live Voicemail: See a real-time transcription of a voicemail, and if it’s urgent, you can even pick up the call while the caller is doing it
  • FaceTime and Messages receive fun updates such as Reactions (effects like fireworks and hearts) in calls, the option to make your own Live Stickers from photos, and a better iMessage interface
  • Check In: A new feature in Messages, a user can initiate Check In before takeoff, and the app will automatically notify the selected loved one upon arrival. If there’s no progress towards the destination, useful information (location, battery level, and cell service status) will be temporarily shared with the selected contact.

5. AirPods 

No new headphones this time, but software updates are coming to refresh the user experience. The entire AirPods family will have improved Automatic Switching to make switching between devices more seamless.
Meanwhile, the AirPods Pro (2nd gen), in particular, will have three new features: Adaptive Audio, Personalised Volume, and Conversation Awareness.
Adaptive Audio blends Transparency mode and Active Noise Cancellation to automatically tailor the noise control experience according to the user’s environment or interaction in the moment. Similarly, Conversation Awareness will kick in, lowering the volume and enhancing the surrounding voices when the user starts speaking

6. watchOS 10


Widgets are at the forefront of every software update this year, but they do indeed make things more fun. The Apple Watch will soon see a new Smart Stack that shows relevant widgets at the right time with a simple turn of the Digital Crown from any watch face.

The Cycling workout receives advanced new metrics, views and experiences, as well as compatibility with Bluetooth-enabled cycling accessories.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Compass app on the Apple Watch will be an even handier companion. It’ll automatically generate two new waypoints: A Last Cellular Connection Waypoint and a Last Emergency Call Waypoint

Also, the Mindfulness app in watchOS 10 expands its focus on mental health by letting users log their momentary emotions and daily moods. 

Another health aspect put into view is our Vision Health. Come watchOS 10, the Apple Watch will share how much time you spent in daylight, thanks to the ambient light sensor. On the other hand, the iPhone will shame you with its TrueDepth camera and a new Screen Distance feature to help ensure you’re holding the device more than 12 inches away.

Oh, and there’ll be new watch faces too: Palette and Snoopy. 

7. iPadOS 17

The iPad sees a slew of similar upgraded experiences as the iPhone except for, finally, the introduction of a personalisable Lock Screen.
  • Lock Screen: Choose your wallpaper and customise the font styles and colours to your heart’s content. Users can add interactive widgets to the Lock Screen and Home Screen
  • PDFs: Easily fill in the blanks on any PDFs 
  • Notes app: Users can organise, read, annotate and collaborate on PDFs with ease
  • Messages and FaceTime: Same as iOS 17
  • Health app finally comes to the iPad.

8. macOS Sonoma

The Macs aren’t left behind either in the game of personalising your devices to how you like them, and how they work best for you.
  • Place interactive widgets conveniently on your desktop, even the ones you love from your iPhone
  • Enhanced video conferencing features: Reactions and a new video effect called Presenter Overlay that places the speaker as a bubble on top of the content being shared
  • Private Browsing on Safari: Better protection from trackers and other potential users of the same device (windows are locked when not in use)
  • New screensavers
  • Introduction of Game Mode, which optimises gaming experiences with smoother and more consistent frame rates
  • Better gaming/graphics performance leading to exciting new titles for Mac such as Stray, Fort Solis, World of Warcraft: Dragonflight, Resident Evil Village: Winters’ Expansion, Disney Dreamlight Valley, No Man’s Sky, Dragonheir: Silent Gods, and Layers of Fear
For more info or to rewatch the keynote, head over to Apple Malaysia’s website.
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