- Mixed-reality headset and "xrOS" to be highlight of WWDC
- Apple to unveil new MacBooks including 15-inch MacBook Air
- watchOS 10 will likely be the biggest software release among Apple's current OSes
- New software releases will be overshadowed by new hardware
Apple is planning a number of major hardware announcements for WWDC 2023 on June 5. The planned hardware includes the company’s hotly anticipated mixed-reality headset in addition to new MacBooks and will likely overshadow any new software announcements, according to Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman in his latest Power On newsletter.
As expected, the company is planning its annual major software releases for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS. Gurman notes that outside major user experience revisions in watchOS 10 in the form of widgets and redesigned first-party apps for the Apple Watch, the remaining new software will appear lackluster next to the announced hardware.
Gurman earlier reported on a number of changes for iOS 17 and iPadOS 17, including a new smart home display-like interface for the iPhone when locked, a fresh new journaling app, a redesigned Wallet app, and Health app enhancements as it will be headed for the iPad for the first time. The new iPhone and iPad software will also feature SharePlay and AirPlay enhancements, as well as standard performance boosts and bug fixes.
Apple is readying the stage to unveil its cutting-edge mixed-reality headset with its “xrOS” software in addition to new MacBooks, adds Gurman. The headset and its software will likely take the most stage time of the keynote, which could run for more than 2 hours.
Apple also plans to reveal a 15-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip as the company will reportedly start accepting trade-ins of the current M2 MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro on the same day as WWDC. Apple also plans to accept Mac Studio trade-ins beginning on the same day, a move which could signify the imminent release of Apple silicon-equipped Mac Pro.
Apple’s mixed-reality headset is expected to feature glass, aluminum, and carbon fiber in a ski googles-like design, two 4K micro-OLED displays, an iris scanner for biometric authentication, dual M2-based chips, an external battery pack, and an advanced eye and hand-tracking system powered by a dozen cameras.
The headset’s “xrOS” software platform is said to feature a home screen similar to that of the iPhone and iPad with a customizable grid of apps and widgets and a suite of 3D iPad-based apps, including FaceTime, Fitness, Meditation, Freeform, TV, and more. Be sure to check out Supercharged’s recap of everything expected to be unveiled at WWDC.