May 28, 2024

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Apple's biggest WWDC 10 announcements: Vision Pro, MacBook Air, iOS 17, and more

Apple’s biggest WWDC 10 announcements: Vision Pro, MacBook Air, iOS 17, and more

This year’s Worldwide Developers Conference did not disappoint. During today’s keynote, Apple premiered its highly anticipated mixed reality headset, confirming many rumors that have surfaced over the past several months.

While Apple’s Vision Pro headset has taken the spotlight this time around, the company has also made some other exciting announcements related to hardware and software. Here’s all the important news from the event.

Apple announced its Vision Pro mixed reality glasses

Apple has finally revealed its Vision Pro headset. The device, which allows you to take part in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) experiences, is designed to bring together the real and digital worlds for both the wearer and those around them. The primary interface displays the applications above the wearer’s real world; Meanwhile, people nearby can see the wearer’s eyes through the device using an external viewing feature that Apple calls EyeSight.

The device is powered by two chips: the M2 and a new R1 chip for real-time sensor processing. According to Apple, the Vision Pro features a single strip of glass on the front of the device, along with a Digital Crown that lets you switch in and out of AR and VR. It also comes with support for spatial audio through the built-in speakers and an external battery pack capable of running for two hours on a single charge.

The Vision Pro is priced at $3,499 and won’t be available until early next year.

VisionOS is Apple’s new VR operating system

Apple’s Vision Pro headset will run on a brand new operating system called VisionOS. This allows the device to place virtual apps and icons on top of the real world, allowing you to use eye, hand, and voice tracking to navigate through the system.

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As revealed during WWDC, you’ll be able to use Apple’s Vision Pro headset to interact with the company’s native apps, like Safari, FaceTime, photos, music, and more. You can even use the device as an external display for your Mac, play Apple Arcade games, watch movies, and also capture videos.

The larger 15-inch MacBook Air

In addition to the Vision Pro headset, Apple also unveiled a new MacBook Air with a 15.3-inch screen. This is a pretty big upgrade for the MacBook Air lineup, which has only offered 13-inch screens so far.

Apple markets the device as the “world’s thinnest laptop” at 15 inches and says it weighs just over three pounds. The device comes with 18 hours of battery life, 500 nits of brightness, and a 1080p webcam. It costs $1,299, and you can order it today, with availability starting next week.

Mac Studio and Mac Pro get an upgrade with a more powerful M2 Ultra chip

Mac Studio and Mac Pro both get upgrades supported by Apple Silicon. During WWDC, Apple announced that its latest two desktops will feature the new M2 Ultra chip, a component with up to 24 CPU cores and up to 76 GPU cores.

Mac Studio, which Apple calls a “performance powerhouse,” will come with options for either the M2 Max or M2 Ultra chip. On the other hand, the Mac Pro only features an M2 Ultra chip, as well as a PCIe expansion option. While the Mac Studio starts at $1,999, the Mac Pro starts at $6,999.

A diary app that focuses on mental health

Apple has a new app for iOS, and it’s called Journal. As its name suggests, Journal will encourage you to record your thoughts about recent activities or trips. Apple says the app is secured with end-to-end encryption and that your records are stored locally on your device. The app will arrive later this year.

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iOS 17 adds a new StandBy View mode and many other features

Alongside the new Journal app, Apple has unveiled a number of new features for iOS 17. Most notably, these include the new StandBy feature that turns your iPhone screen into a Smart Home-like display when it tilts horizontally while charging, allowing it to display. Basic information, such as time and date.

Additionally, iOS 17 will support transcription of voice messages, has a new safety-focused check-in feature that lets you share your location with someone you meet, and comes with a NameDrop feature that lets you easily share your email address or phone number with another iPhone user. Oh, and Apple dropped the “Hey” part of its “Hey, Siri” trigger phrase.

Apple brings interactive widgets to iPadOS 17

With iPadOS 17, Apple is adding new interactive widgets that let you quickly access apps and features from the Home screen. There are also updates to the device’s Notes app, which will now be able to detect fields in a PDF. It will also allow you to work with others in real time to organize and annotate PDF files.

These aren’t the only updates coming with iPadOS 17. It will also feature a custom lock screen, just like the iPhone, and will finally come with the Health app.

macOS Sonoma gets desktop widgets — and Death Stranding

Apple announced some visual upgrades for macOS Sonoma, which will now support widgets you can add to your desktop, along with new animated screensavers you can use as your wallpaper. There are some new features for Safari too, which allow you to create and pin web apps to your Dock, as well as create profiles for different browsing sessions.

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Apple is also introducing a new “Game Mode” for macOS that will prioritize your GPU and CPU while gaming on your Mac and provide low audio latency on your AirPods. As part of Apple’s push into gaming, developer Hideo Kojima also announced it death strand (and some of its other games) are coming to macOS.

Apple brings widgets back to watchOS 10

As you can see from the announcements above, the widgets were pretty big at this year’s WWDC. They’re even coming to watchOS 10, which you can scroll through to quickly glance at various information by turning your watch’s Digital Crown. Apple is also adding several new watch faces, a way to measure the amount of time spent in daylight, cycling features, and trail information for hikers.

FaceTime is coming to Apple TV

Apple will soon let you use FaceTime on Apple TV. The new capability takes advantage of the iPhone’s Continuity Camera, allowing you to use your iPhone as a webcam replacement as you see and chat with people you meet from your TV. It will also ensure that you are in the frame with Center Stage.