It’s that time of year again when Apple takes centre stage among a gathering of developers from around the world to showcase their latest software innovations and often to launch new hardware products as well. 2023 is no different generally, but the hype and rumours suggest we might be in for something very – very special.
Set to take place at Apple Park, the company’s space-ship like headquarters in Cupertino California, Apple is again hosting a small select group of developers at an in person screening of a keynote presentation from CEO Tim Cook and his executive team.
While no where near as big as in the past when these events were held at convention centres and hosted thousands of participants, the move to digital and online sessions means more access to the smarts of Apple engineers to more people around the world during WWDC.
But you’re not really interested in all that are you. You want someone to tell you what they are announcing.
Well, let’s be clear, we don’t know. Anyone that says they do with certainty is telling porky pies.
However, based on the level of chatter and rumours there are some thing we can expect and hope to see.
Firstly, software announcements.
Apple will unquestionably announce a new version of iOS, iPad OS, MacOS and Watch OS, as well as possible updates to TVOS also.
For 2023 we don’t expect any fundamental overhauls, in fact these will be broadly incremental in nature.
Things like lock screen improvements, shifting Health onto iPad, adding possible mood tracking and just all round refinement of many core apps on iOS and other platforms.
I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Apple talk about Artificial Intelligence, being the buzz-words of the year they would want to both play up their work in this space and the power of their devices, but also re-affirm their commitment privacy across all their software and cloud services.
Importantly, with developers in the room, you can then expect a new Operating system to be discussed – potentially known as RealityOS – something used to power the much expected Apple Reality Headset.
Apple’s move into Virtual Reality
They won’t announce anything called RealityOS until they show off the rumoured Reality Headset.
Now, Apple is often late to the party, be it music players, 5G, you name it – they are renowned for not being first, but being better.
So, eight, yes 8 years after Samsung and others were dabbling in VR – could it be that Apple is ready?
It’s a world that HTC and Meta (Facebook) dominate, but still only on a very small scale.
Apple’s opportunity here is to explode the category.
Renders from 3D Artist Ian Zelbo offer an exciting glimpse at what might be.
There’s much hype and rumour mongering about this device, said to contain a huge number of cameras and sensors, which would be needed to take VR to the next level. Meta’s latest Quest device does this, but Apple looks set to include dozens of cameras for the complete experience, as well as likely leveraging their use of LiDar in phones here on the Reality Headset.
Apple’s work in AR using iPhones and iPads has led to some awesome things being created, This ARKit for developers allows iPhones to be used as mixed reality devices, but perhaps the slow growth of this prompts Apple to go all in – but is this the right move?
Are we really going to see a huge growth in people using fully enclosed VR headsets?
Personally, I don’t see it – but that’s because I haven’t had a daily-use compelling reason presented to me.
That’s what makes next week’s WWDC Keynote so critical.
It could be make or break for a company set to launch “one more thing” for the first time in a while, and an entirely new product category for the first time in 9 years.
Will there be MacBook and Mac updates
One you get through all that software, and if the Headset comes true, then I doubt there will be time for much else.
However, we are due a new M3 Processor, an updated MacBook Air – likely a larger version, and we’re long overdue a true Pro Mac system.
No matter what the case, all-eyes are on Apple next Tuesday Morning.
When is WWDC Australian time?
It all kicks off next Tuesday with the keynote at 3am, likely to go between 2 and 3 hours.
All the news will be here at EFTM.com and on The Today Show on Channel 9 and your local Radio station, I’ll be on the ground from Cupertino.