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Apple WWDC Recap: Vision Pro, iOS 17, and new Macs
On the ZDNet podcast: Apple makes a big bet on AR. Will it work?
This week at WWDC, Apple’s annual developer conference, the tech giant announced Vision Pro, a product that might someday replace the iPhone. They also announced new features for iOS 17, including changes to the Phone app, new Macs, macOS Sonoma, FaceTime for Apple TV, and more.
Vision Pro Mixed Reality Headset: A mixed reality headset for VR and AR experiences, with two chips: the M2 and a new R1 chip for real-time sensor processing. It features a single strip of glass and a digital crown for switching between AR and VR modes. The Vision Pro is priced at $3,499 and won’t be available until early next year.
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visionOS: A new VR operating system for the Vision Pro headset, allowing the device to layer virtual apps and icons atop the real world and navigate through the system using eye tracking, your hand, and voice.
iOS 17 Features: iOS 17 includes a new StandBy feature that turns your iPhone’s screen into a smart home-like display when it’s tilted horizontally while charging. It also supports transcription for voice messages, a new safety-focused Check In feature, and a NameDrop feature for sharing contact details. Apple’s also dropping the “Hey” portion of its “Hey, Siri” trigger phrase.
15-inch MacBook: A new MacBook Air with a 15.3-inch display. Apple is marketing the device as the “world’s thinnest” 15-inch laptop and says it weighs just a little over three pounds. It costs $1,299, and you can order it today, with availability starting next week.
Mac Studio and Mac Pro Upgrades: Both the Mac Studio and Mac Pro are getting Apple Silicon-powered upgrades with the new M2 Ultra chip. The Mac Studio starts at $1,999, and the Mac Pro starts at $6,999.
Interactive Widgets on iPadOS 17: iPadOS 17 introduces new interactive widgets for the home screen, updates to the Notes app, a personalized lock screen, and the Health app.
macOS Sonoma Updates: macOS Sonoma will now support desktop widgets and new moving screensavers, and new features for Safari. Apple is also introducing a new “game mode” for macOS that will prioritize the GPU and CPU while gaming on a Mac and offers lowered audio latency on AirPods.
watchOS 10 Widgets: Widgets are also coming to watchOS 10, which you can browse through for an at-a-glance look at various information by turning your watch’s digital crown. There will also be several new watch faces, a feature to measure daylight exposure, cycling features, and trailhead information for hikers.
Journal App: A new mental health-focused journaling app for iOS called Journal that encourages users to log their thoughts about recent activities or trips. The app is secured with end-to-end encryption, and stores logs locally on your device. The app will arrive later this year.
FaceTime on Apple TV: Apple will soon let you use FaceTime on Apple TV, allowing you to use your iPhone as a substitute for a webcam as you chat with the people you’re meeting with from your TV.