WWDC 2023 Recap: A little hardware, a little software, and some VR

David Allen

WWDC23 Promo Image

Over one million people watched WWDC 2023 yesterday.  Apple showed off the new Mac Studio, a very temping 15-inch MacBook Air starting at $1,299, a new Apple Silicon-based Mac Pro,  and the much anticipated Apple Vision Pro VR headset.  On the software side, iOS 17 was unveiled alongside macOS 14, and iPadOS  17.  WatchOS 10 also entered beta 1 in a developer release.

Mac Studio got its first hardware upgrade with the M2 Max and Ultra chips.  The Mac Studio still starts at $1,999 and can be custom configured up to an M2 Ultra with 24-cores and a 60-core GPU flanked with up to 192GB of ram.  The Mac Studio is still aimed at professional workflows.  The Mac Pro is the first Apple Silicon-based system to feature PCI expansion with eight slots available for custom connectivity.  The Mac Pro starts at $5,999 and is available in both tower and rackmount form factors.

Apple has given its entry into the VR space with the Apple Vision VR Pro headset.  A stand-alone battery-powered unit offering experiences in both work and play.  With a battery life of just two hours according to Apple, we’ll have to wait and see how good these experiences are. Waiting all the way until early 2024 when the headset is supposed to be available for $3,499. Sound pricey? Compared to the Microsoft Halo Lens 2, its right on target, but what audience is Apple aiming for?  We’ll have to wait and see.

The yearly updates to the software stack did remain consistent, it’s all about widgets and sharing with others.  Widgets have been enhanced on the iPad allowing you to interact right from the lock screen.  Widgets have also made their way back to WatchOS, making more information available at a glance.  Apple has done something with macOS  Microsoft has yet to complete with Windows 11, fully customizable widgets on the desktop.  You also have access to the widgets on your phone  from your computer which is a nice touch, leveraging the Apple ecosystem.

Other notable mentions coming this year are the ability to share contact cards just by bringing two Apple devices close together.  A new Check-In service was debuted allowing you to share location, cell signal, timing, and other location information with those close to you.  This could be especially useful on trips if someone doesn’t arrive at a destination on time.  Share Play also received some enhancements, such as any passenger being able to add music to the car playlist.

Those are the highlights for WWDC 2023.  What interests you most?  Are you disappointed that you didn’t see something?  Leave it in the comments, and check out or special OnPodcast WWDC 2023 edition to get our thoughts