Today Apple held its annual World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) keynote. As expected they announced all of the new operating systems as well as some new hardware. iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10, and macOS 14 Sonoma, were all covered and each of them included a bunch of new features.
Apple announced three new Macs today, a MacBook Air, a Mac Studio, and the Mac Pro. Let us start with the 15-inch MacBook Air.
15-inch MacBook Air
The 15-inch MacBook Air is very similar to the 13.6-inch model, in that it has an options for an 8-Core M2 chip with either 8 or 10 GPU cores, a Liquid Retina display, P3 Color gamut, and True Tone on the display. It has 2 Thunderbolt 4/USB 4 ports. It has a 15.3-inch screen, with 500 nits of brightness.
According to Apple, it it s 12x faster than the latest Intel-based MacBook Air and it comes with 18 hours of battery life. You can configure it up to 24GB of memory and up to 2TB of storage.
The 15-inch MacBook Air will be available to order it today and will start shipping next week. The 15-inch MacBook Air starts at $1299 for the 8-Core CPU and 10-Core GPU with 8GB of unified memory and 256GB of storage. As a side note, the 13-inch M2 MacBook Air is now starts $1099 for the 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU with 8GB of unified memory and 256GB of storage.
Mac Studio with M2 Max and M2 Ultra
The Mac Studio is Apple’s latest desktop Mac and it has been popular amongst users who need the additional power of the M1 Max and M1 Ultra. The Mac Studio is a great way of being able to have the connectivity that you need given the myriad of ports on the back of the device.
The hardware has now been updated with the M2 Max and M2 Ultra. The M2 Max is the same one that comes in the 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro, so it has either a 12-core CPU, and 30-Core GPU. The M2 Ultra is double that of the M2 Max, so it has a 24-Core CPU and a 76-Core GPU. The M2 Ultra is capable of streaming 22 8K streams simultaneously, so it is a beefy powerhouse. The M2 Max also includes a 32-core Neural Engine and can support up to 192 GB of memory.
The M2 Ultra now supports up to 6 Pro Display XDR connected to a single Mac Studio with M2 Ultra, if you need that much screen real estate. On either of the models, you can configure up to 8TB of internal storage.
The Mac Studio with M2 Max is available for order today and will start shipping next week. The starting price is $1999. The Mac Studio with M2 Ultra is also available to order today and will begin shipping next week. The starting price for the Mac Studio with M2 Ultra, 64GB of memory, and 512GB SSD, and 1TB of storage is $3999.
Mac Pro with Apple Silicon it combines the Apple Silicon with PCI expansion. All Mac Pro comes with M2 Ultra. This is the 24-Core CPU, 60-Core GPU, and 32-core Neural engine.
The Mac Pro with Apple Silicon comes with the performance of 7 afterburner cards, and it can unjust 24, 4K camera feeds and render them in real-time. There are also 8 thunderbolt 4 ports, six on the back and 2 on the top. There are six open PCI slots that support generation 4 PCI. This allows you to expand your Mac Pro as needed.
The Mac Pro with Apple Silicon starts at $6999, for the 24-Core CPU, 60-Core GPU, and 32-core Neural engine, and 1TB of internal storage . It can be ordered today and will start arriving next week.
iOS 17 and iPadOS 17
iOS 17 brings a few new features that will help you communicate in new ways through a feature called Contact Cards. Contact Cards are a way of allowing you to personalize your own card that will show up when you call someone. You can customize the photo, font size, font weight, and even the font color. You can choose to use a Memoji instead of a photo if desired.
Along with a personal contact card, you will also be able to see a live transcription of voicemails that are left for you, and if it is a time sensitive item, you can answer the call right from the Lock Screen. One thing that is coming to FaceTime is the ability to leave a voicemail message, so they will see that you contacted them.
Messages is getting some enhancements to its search by adding the ability to filter messages using advanced filtering.
The iPhone also gets a new “Standby” mode. When you put your iPhone in landscape mode, a new layout will appear. This layout will allow you to easily see the items that you need to see, depending on location, and time of day. This is powered by widgets, so you can see upcoming calendar events, photos, and more. StandBy will also support live activities. StandBy will be useful on a nightstand by changing the font to be red, so it will not interfere with your sleep.
There have been some improvements to both dictation and auto-correct. They will now use on-device learning to be able to more accurately predict what you want to type next.
There is one last new feature to highlight, called “Check In”. Check In will allow you to automatically notify family and friends when you get home. This is done within Messages and if you are running late, you can also extend time.
iPadOS 17 is getting some new features of its own, like the Lock Screen, Interactive Widgets, PDF improvements, and the Health App.
With iOS 16 the iPhone received a way to be able to customize the Lock Screen, including photos, fonts, and colors, and you could even include some widgets. This year the iPad gets the same features, including the ability to add more widgets along the left-side of the iPad. This makes sense given the larger real estate on an iPad. Along with the Lock Screen customizations, widgets also get some improvements.
Widgets can now be interactive, so this means that you can tap on a task and have it be completed, or you can tap on a Smart Light and have it turn on or off. This is a great enhancement that many users have been waiting for a while. Interactive widgets are available on both iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.
There is a huge improvement to PDF support within Notes. You can now add multiple PDFs to a note, annotate PDFs, and even collaborate on PDFs. All of the collaboration is real-time so if someone else makes they will be reflected on your copy.
The iPad is now getting the Health app, so you can now view everything within the Health app across iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS. To go with health, there is a focus on mental health, including the ability to provide context for your mood and you can gain some insights with what is adding to your current feelings.
There is also a new “Journal” app that will allow you to provide additional information about moments in your life. There are also intelligent suggestions for things like podcasts, music, photos, contacts, and photos, among other sources of information.
watchOS is getting a redesign with a focus on glanceable information through the use of stacks of information. You can quickly glance at a variety of information by swiping as you would on stacks within widgets.
Activity will now show you a full-screen view of your information for standing, exercise, and calories burned. If you are a cyclist, you now have dedicated
There are two new watch faces, Palette, which is a three layers of color to provide you the time. The second watch face features Snoopy and Woodstock and this watch face can provide various appearances depending on time of day and current weather.
For those who like to hike, there are a few new features including two waypoints, Cellular Connectivity, and SOS. The Cellular Connectivity waypoint will show you where you are able to get cellular connectivity should you need to call someone. At the same time, the SOS waypoint will show you where you can make an emergency call. Along with this, you can now see elevations and contour lines within maps, so you can more easily see how difficult your hike will be.
macOS is a mature operating system and this year’s release of macOS Sonoma (macOS 14) is getting a few features including changes to Safari, widget enhancements, screensavers. For the screensavers you will be able to download screensavers similar to those on the Apple TV. These will also show when the Mac is locked.
Safari is seeing some new features like profiles. Profiles will allow you to keep work, school, and standard separate. When you enable profiles you will have separate cookies, tab groups, and favorites. What this means is that you can log into the same website on two different windows. One of these could be on a user account or another could be on an administrator account.
The last big feature to highlight is Interactive Widgets. Widgets are now on macOS Sonoma and they are no longer limited to the Notification Center, they can now be placed on the desktop. Widgets do not get in the way, they will stay in the background and the tint will dim their background and the widget will still be visible no matter of the background color. Widgets on macOS Sonoma will also allow you to use iPhone widgets on your Mac, provided the iPhone is nearby or on the same Wi-Fi network.
The last item to cover is the biggest announcement, the Vision Pro Headset
Vision Pro Headset
It has been long rumored that Apple was working on a headset, and today they announced just that. Their product is called Apple Vision Pro. The Apple Vision Pro Headset is an all-new product category for Apple and the first product category since the AirPods in 2016. The Apple Vision Pro headset is designed to work well in a spatial environment. The Vision Pro Headset is designed to augment what you see by providing overlays of the apps that you are used to.
The Vision Pro Headset has a feature called “EyeSight”, which will allow others to easily see if the user is able to see them, or if they are fully immersed in what they are doing. As a user, you can adjust the size of any app window to the size that makes the most sense to you. This means that you can watch a video in a window that would be similar to that in a theater, or even just in a corner, so you can watch what you want and continue to perform work.
Given the 3D nature of the Vision Pro headset, you can record videos in 3D, and even play them back at a future date. The Vision Pro headset is powered by an all new operating system called visionOS. From Apple’s announcement:
visionOS features a brand-new three-dimensional interface that makes digital content look and feel present in a user’s physical world. By responding dynamically to natural light and casting shadows, it helps the user understand scale and distance. To enable user navigation and interaction with spatial content, Apple Vision Pro introduces an entirely new input system controlled by a person’s eyes, hands, and voice. Users can browse through apps by simply looking at them, tapping their fingers to select, flicking their wrist to scroll, or using voice to dictate.
Battery life on the Vision Pro Headset is two hours with the battery pack, or all day when plugged in. The Vision Pro Headset will be available in early 2024 and it will start at $3,499. It will be available in the United States only, via Apple.com and in Apple Retail stores. You can read more about the Vision Pro headset on Apple’s dedicated Apple Vision Pro headset page.
The items outlined above are just a fraction of what was actually announced. I think a lot of the work this year went into the Vision Pro headset as well as visionOS that powers the Vision Pro. While we did get some great features for iOS, iPadOS, and macOS, with widgets. There is a lot more information in the actual Keynote, which you can watch on the Apple Special Events page.
Sources:M2 UltraMac Studio and Mac Pro15-inch MacBook AirVision Pro Headset