Apple kicked off its annual WWDC conference on Monday. Here are my initial impressions after watching the keynote:

macOS, iOS, and watchOS

  • There were a lot of mentions of “on-device intelligence” and “machine learning.” No one said “AI.”
  • There is a new Mac Pro with Apple Silicon as well as a 15” MacBook Air. Both will be available next week.
  • The iOS 17 presentation started with “big updates to the Phone app” which I would have never in a million years guessed. I will admit, the new “Live Voicemail” feature looks great though.
  • The long segment dedicated to iMessage’s “new Stickers expirence” should put to rest fears that Apple would ever feel pressed for time. Indeed, the keynote was over two hours long.
  • Autocorrect in iOS 17 is powered by “a transformer-based on-device language model.” It will be able to correct on a sentence level rather than individual words.
  • The Journal app that was rumored is real but won’t be available at launch—it is coming “later this year”
  • Interactivity is coming to widgets on all platforms. On macOS Sonoma, you will be able to add widget to the desktop.
  • You will be able to set multiple simultaneous timers
  • Death Stranding will be coming to Apple Silicon Macs. There was no mention of it during the later headset discussion.
  • Safari gets a new Profiles feature. I’ve always loved Containers in Firefox and have missed them since switching to Safari. It seems like a logical extension of the OS-wide Focus Mode feature they introduced last year.
  • WatchOS 10 is launching with a comprehensively redesigned interface. A notable exception is the “honeycomb” app launcher which appears unchanged.
  • There is still no ability for third party developers to create custom watch faces. Apple is offering the consolation prize of “a new Snoopy and Woodstock watch face.”
  • iPadOS got… no new pro-level features? I am kind of shocked Apple didn’t save their recent Final Cut and Logic Pro app release announcement for this event.

One more thing

  • It is official: Apple announced their new XR googles and they are called “Vision Pro”
  • Apple is calling this their first “spatial computing“ device which is a better descriptor than AR/VR/XR
  • They really do look a lot like ski goggles
  • There is a screen on the front of them that displays your eyes. It is a weird concept that was executed in a much better way than I would have ever expected. The more I think about it—and I can’t believe I’m saying this—it might be the defining innovation here. I expect to see it copied by other hardware makers soon.
  • The hardware looks bulky and awkward. The software, UX, and design language, though, looks incredible.
  • For input, there is eye tracking, hand gesture recognition, voice, and a virtual keyboard. Vision Pro also works with physical Magic Keyboards and game controllers.
  • The headset can capture 3D photographs and videos
  • It has two hours of battery life with an external battery
  • Leading up to this event, a lot of people were speculating the Vision Pro would be cheaper than it’s rumored price of $3000—in reality, it will be more expensive at $3499.
  • Vision Pro is clearly a first generation product. It is expensive and has a short battery life even with bulky hardware and an external battery pack. Waiting for the second generation version is unquestionably the smartest decision. It is going to be extremely temping, though. At least I’ll have some time to decide—it will be available to purchase next year.
  • I can’t wait to try them