WWDC 2023: Watch the Livestream Now

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Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) is arguably one of the Cupertino company’s most important events of the year... and it is just around the corner. Traditionally, WWDC has always had a bigger focus on software, with hardware releases often taking the back seat. Nevertheless, this year, there should be at least one big hardware announcement that is bound to make waves. 

We are, of course, referring to Apple’s long awaited mixed/virtual/augmented-reality (MR/VR/AR) headset. Thus, our expectations here at PhoneArena are naturally high, and we understand if yours are as well. We are practically moments away from what could be another 'iPhone moment' for Apple. Or, conversely, one of the biggest flops in the Cupertino company's history.

The stakes are higher than ever and this is why we have compiled everything there is to know about WWDC 2023 - from how to watch to what to expect - all in one place. So what should you be on the lookout for next week?

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WWDC 2023: Dates and How to Watch?

WWDC 2023 will take place between June 5th and June 9th 2023 in a mostly online format, with a "special in-person experience" on the first day of the conference. According to most insiders, almost all of the major announcements are scheduled for the first day of the conference. The main keynote will begin at 10:00 AM (Pacific Time) on Monday.

As has become customary in the world of tech, anyone with an internet connection will be able to follow the event online in real time. WWDC 2023 will be streamed on Apple’s website and the company's official YouTube channel. Additionally, we will also be covering the event extensively here at PhoneArena, so you are very welcome to tag along. But what exactly should you be excited for?

WWDC 2023: What to Expect?

Thanks to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, we already know that Apple will talk up Its mixed-reality headset in 2023 but not much else. Currently, there are no indications that Apple will be unveiling any major new hardware products beyond the aforementioned device and a new 15" MacBook Air. Other device announcements, if there are any to begin with, should offer little more than incremental spec bumps over their predecessors. Nevertheless, on the software front, we expect a full array of software updates to all of Apple's operating systems. 

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Apple AR/VR Headset 

The highlight of this year’s event will almost certainly be Apple’s AR/VR headset, reportedly dubbed the “Reality Pro”. Based on what we know so far about the first-generation device, it will likely be a rather niche product. It is projected to cost upwards of $3000, which is why Apple is already working on another, more affordable headset, expected to launch down the road.

The Reality Pro will thus be geared more towards professionals and will come equipped with a plethora of impressive specs, including next-generation display technology, an M2 chipset, and a variety of different sensors to track eye and head movements. For reference, earlier this year Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman gave us the most in-depth look yet of Apple's VR/AR headset. We also have a couple of renders which showcase the expected design of the device. 

The Reality Pro will likely run a new operating system (rumored to be called xrOS), which could be one of the main reasons why Apple has chosen to unveil the headset at WWDC. Such timing should allow developers to work on applications before the new device makes its debut on the market.

Lastly, it is possible that users might have to wait a while before getting their hands on the Reality Pro. According to most analysts, there could be a delay between the announcement at WWDC and the official launch of the headset. Gurman predicts that the latter will happen 'in time for the holidays'. 

Software Announcements 

Beyond the Reality Pro, we expect a number of important software announcements, including iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, and watchOS 10. Most insiders believe that the first three of the aforementioned software updates will be somewhat incremental, because Apple has been focusing much of its recents efforts on VR. 

According to Mark Gurman, iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 'aren’t likely to offer major new features'. On the other hand, watchOS 10 will be the 'biggest update to the Apple Watch’s software since the first version was introduced in 2015' according to the tech pundit. 

iOS 17

With that in mind, we mainly expect iOS 17 to bring quality-of-life changes, improvements to CarPlay, minor tweaks to the notifications system and iMessage, in addition to new Lock Screen widgets. Unfortunately, the long-anticipated implementation of support for third-party App Stores is expected to be restricted to devices in the European Union. By extension, users living elsewhere will likely have to wait quite a bit longer to gain access to sideloading. 

iPadOS 17 

We currently know almost nothing about the upcoming update to iPadOS. Major changes are not particularly likely, but some sort of refinements to the multi-tasking experience on Apple's high-end iPads could be in the cards, as that will help facilitate the true 2-in-1 fantasy that these devices aspire to deliver. According to some dubious leaks, iPadOS 17 will lay the foundation of the iPad's transition to OLED next year and will be a somewhat transitional iteration of the operating system, on which more meaningful updates will be built upon. 

WatchOS 10

According to Mark Gurman, WatchOS 10 will be "a fairly extensive upgrade" and will bring "notable changes to the user interface". This makes it the most significant out of all software updates this year. We do not know much of the particulars yet, but, odds are, we will not be left disappointed. Some leakers predict an overhaul of the widget system, alongside a multitude of design changes to built-in apps.   

New Macs and iPads

The only hardware announcement that we are absolutely certain will take place at WWDC is the one for the Reality Pro. That being said, hardcore Mac users might also be in for a treat as we could finally see the Mac Pro transition to Apple silicon, something many professionals have patiently been waiting for. Furthermore, an all-new 15" MacBook Air could also make its debut. Unfortunately, on the iPad front, Gurman does not expect any new iPad models to be unveiled.  

WWDC 2023: What not to Expect?

New iPhone Models 

Typically, the iPhone lineup makes its debut in September at a dedicated Apple event. So far, the only iPhones that have launched at a different time are the Cupertino company's entry-level handsets. With that being said, the next iPhone SE 4 will launch in 2024 at the earliest. This means we will not be seeing any new iPhones at WWDC. 

New Apple Watch Models

In late 2022, Apple announced the new Apple Watch 8, Apple Watch SE 2 and the Apple Watch Ultra, alongside the iPhone 14 lineup. This means that, in all likelihood, the Cupertino company will not be releasing any new wearables before September 2023, as they tend to follow a one-year-long refresh cycle. 

New AirPods Models 

A recent rumor indicated that Apple was indeed working on new AirPods, but Ming-Chi Kuo subsequently clarified that the upcoming model is simply a USB-C version of the AirPods Pro 2 which launched in 2022. At any rate, the new variant is unlikely to launch in the coming months. 

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