WWDC 2023: This is what Apple is presenting at the event

Apple has announced the date for its annual WWDC developer conference. This should therefore take place on June 5, 2023. TECHBOOK summarizes what we can expect from the event.

At the Worldwide Developers Conference, WWDC for short, Apple usually presents the next versions of its operating systems. This year, however, the company could also surprise with a brand new product.

That’s what we expect at WWDC 2023

Even if no concrete innovations have been officially announced, the developer conferences from previous years give us an idea of ​​what Apple has in store for the WWDC 2023 plans.

iOS 17 and macOS 14

Last year Apple introduced iOS 16 and macOS Ventura – the two most extensive updates for both operating systems in a while. In addition to customizable lock screens and live activities, iOS 16 also got the all-new Freeform app. iPadOS 16 and macOS Ventura, on the other hand, are equipped for the first time with their own weather app and the new Stage Manager for multitasking.

While the scope of new features in iOS 16 may be smaller, the impact may be wider. For one thing, Apple CarPlay is set to get a major update. The surface should not only be able to take over car functions such as volume control and radio control. CarPlay should also be able to run on several displays at the same time and also appear in the dashboard.

Strategy change for the App Store

However, even bigger changes are expected due to the Digital Markets Act – an EU regulation that came into force in October 2022. So far, companies like Google and Apple have had exclusive control over their app stores. Therefore, in order to offer an app for the iPhone, developers have to use the Apple App Store and pay between 15 and 30 percent of their earnings to the company. Also, all browsers for the iPhone must be based on Apple’s WebKit engine. Even browsers like Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox for the iPhone are therefore based on the same engine as Safari.

However, the Digital Markets Act makes both practices illegal. Specifically, this means that Apple must allow browsers based on other programs. But the even more significant change is that the company must allow so-called “sideloading” on the iPhone. This is the practice of installing apps from sources other than the App Store – as is already possible on Android smartphones. Not only could users then download apps directly from websites, but perhaps even install alternative app stores. The previous Apple App Store is of course still available.

Mixed reality headset could appear at WWDC

Apple has been working on a headset for virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) for years, which is finally set to appear this year as a completely new product category for the company. The headset was recently unveiled to top executives at the Steve Jobs Theater. So it seems like it could be ready for presentation in time for WWDC 2023 – at least that’s the date Apple is aiming for.

A modified version of iOS in the form of “xrOS” is said to run on the headset. The device itself could appear under the name “Reality Pro”. It should enable virtual FaceTime meetings and play videos in cinema format. It should also be able to connect to iPhone and Mac – provided they have the appropriate update to iOS 17 and macOS 14. A “passthrough” function allows you to see the environment through the headset while wearing it. The device is said to be just the first in a line of products and will cost $3,000 at launch.

Apple headquarters or lenses in a VR headset?Photo: Apple

In the Invitation to WWDC 2023 there is a note that indicates the start of the headset. At first glance, the picture is reminiscent of the shape of the Apple headquarters in Cupertino. However, the superimposed lines with different color gradients look like lenses on closer inspection – like those you would find in a VR headset, for example. This could of course be a coincidence, but experience shows that Apple’s invitations always contain a reference to a novelty.