WWDC 2023 Keynote Thoughts and Predictions

It has been nearly 9 months since Apple last held a keynote in September last year for the iPhone, and this keynote is set to be a tale of what is or isn’t announced in terms of AR/VR and AI.

Reality Pro and realityOS

The persistent rumours of an Apple Headset have increased in intensity over the last 12 months, and unlike the the rumour of an Apple TV or Car this product appears to not be vaporware. The most pertinent rumour recently has been that with a bill of materials for the headset costing upwards of $1500, meaning that the retail price it is expected to be in the region of $2999. That being said with WWDC being a developer conference, I expect what we will see unveiled and made available only to be the developer kit, which means Apple wouldn’t need to divulge pricing information until closer to its release to the public.

The headset is set to feature a micro-OLED 4K display per eye and will be driven by the same M series chips found in Macs, giving it enough power to deal with and switch between both AR/VR experiences responsively. To enable mix reality experiences the headset will features over a dozen cameras and sensors to scan the environment, read facial expressions and detect movement.

The headset’s strap will be made out of the same Fluoroelastomer material as the Apple Watch Sports Bands, most controversially and very un-Apple like is the fact that the headset is set to be powered by an external battery pack. The trade off being the battery life can stretch to over 2 hours while maintain a sensible weight and therefore comfort of the headset for extended periods of use.

I expect to see another push for SwiftUI based development, with it being the defacto way you build realityOS experiences. It is however expected that iPad apps will be able to be used within the context of the mix reality world manifested by the headset, with what would be the on screen pointer of the iPad being controlled by gestures.

Mac Studio

The MacStudio was released in March last year featuring either and M1 Max or exclusively an M1 Ultra Chip. Soon after in July Apple revamped the MacBook Air with an all new industrial design and an M2 Processor. Subsequently the Mac minis and MacBook Pros were updated in January, which saw the introduction of the M2 Pro and M2 Max Chips. This has lead to Apple’s most expensive machine being the only one left using the older M1 series chips (well if we choose to ignore the Mac Pro which is still on Intel Processors!).

The MacS tudio is expected to be updated with the M2 Max and the newly unveiled M2 Ultra Chips, with minimal improvements elsewhere .. but we can hope they fix the whiny power supply!

Mac Pro

The final Mac that was proclaimed to be “for another day” last WWDC, the Mac Pro, still hasn’t made the jump to Apple Silicon, and unless all of the rumours about a headset has meant that an updated Mac Pro has flown under the radar, I wouldn’t expect to see it at this event.

iOS, iPadOS and macOS

Major updates for Apple’s flagship OSs this year are set to be few and far between. iOS is set to gain a nightstand mode for iPhone, where it can display glanceable information while on a nightstand.

The Dynamic Island introduced last year on the iPhone Pro is going to be rolled out across more devices inSeptember, so in iOS 17 the capabilities of the dynamic island are set to be expanded.

The iPad is set to gain Widgets on its Home Screen, with the introduction of limited interactivity on both the iPhone and iPad. The iPad is also set to have Health app being made available for the first time, alongside the annual update of new tracking categories such as recording a users mood.

One feature that is set to be released all OSs is a journaling app, which will not only allow you to capture your own textural thoughts about the day but pull in various pieces of information that your Apple devices already know about the you and the day such as weather, workouts and location.


watchOS 8 is set to be the most significant OS update this year and the biggest watchOS update since… well if we are being honest besides the removal of quick access to friends from the side button and accommodating the removal of Force Touch, watchOS hasn’t had much of an update since its introduction.

The major change will see watchOS move to a more Widget based approach, giving more glanceable access to information than complications without the overhead of launching full watchOS apps which can be quite slow an cumbersome.


The tech industry has been focused on AI the last few months, starting off with Stable Diffusion and more recently ChatGPT. The obvious AI inclusion in the Keynote would be introducing it to Xcode in the form of code analysis and generation, but I don’t expect to see that.

I’m sure when Siri is demoed it will now be framed as AI rather than just a voice assistant, but I think the bigger focus will be on the privacy benefits of running machine learning models locally on device rather than on a server. After all this the area Apple is uniquely positioned to own unlike server side AI, and they have already optimised Stable Diffusion for Apple Silicon