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WWDC 2023 - The Dawn of a new era?

WWDC 2023 - The Dawn of a new era?

Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference 2023 (WWDC 2023) took the center stage once again, gathering tech enthusiast and developers around the globe with some new updates on the Apple Ecosystem.

This year, Apple captivated us with some software updates, including the new iOS 17, iPadOS 17, WatchOS 10, and the latest MacOS Sunoma. Alongside these software advancements, Apple introduced us to some hardware updates, such as the sleek and powerful 15-inch MacBook Air, as well as the new M2 Max and Ultra Chips.

At the end, Tim Cook had one more thing in store, unveiling a groundbreaking new product category within the Apple ecosystem.

Apple Software updates

iOS 17 & iPad OS 17

Let's begin by discussing the latest software updates for iPhone & iPad. The past years, Apple has presented only minimal changes in their iOS version. It appears that they have achieved a stable operating system where substantial modifications are limited, with the emphasis shifting towards small enhancements. This is why customisation has been the primary focus for them.

An example of these updates are personalised contact cards, custom stickers, live voicemails (with live transcript) and interactive widgets.

With the ability to include custom widgets on both your iPad and iPhone lock screens, you can now make them interactive with animated transitions. This allows you to showcase some of your app's functionality directly within your widget, offering users a convenient way to access key features.

iOS 17

macOS Sonoma

MacOS received a new update and name. Sonoma holds 2 potential changes which can impact the way we develop apps:

1. Widgets on desktop

Widgets are coming to macOS on the desktop. Just like on the iPhone/iPad, they’ll be interactive. This allows developers to share app functionality throughout Apple’s ecosystem.

MacOS Sonoma

2. Web Apps directly in your Dock

We now have the ability to add our favourite web app directly to the Dock, enhancing accessibility on a Mac. This functionality can have an impact on the decision between a native macOS app and a web app in certain use cases. Furthermore, it promotes the adoption of Progressive Web Apps (PWA) within the Apple ecosystem.

Apple Vision Pro

Apple has unveiled a groundbreaking headset that revolutionises the realm of spatial computing. This innovative product seamlessly merges digital content with the physical world, while allowing users to stay present and connected to others.

This could potentially impact the way we work, interact with apps, relive memories and enjoy TV shows and movies.

Apple Vision Pro

A virtual office

With the Apple Vision Pro, you can create a virtual office anywhere you want with minimal setup. It offers support for Magic Keyboard and Trackpad so you can seamlessly integrate the Apple Vision Pro in your current workspace.

It provides an infinite canvas where you can display your apps, enabling a versatile and immersive work environment.

Apple Vision Pro Visuals

Besides the virtual office use case, the Vision Pro portrays an alternative way to have virtual meetings.

The Apple Vision Pro enhances Apple's FaceTime experience by utilising the user's surroundings, displaying participants in life-size tiles and employing Spatial Audio to create a sense of natural positioning during calls. Users can engage in shared activities like watching a movie, browsing through photos, or collaborating on a presentation while still staying in touch with the physical world during calls.

The Vision Pro's impact on App Development

The Apple Vision Pro opens up a whole new box of use cases for developers and businesses. With the inclusion of visionOS, the pioneering spatial operating system, Vision Pro empowers users to engage with digital content in a way that simulates a physical presence within their surroundings. Although an SDK is not currently available, new apps will be crafted using SwiftUI, ensuring a seamless and immersive user experience.

Apple Vision Pro Development

A new course for Apple's product line-up?

Does Apple's Vision Pro possess the potential to shape the future of hardware? Will it be able to live up to the success of other Apple Products like the iPhone?

It's hard to make such a claim, even when considering its promising features. We see 3 main factors that might hinder the product’s breakthrough:

1. Steep pricetag

The Apple Vision Pro is a very expensive product. Starting at 3499 USD, the barrier to entry is quite high. This product is clearly meant for Apple’s die-hard customer base.

Due to the higher price, the product's adoption rate will probably be lower. This will also slow down the development rate of the applications for visionOS. If integrations with the most common apps (social media e.g.) are held off, this product will only be used by the lucky few.

2. Fading VR hype

Furthermore, we must consider VR boredom. First of all, this product has many competitors that have been in the market for quite some time. Secondly, the VR hype seems to be running out of steam so the excitement for this product might not be as high as Apple expects.

3. Demanding user experience

A lot of people find it challenging to tolerate wearing a headset for extended periods of time. Some experience discomfort or even motion sickness, while others quickly get bored. Therefore, the question arises: Will people be inclined to really use the Vision Pro for prolonged periods?

WWDC 2023: Aftermath

In conclusion, WWDC 2023 didn’t showcase a lot of ground breaking changes in existing products. The software updates were mainly focused on customisation and personalisation. This trend has been carrying on for a few years now due to to the maturity of the Apple ecosystem.

As for software developers, the minor changes made to widgets and the inclusion of Web Apps in the Dock can potentially have a modest influence on development for the Apple ecosystem.

The true and most surprising highlight of this WWDC was undoubtedly the release of the new Apple Vision Pro. With this product Apple, joins the VR market. Yet, only time will tell what the true impact of this product on the market and our daily lives will be.

Interested in learning more about the WWDC 2023 event? You can rewatch the full WWDC event on Youtube.

Are you curious to see what the Apple ecosystem can do for you and your business? Get in touch!

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