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At WWDC 2023, Apple announced its new AR/VR headset, Apple Vision Pro, which is expected to be available early next year. The company also announced new features for many of its operating systems.
In a blog post the company called its new AR/VR headset “a spatial computer that seamlessly blends digital content with the physical world while allowing users to stay present and connected to others.”
Also announced was its corresponding operating system, visionOS, which supports the low-latency requirements of spatial computing. This OS is built upon years of engineering advancements in macOS, iOS, and iPadOS and its primary focus is on delivering immersive spatial experiences that leverage the surrounding space, presenting users with new possibilities in both professional and personal contexts.
One of the key features of visionOS is its new three-dimensional interface, which creates the illusion of digital content being physically present in the user’s environment. This interface dynamically adapts to natural light conditions and incorporates shadow effects, enhancing the user’s understanding of scale and distance within the virtual space.
iOS 17 gets updates to communications apps and improves AirDrop
Apple unveiled iOS 17, a significant update aimed at enhancing communication capabilities across iPhone, FaceTime, and Messages. This new release simplifies the process of sharing content through AirDrop and introduces improved input features to enhance typing speed and accuracy.
Apple introduced new sharing functionalities for AirDrop. One of these features, called NameDrop, enables users to effortlessly share contact information by bringing their iPhones together or by bringing an iPhone and Apple Watch close to each other. This gesture not only facilitates contact sharing but also allows users to share content or initiate SharePlay, which enables them to listen to music, watch movies, or play games together when their iPhones are in close proximity.
Additionally, iOS 17 introduces two new experiences: Journal, an application that facilitates the practice of gratitude, and StandBy, a feature that provides easily accessible information when the iPhone is placed on charge.
Additional details on updates to iOS 17 are available here.
macOS Sonoma comes with new customization, conferencing, and improved gameplay
The Mac experience has been enhanced with numerous improvements, providing users with additional options for personalization through widgets and captivating new screen savers. Notably, Safari and video conferencing have received significant updates, offering enhanced functionality and features.
Furthermore, the gaming experience on Mac has been optimized, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable gameplay experience.
On Mac, widgets have gained enhanced functionality and a more personalized touch. Users now have the ability to directly place widgets on the desktop and explore the widget gallery to discover their preferred ones.
These widgets blend into the desktop wallpaper, allowing users to maintain their focus on the current task. Thanks to Continuity, users can also enjoy the wide range of iPhone widgets available on their Mac, expanding the ecosystem of possibilities. Moreover, widgets have become interactive, enabling users to accomplish tasks such as checking off reminders, controlling media playback, accessing home controls, and performing various actions directly from the desktop.
The introduction of Presenter Overlay introduces a new video effect that enhances a user’s presence during content sharing. This effect displays the user on top of the shared content, giving them greater visibility. Furthermore, the Reactions feature enables users to express their emotions during video calls by seamlessly incorporating visual elements like balloons, confetti, and hearts into the video. These reactions can even be triggered with a hand gesture, adding a fun and interactive aspect to the communication experience.
Additional details on macOS Sonoma are available here.
WatchOS 10 and iPadOS 17 are announced
The new WatchOS offers redesigned apps, a new Smart Stack, additional watch faces, new cycling and hiking features, and tools to support mental health.
iPadOS 17 Features a redesigned Lock Screen and interactive widgets; intelligent new features in PDFs and Notes; updates to Messages, FaceTime, and Safari; and the all-new Health app.
Apple also updated Apple TV 4k with insights that focus on mental health, new privacy and security features, FaceTime, and video conferencing, among new hardware announcements.