• | 12:28 pm

What’s in store at Apple WWDC: mixed reality headset and a larger MacBook Air

The iPhone maker may also relax its stringent App Store rules and allow download of third-party apps

What’s in store at Apple WWDC: mixed reality headset and a larger MacBook Air
[Source photo: Chetan Jha]

Apple’s annual product showcase, the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), is creating quite a buzz ahead of the big day on June 5.

The tech giant usually unveils new software that drive its iPads, iPhones, Apple Watches and Macs, apart from the occasional hardware upgrades at WWDC.

The event this year will be streamed live on Apple’s website between June 5-9. Here’s a sneak peek at the potential updates:

Apple headset

There’s a strong buzz that Apple could roll out its mixed-realty headset–a full-immersion virtual-reality headgear powered by its brand-new ‘xrOS’.

Rumours suggest that the headset, which will blend virtual reality and augmented reality, could feature eye and hand-tracking capabilities, along with high resolution displays.

However, the rumoured, hefty price tag of $3,000 for ‘Reality Pro’, the likely name of Apple’s mixed-realty headset, might be the first stumbling block.

Apple is venturing into an arena where rivals have failed.

Microsoft pioneered the technology with its HoloLens in 2016, but the project has largely lost steam. Similarly, Alphabet shelved its Google Glass earlier this year.

Apple products command a committed and growing fanbase. But the question of whether its unique brand magic can extend to its rumoured headset is something that we will have to wait and watch.

MacBook Air

The MacBook Air, which sports a 13-inch screen, is one of Apple’s most popular laptops. Rumors suggest a new Air that will boast a bigger, 15-inch screen, and run on its latest M2 chip is on the horizon. While nothing is confirmed, some speculate it might be introduced at WWDC.

The rumours are silent on the price-tag, though it may sit perfectly in between Apple’s 13.6-inch 2022 Air and its larger 16-inch MacBook Pro. The 13.6-inch Air that comes with an M2 chip retails for $1,199, and the MacBook Pro starts at $2,499. All these are rumours

New Software

Apart from the new hardware, Apple is expected to reveal updates across its ecosystem–iOS, iPadOS, WatchOS, and TVOS–this year. The new iOS17, with redesigned apps and a streamlined UI, may be previewed at the WWDC before its actual launch in September.

The Cupertino giant is also expected to relax its stringent App Store rules, allowing apps from outside its ecosystem to be downloaded and installed. This could align with upcoming European Union rules seeking a levelling of the playing field for third-party developers. The new EU regulations could potentially shift the dynamics in the app development landscape, although changes may initially only apply in Europe.

Also in the offing could be a new mental health-focused app, and the return of widgets to Apple Watch.


John Melvin Konath is the Managing Editor at Press Insider. John has close to two decades of experience in managing and editing a range of domestic and global publications, notably from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and North America. More

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