SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

5 takeaways from Apple’s biggest product event in years

Jun 5, 2023, 2:26 PM

(CNN) — Apple on Monday unveiled its most ambitious – and riskiest – new hardware product in years: a mixed reality headset called the Apple Vision Pro.

Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook touted the Vision Pro, which combines virtual reality and augmented reality, as a “revolutionary product,” with the potential to change how users interact with technology, each other and the world around them.

The highly anticipated announcement came at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, where it also teased a long list of new features and updates to some of its most widely used products.

Here’s what you should know from the event:

 

Apple makes a risky bet on a headset

 

The new Apple Vision Pro looks like a pair of ski goggles and lets people overlay virtual images on live videos of the real world.

Cook, who has been talking up the potential of augmented reality for years, touted the headset as “the first product you look through, not at.”

According to Apple, once a user puts on the device, they’re able to see apps directly projected in front of them. At the event, Apple showed off a range of unique experiences with the product, including apps for medicine, productivity and entertainment. Disney CEO Bob Iger also joined the Apple event to discuss how Disney will create content for the new Vision Pro headset.

Apple expected to unveil headset aimed at thrusting the masses into alternate realities

Unlike other headsets, the new mixed reality headset will display the eyes of its users on the outside, so “you’re never isolated from the people around you, you can see them and they can see you,” said Alan Dye, vice president of human interface.

But the product faces a number of challenges: Apple is diving into an unproven market littered with other tech companies who have tried and largely failed to find mainstream traction for their devices. Apple is also charging $3,499 for the device – more than had been rumored, and a hefty amount at a time of lingering economic uncertainty.

 

Apple plays up VR more than AI

 

While much of the focus of the event was predictably on VR, Apple said less directly about how it’s keeping pace with Silicon Valley’s current obsession: artificial intelligence.

In recent months, most of Apple’s Big Tech rivals have laid out ambitious plans for how to incorporate generative AI into their products following the viral success of ChatGPT. WWDC would have been a natural opportunity for Apple to do the same.

Appeals court upholds Apple’s control of iPhone app store

Instead, Apple spoke about artificial intelligence in a more subtle way. For example, Apple announced an update to autocorrect that uses machine learning and a language model for better accuracy and even “sentence-level autocorrections.” Apple will also expand its predictive text abilities.

“When it comes to speeding up your typing, predictive text already helps you quickly finish add or change a word,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president for software engineering, said at the event. “And now you’ll get predictions in line as you type.”

 

Apple unveils 15-inch MacBook Air

 

The first hardware product unveiled on Monday was a 15-inch MacBook Air with Apple’s custom-made M2 processor. Apple said the new MacBook Air is the world’s thinnest laptop, at just 11.5 mm. It also weighs just 3.3 pounds.

The new MacBook Air promises 18 hours of battery life, significantly faster performance than Intel-powered MacBook Airs and a six-speaker sound system.

It starts at $1,299, and $1,199 for education. Meanwhile, the older 13-inch MacBook Air with M2 is now $999.

In addition to the latest MacBook Air, Apple also introduced the M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips as updates to its Mac Studio. Developers can build new apps at immense speed, with up to 25x faster performance than the M1 Max.

 

New features for FaceTime, Messages and more

 

Apple also unveiled a slew of new updates coming to iOS 17 later this year, including new tools to make calling and messaging others more personalized and customized.

iOS 17 will now get contact “posters,” allowing iPhone users to design a custom image to appear when you call someone or receive their call. iPhone users will be able to personalize their contact card “poster” with a photo or “memoji” of choice, as well as text.

A new feature called Live Voicemail transcribes a caller’s message in real-time, so users can decide whether to ignore it or take the call. An upcoming check-in feature makes it easier to keep friends and family alerted to their safety. And a tool called NameDrop lets users share their contact information by holding two iPhones close together.

 

Apple freshens up Watch, iPad and AirPods

 

The company also rolled out software updates for the iPad, Watch and AirPods.

The iPad will get some of the beloved existing lock screen features on the iPhone, including the ability to personalize wallpapers, as well as new interactive widgets to get more information at a glance and perform quick actions.

Apple Watch will get a smart stack that uses machine learning to show relevant widgets, from medication logs and calendars to viewing sleep data.

And the company is bringing new “adaptive audio” features to its wireless AirPods. The update is intended to reduce distracting noises when changing environments and also to learn the listener’s preferences so the AirPods can make audio changes on the fly.


The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

Science & Technology

High-tech cell phones...

Michael Houck

Cox declares summer Fridays as ‘Phone-Free Fridays’

Utah's governor announced a new declaration encouraging Utahns to get off their phones for at least one day a week this summer.

3 days ago

green rows of tomato plants...

Mike Anderson

Iceland facilities excite Utah delegation about geothermal possibilities

Some state leaders are learning how small geothermal plants could power communities of the future here in Utah. With access to geothermal water from the ground, there is a lot that can be done.

3 days ago

File - Workers install lighting on an "X" sign atop the company headquarters, formerly known as Twi...

Associated Press

What happened to the likes? X is now hiding which posts you like from other users

Social media platform X is now hiding your likes.

5 days ago

FILE: The Apple Store at Towson Town Center Mall on May 10, 2024 in Towson, Maryland. (Photo by And...

Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

Apple expected to enter AI race with ambitions to overtake the early leaders

Apple’s annual World Wide Developers Conference on Monday is expected to herald the company’s move into generative AI.

7 days ago

(left) The iconic photo from the Moon looking at Earth during the Apollo 8 voyage, taken by Astrona...

Associated Press

Former astronaut William Anders, who took iconic Earthrise photo, has died in Washington plane crash

The former Apollo 8 astronaut who took the iconic “Earthrise” photo showing the planet in 1968, was killed Friday in a plane crash.

9 days ago

FILE - A hiker passes a sign warning of extreme heat at the start of the Golden Canyon trail, in De...

Emma Benson

Extreme heat is leading cause of weather-related deaths; how to protect yourself

Extreme heat is the number one cause of weather-related deaths, which is why it's crucial to stay diligent in high temperatures to protect yourself and your loved ones.

11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light up your home with these top lighting trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for hassle-free computer repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

5 takeaways from Apple’s biggest product event in years