Grading My WWDC Keynote Predictions (And Introducing My Ongoing List of Apple Wishes)
Everyone makes predictions on what Apple will introduce at its events, but who goes back to grade how they did? Me! That’s who. The WWDC23 Keynote has come and gone, bringing with it an absolute deluge of new features, improvements, entire OSes, and products. But before we get to my score on all that, a brief programming note:
I’ve been spelunking the internet the past few days for exciting bits and bobs, and rounding them up together into daily summaries. Along the way, I’ve been trying to determine how many of my pre-WWDC wishes had been granted. However, my requests are very specific and I won’t be able to test or confirm many of them until I get my hands on the new software — which I won’t do until the public betas come out next month.1
With that in mind, I won’t be doing a full scoring of my wish list items today. But it did give me a new idea. Rather than publish a new wish list before every Apple event or WWDC, I figure it would be cool to have a year-round list that lives on my new ‘Lists’ page. As fixes come in from new releases, I’ll check them off and group the completed items appropriately on a timeline. I’ll even go back and put in my wishes from previous years! So I encourage you to go check out the new ‘List of Apple Wishes’ here on HeyDingus.
Perhaps I’ll do a check-in post every so often on new wishes made and granted. And with that, let’s see how I did with my keynote predictions!
👍 A preview of the AR headset is shown off, and attendees get to try them on. We got this in spades! Apple even built a new building to house the try-on area. The Vision Pro got the most presentation time at the packed keynote, and it was a jaw-dropping 45 minutes.
🤷♂️ iPad apps on the headset that take advantage of Stage Manager and the Apple Pencil hover support introduced last year. This is was a sort-of correct guess. Yes, iPad apps will run on visionOS without change from the developers (although they can make bespoke visionOS versions), but there was no mention of the windowing system using Stage Manager specifically. Nor did Apple mention that the Apple Pencil hovering features will play a role in visionOS. I tend to think that those technologies do play a role in visionOS but since Apple didn’t call it out, we have no way to know for sure.
👍 While many AI-like features are announced, none are labeled as powered by “AI”; they’ll be powered by “Machine Learning (ML)”, instead. I nailed this one. No mention of “AI”. It was “on-device machine learning” and “transformer models” all the way. I also scored the bonus point with Apple refusing to mention the “metaverse” either.
👎 The headset is called the Reality Pro and its operating system is called realityOS. We all got gotten on this one. I don’t think anyone had “Vision Pro” or “visionOS” on their Bingo board. And from all the WWDC developer sessions that mention “xrOS”, I don’t think many people at Apple knew for sure before the unveil either. I tentatively like the name, though, and know it’ll grow on me over time.
👎 The headset pricing is announced and starts at $2499 or less. Oh boy. $3499 is the starting price. It’s both eye-wateringly high, and more than the rumored price. I’d been hoping we were going to get an iPad pricing moment, but it was the opposite. I’ve started saving my pennies.
🤷♂️ All the OSes feature a refreshed design language with more texture and shadows that nods toward the 3D environment for the realityOS UI. The various OSes certainly didn’t get the design overhaul that I had expected, but I can see more shadows and skeuomorphism (for lack of a better term) in this year’s releases than last year’s. I’d give myself a quarter-point at most on this one.
👎 New AirPods Max are announced that pair with the headset for an even more immersive setting. My risky pick was too risky, after all. I don’t think AirPods Max got a single mention, nor was shown on screen at all, let alone an introduction. That could be telling. Perhaps they need a bigger redesign to fit around the Vision Pro headset. I still think Vision Pro + AirPods Max would make for a pair made in heaven. Maybe we’ll see their launch next year alongside the Vision Pro hardware release.
👍: 2/7 👎: 3/7 🤷♂️: 2/7
I’ll need to work on my crystal ball gazing skills for the next keynote.
Even though, yes, I know that anyone can now install the developer betas for free. I’m not that courageous this year.↩︎