WWDC23 – updated OSes, newer devices, and a brand new 🍎 Vision Pro

I watched the WWDC Keynote last night, and boy, do I have a few thoughts!

iOS 17

I love that now AirDrop has become very easy as bringing two phones close to each other. On the other hand (pun intended), this should have been in place long ago. Think infrared ports on ancient phones were doing exactly this (despite in a more cumbersome way!). And “NameDrop” to share your contact details with another iPhone user – I chuckled hearing Apple’s choice of words for their offerings!

Swipe to reply on iMessage. Thanks for copying WhatsApp, and do so more often. However, we hardly use iMessage here in my country anyway – so, not a big win for me.

Contact Posters are a way to customize your callee’s screen when you make a call to them. It’s a nice to have. So, is “Leave a Facetime message.”

iPadOS 17

While this is a bigger version of iOS, it has its unique set of features too. Interactive Widgets are an essential and has been on Android for ages. Apple finally gets it.

macOS 13 (Sonoma)

The new screensavers look really cool, and when Apple does something, they really make it look good, and this is no exception.

They have introduced a new way for Video Conferencing, where you appear over your shared screen as if you are using a green screen. You can be your own Weatherman on your work calls now!

They also have WebApps on the Dock now, which means you get to do what Chrome allowed you eons ago. It allows you to turn any site into an “app” and place it directly on the Dock of your Mac.

And yeah, you can finally have widgets on the Mac desktop (not just in the notifications area).

watchOS 10

There is a feature called “Smart Stack,” which allows you a widget-like view of the various apps on your watch – that was pretty neat.

They have also introduced Mental Health and Vision Health features on the Health side of things. Hopefully, it helps their customers live longer, better lives.

MacBook Air 15″

This is a device that caught my attention. It’s essentially a bigger version of the current 13″ MacBook Air. Apple describes it as the thinnest 15″ Laptop and while it is a boring device, there definitely is a target demographic that would love a bigger screen without having to pay a premium.

Mac Studio, Mac Pro, M2 Ultra

These three things are definitely overkill for your standard remote-working software developer.

While they are awesome for specific needs, the costs and the fact that you cannot travel with them make them less appealing to me.

Spec-wise though, they are brilliant and Apple continues to amaze us.

Thoughts on the Vision Pro

The Apple Vision Pro is one groundbreaking device, without a doubt. The level of hardware–software integration and the thought that’s been put into making it easy to operate is truly astonishing.

So is the sample content they showcased. Apple does know how to sell a product!

At the same time, it makes me remember Wall-E and imagine many “couch potatoes” mindlessly consuming entertainment content. We are already glued (not literally) to our smartphone screens, and this device literally places a screen to both your eyes. This takes up your entire vision; now, you see the world through a screen.

How long until we realize the dangers of the dystopia we are heading towards? Where the Vision Pro seems more appealing than what we see with our own eyes. Where you prefer to see pictures of someone instead of the “real” person.

If we are not disciplined with using such a device, it can wreak havoc on our lives. It can become a new addiction.

While exciting, I couldn’t help feeling pessimistic about Apple introducing such a device. Perhaps this post will age badly, looking back ten years from now; but I have to share my real feelings and thoughts.

iPhone revolutionized the mobile computing world, and this is set to do the same for spatial computing. It has the potential to change and disrupt certain industries. Although I can imagine certain real-world use cases for such a device, the skeptic in me says to be wary of it.

Personally, I would like to try this new technology but not buy it.

The Apple Ecosystem

I wrote about the 🍎 Ecosystem some time ago. Although I still use Apple devices for work and stuff, I am not happy with the declining reliability of their MacBooks. Hopefully, the newly introduced devices will be more durable, but our experience has been disappointing overall.

Having said that, Apple devices do make life easier in many ways. Like Continuity for switching between different devices, AirPods while working out, and Apple Watch for managing notifications without reaching for the phone every time it dings.

While I like to try out different OSes and ecosystems, Apple’s walled garden keeps pulling me back. Only time will tell for how long, though.


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