What to expect from WWDC 2023: Apple AR/VR headset, 15-inch MacBook Air, iOS 17, and more

Apple WWDC 2023
(Image credit: Apple)
Latest news: June 2

A Bloomberg report suggests that we could see more Macs than just the MacBook Air 15-inch at WWDC and a new M2 Ultra chip could debut as well.

WWDC 2023 is almost here and there are a collection of well-founded rumors and exciting theories that suggest Apple’s upcoming developer conference could be one of its most interesting.

The event was announced at the end of March, but the last two months saw many theories emerge about what may come out of this highly anticipated annual event. If you’re looking for the latest rumors and details on Apple’s upcoming hardware and software, WWDC 2023 is the event to look forward to.

WWDC 2023 date

WWDC 2023 will begin on June 5 and last through June 9. As always, Apple starts this week-long event with its keynote and State of the Union presentation, which will be broadcast live in Apple Park for developers and students who are lucky enough to get invited out by the company. 

Most importantly, the event will open with the company's signature Keynote on June 5th at 10:00am PDT / 1:00pm EDT, while the Platforms State of the Union starts at 1:30pm PDT / 4:30pm EDT. These are both of the events that viewers will have a chance to tune into.

Unfortunately, you can no longer secure a spot at this time — the Apple Developer page suggests that requests are closed. It took just over a week for these spots to fill up, so if you want to attend next year, you’ll have to jump on it as soon as possible.

WWDC 2023 how to watch

If you didn’t get one of the coveted in-person spots, never fear, the Keynote and State of the Union will be broadcast live on Apple’s WWDC 2023 page and on the Apple YouTube channel. Watching individual sessions requires signing up for WWDC, but most of the juicy tidbits are going to be shared during those public sessions.

Susan Prescott, Apple's World Wide Developer Relations Vice President, claims WWDC 2023 will be the "biggest" and "most exciting" so far. While this could just be a fluff statement due to this being the most recent conference, there are also a few reasons why it might just be true.

WWDC 2023 MacBooks

According to Apple leaker and Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, the new MacBook Air 15-inch will be the only new laptop to arrive at the event, while others are awaiting the reveal of the M3 chip later this year.

However, new M2 Max chipsets may debut in desktop Macs like an iMac or a refreshed Mac Studio.

WWDC 2023 Apple VR headset

Several reports from Bloomberg and other reputable sources, suggest that Apple will be unveiling its new AR/VR headset at WWDC 2023. While it isn’t confirmed, we’d be surprised if the conference week ended without a single peep about it. But what exactly is Apple’s AR/VR headset going to be like?

What we are pretty sure about is that the headset will use a mix of aluminum, glass and carbon fiber in its physical make, while a series of official trademark filings suggest it could be called Reality Processor, Reality One or Reality Pro. Twitter user Sonny Dickson also shared alleged photos showcasing a look at the headset’s internal design. The Information reports that the headset’s displays are expected to be 4K micro OLED with up to 3,000 pixels per inch.

Another report from The Information suggests it will have a dial to swap between the virtual world and physical world, different headbands available, prescription lenses for those with glasses, a 120-degree field of view, a battery pack worn around the waist, a lightweight build, the ability to control the headset through gestures, and facial expression reading all built upon a Apple silicon chip foundation.

Rumors suggest the headset could cost more than $3,000, making it a difficult sell for most individuals at the standard consumer-level. It will undeniably be niche, but excitement is high to see what Apple can accomplish with this technology.

WWDC 2023 Mac Pro

The Apple silicon chips are astounding in their productivity performance, but there is one major product that the company has yet to update with this latest technology: the Mac Pro. It’s been almost three years since Apple revealed the M1 with the Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, but the larger tower-based desktop Mac is still sporting Intel processors.

Mac Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

Rumors suggest that 2023 is the year where that changes, and it’s possible that we’ll see it unveiled at WWDC 2023 with an M2 Ultra chip. MacRumors claims it expects the design to stay the same, with the primary focus on the new chip. While the conference isn’t hardware-focused by any means, the company has previously unveiled some new hardware, like last year’s reveal of the MacBook Air M2.

WWDC 2023 iOS 17

WWDC has always put applications and software as its primary focus, and that won’t change in 2023. We expect to see macOS 14, iOS 17, iPadOS 17, tvOS 17 and watchOS 10 unveiled at WWDC. We’re unsure what major changes we can expect for each of these operating systems, but we do know a few things.

A rumor is brewing that the latest iOS update will feature many of the “most requested features,” although it’ll be a less significant update overall according to Mark Gurman. His Power On newsletter suggests it will focus on “tuneups” towards “fixing bugs” and “improving performance.” The update is called Dawn and Gurman claims it is designed to “check off several of users' most requested features.”

We got a glimpse at some app updates in iOS 17 in a recent leak and there are also 5 rumored iOS 17 features we hope to see. Our biggest concern for the update is that a number of iPhones and iPads may lose support with iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.

IPhone 14 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

macOS 14, internally named Sunburst, will be similar in that it will have fewer major changes according to Gurman. There isn’t much else information available on it thus far, although we expect beta versions will become available during WWDC. macOS Ventura and macOS Monterey launched in October, while macOS Big Sur launched in November. We expect this to remain consistent for Sunburst’s launch.

Information on iPadOS 17 is similarly scarce, although we expect to see third-party apps to finally make their way on the App Store, according to a report from Bloomberg. Rumors from a Twitter user also suggest that iPadOS 17 will no longer support fifth-generation iPad and first-generation 9.7-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro hardware. 

WatchOS 10 will feature a whole new user interface, according to a recent report from Mark Gurman. We have no clue what that update actually looks like just yet, but Gurman claims it will feature a “fairly extensive upgrade.” 

Unfortunately, there aren’t any well-founded or exciting rumors on tvOS17 currently.

WWDC 2023 Student Challenge

The Swift Student Challenge is a program that Apple holds to platform its favorite student applications, with winners being selected for developing what the company believes are the most interesting software. 

Winners receive WWDC 2023 outerwear, AirPods Pro, customized pins, and a year of Apple Developer Program membership. Student developers who are interested have up to April 19 to apply, so don’t dilly dally. Some winners will also be invited to attend WWDC 2023's in-person event at Apple Park.

Bottom line

WWDC 2023 is shaping up to be an exciting one for Apple. If the numerous rumors ring true, we could finally see Apple’s long-awaited AR/VR headset, Mac Pro getting the M2 Ultra chip, and various software updates that may not be huge, but are exciting nonetheless.

Laptop Mag will be on-site covering WWDC 2023 live, so if you can't tune in, we’ll keep you up to date on all of the biggest news.

Momo Tabari
Contributing Writer

Self-described art critic and unabashedly pretentious, Momo finds joy in impassioned ramblings about her closeness to video games. She has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Media Studies from Brooklyn College and five years of experience in entertainment journalism. Momo is a stalwart defender of the importance found in subjectivity and spends most days overwhelmed with excitement for the past, present and future of gaming. When she isn't writing or playing Dark Souls, she can be found eating chicken fettuccine alfredo and watching anime.