BY Fast Company 4 MINUTE READ

Apple had a lot to say at its Worldwide Developers Conference this year.

After years of speculation, the company finally rolled out its AR/VR/XR headset, along with new MacBooks, a new iOS for iPhone, and lots more.

Missed the two-hour-plus presentation or weren’t able to watch the whole thing? Here are the highlights.


Apple’s entry into the augmented reality market is no longer theoretical. Vision Pro is the company’s new headset and is important enough to Apple that it was introduced with Steve Jobs’ famous “one more thing” line.

Visually, it looks a lot like a pair of ski goggles, as designed by Apple. The Vision Pro will cost a jaw-dropping $3,499 and up, and will be available early next year. It promises to “seamlessly” blend the physical and digital worlds, letting you decide how immersed in the virtual world you want to be. Apps are projected into the space around you, with the ability to either keep the real world in view or block it out with artificial environments, including scenes of nature to alternate worlds.

There’s no physical controller. Instead, you’ll use your eyes, hands, and voice to control use.

In many ways, the Vision Pro seems more like a wearable monitor than an XR device. Photos and films can be enlarged to IMAX-size images as you sit in your living room (or on a plane). And the definition is impressive, with 23 million pixels per eye (more than a 4K TV each).

You might want to watch short films, though. The battery on the Vision Pro (which is in a separate battery pack, rather than on the headset itself) has a life of “up to two hours,” Apple said. (The system can be plugged into the wall.)


Apple wasted no time in rolling out new products at this year’s conference, introducing a 15-inch MacBook Air, two inches larger than the current model. The new system will start at just $1,299 (or $1,199 for education customers). Preorders open today, and the laptops will be available starting next week.

The new system boasts an 18-hour battery life, weighs just 3.3 lbs, and is reportedly 12 times faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Air, Apple said.

Additionally, the 13-inch MacBook Air’s price has dropped to $1,099, and the M1-powered MacBook Air is now $999.

The company also introduced a new Mac Pro (the first in four years), upgraded to its own ARM-powered chip—the newly introduced M2 Ultra. A fully specced model, Apple said, can be as much as three times faster than the older, Intel-powered version.

IOS 17

As part of the many updates that will be part of iOS 17, Apple noted three improvements to three key iPhone tools.


Users will now be able to make personalized contact posters, letting them be in control of the image or Mimoji that appears on screen when they call. They’ll also be able to adjust the font and color of the background. The change will also be included in CallKit, meaning people who make calls from third-party apps.

Live voicemail will let you see real-time transcription when people leave a message, also giving you the option to “pick up” the call. Basically, Apple has brought back the answering machine from the 1980s in digital form.


Search has been improved with new filters to help you find what you’re looking for. And if you’ve ever opened up your phone to see a huge backlog of messages in a group text, you’ll be able to tap a catch-up arrow that will jump you to the first unread message.

Audio messages will also be transcribed, if you’re unable to listen to them at the moment. And a check-in feature will let you alert friends and family when you’re traveling—and when you arrive at your destination.


Can’t reach who you want on FaceTime? With iOS 17, you’ll be able to leave video messages.


You’ll finally be able to ducking curse on your iPhone!

Apple didn’t SAY artificial intelligence, but it certainly touted the benefits of it, discussing its “more accurate dictation engine,” making autocorrect more accurate—plus an improved word-prediction engine when you hit the space bar, which should speed up texts and emails (assuming it works as advertised).


Flip your iPhone on its side and you’ll get a customizable full-screen experience, with multiple clock faces to choose from, a digital photo frame, and the ability to use interactive widgets (both Apple’s and third-party). At night, the phone adapts to low light and adopts a red tone so it doesn’t interfere with sleep patterns, as it charges.

And more…

Apple had plenty of other upgrades to iOS, including:

Offline maps

Changing the prompt for Siri from “Hey Siri” to just “Siri”

You’ll now be able to give back-to-back commands to Siri without having to repeatedly say the wake word (i.e. “Siri, turn on the lights and lower the thermostat at my house”).

Improvements to the people albums in photos

A new journaling app that will act as a digital diary for users to log their thoughts—think a text version of the photos memories feature.


iPhone’s not the only device getting a new operating system. The new OS for iPad will bring over the health app and many of the features in iOS 17, including automatic-voice note transcription and smarter autocorrect.

Getting special attention are the Notes app and PDF annotation. You’ll be able to fill in the fields of a PDF using machine learning, Apple said.


After focusing on hardware last year, Apple turned the attention back to software in 2023. You can now stack widgets, then scroll through them with your Apple Watch’s crown. There are new apps for cycling and hiking. And there’s an emphasis on mental health, where you can log both your momentary emotions and daily moods from your watch to track your state of mind.

The new WatchOS will also focus on vision health, sensing the amount of time kids spend in daylight, which reduces the risk of myopia. It will also measure screen distances to help reduce eyestrain, and let you know if you’ve got your tablet, or even book, too close.


The latest Mac software, named for California’s popular wine region, will have several new features, including expanded video-conferencing functionality, which lets people appear on top of or alongside presentations and react with animations. It will also feature a game mode that prioritizes the system’s processing power, giving it more consistent frame rates.

Widgets are also coming to macOS, and screensavers will more closely resemble those on Apple TV.


Apple unveiled a software upgrade for its popular earbuds to improve call quality and noise cancellation.

A new “conversation awareness” feature will lower the volume of music when your Airpods detect speech. The AirPods will blend noise-canceling and transparency to match your surroundings—so you’ll have construction noises muted as you walk down the street, but if you stop to have a conversation with a friend during your stroll, you’ll be able to hear them without making any sort of adjustment manually.

Apple’s hardly the first to offer this sort of feature. Google’s Clear Calling offers many similar features.