OMG They Actually Did The Googly Eyes: Quick WWDC Thoughts

6 Jun 2023

Some quick, largely unfiltered reactions to the WWDC keynote. I’ll probably follow up with something more substantial later…

  • The new Mac Pro seems like a bit of a damp squib; a Mac Studio in a bigger box with PCI slots is nice, but it doesn’t really move the needle in terms of how far Apple Silicon can go.
  • The 15” MacBook Air is not exciting, but is excellent. The new default answer to the question “what laptop should I get?” for most people.
  • FaceTime on AppleTV looks well done, and I can see myself using it a lot.
  • AirPods Pro keep getting better, though not clear if this is a hardware or a software update.

And one more thing…

  • Unless I missed it, they didn’t say “Virtual Reality” once. (Or “Mixed Reality”, but nobody says that. Stop trying to make it happen. It’s not going to happen.) Definitely Augmented reality, even when it’s entirely immersive.
  • They tackled interaction with other people head on, and did a pretty good job of tackling both that and use cases more generally.
  • Sensors, screen, build all a step up from the state of the art, as expected.
  • Eye tracking for pointing is interesting, and sounds great if it works as promised.
  • The same could be said of a lot of VisionOS; it looks great, but in terms of experience what we saw yesterday was no more real than Tony Stark’s home office. A lot rides on how it is in practice.
  • The one exception is EyeSight. This was the weird wildcard rumour that seemed too ludicrous to be real, but they actually did it and it looks… OK. Perhaps it’ll fall into the uncanny valley in person, but in that case the video can get pretty close and it seemed like it’d work.
  • Shout-out to AutoStereo Displays
  • The high price was expected, but the timeline was a lot longer than I’d have guessed. Clearly this isn’t a short term thing; Apple are planning for the future.

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