Apple’s WWDC 2023: Dates, what to expect, how to watch and all you need to know

California company is expected to reveal virtual reality headset and new operating systems during the five-day event next week

Apple is planning to introduce an AI-driven health coaching service as well as new technology for tracking emotions. Bloomberg
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Apple will host its five-day annual Worldwide Developers Conference, its first big event of 2023, starting from June 5.

This year’s conference is going to be Apple’s “biggest and most exciting yet”, according to Susan Prescott, Apple’s vice president of worldwide developer relations.

The online event will be live streamed on the company's website and other platforms from its headquarters in Cupertino, California.

However, there will be an opportunity for developers, media and students to attend the event in person at Apple Park on Monday.

Industry experts believe the company will unveil the first look at its new upcoming operating systems for iPhones and other devices including tablets, smartwatches and Apple TV.

The company is also expected to provide a glimpse of new products and services – particularly the virtual reality headsets – that will be released in the months ahead.

Apple does not confirm upcoming product names and services ahead of its events, but here is what the iPhone maker is expected to announce during the event, based on leaks.

Apple’s long-awaited virtual reality headset

Apple is expected to offer a first glimpse of its long-awaited virtual reality headset, which is expected to be launched in the market in September.

This virtual reality headset from local company Tabimachi Gate Hiroshima offers a VR tour that allows people to experience the city as it was before, during and after the atomic bomb attack in 1945 on Hiroshima. AFP

With the new device, which will come with eye and hand-tracking systems, Apple is aiming to disrupt an industry that is currently dominated by Facebook’s parent company, Meta Platforms.

Expected to be priced at nearly $3,000 per device, this will be the new major product category from Apple since releasing its first smartwatch in 2015.

Codenamed N301, Apple’s virtual reality headset has been under development since 2015. A technology development group of nearly 2,000 engineers is working on the project.

The new headset, believed to be called the Reality Pro, will run on a new version mobile operating system, possibly known as xrOS, and use a new version of Apple’s M2 chip.

AI-driven health coaching service

Expanding its push into the health and wellness industry, Apple aims to introduce an artificial intelligence-driven coaching service as well as new technology for tracking emotions.

Code-named Quartz, the new coaching service is intended to motivate users to stay healthy, improve their eating patterns and sleep better, Bloomberg reported.

The company will use various AI technologies to process user data collected from Apple smartwatches to offer customised coaching plans based on a range of lifestyles.

Will the new iOS 17 open access to third-party apps?

Apple is likely to announce its latest operating system for iPhones – the iOS 17. The new software will help users to multitask and is expected to allow them to download apps directly from the web or through third-party outlets.

The iPhone 14 at the Apple Store in Dubai Mall. Antonie Robertson / The National

Called sideloading, the new feature, which will allow users to install apps outside the App Store, will help Apple to adhere to EU’s competition rules.

However, Apple is considering whether it should apply certain security and privacy requirements on apps and software available outside its App Store, according to a Bloomberg report.

"Such apps also may need to be verified by Apple – a process that could carry a fee," it added.

Software updates

The latest iPadOS 17 will come with live speech – a text-to-speech feature that can be used when talking to others, while the watchOS 10 will offer more health-related features and “notable changes” to the interface.

Apple is also expected to introduce tvOS 17 with minor upgrades.

All the updates will be followed by a round of beta testing before they are officially released later this year.

Several new Macs and M3 chip

Apple is expected to launch several new Macs during the annual developers conference on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

The company is testing high-end Macs that will be powered by the M2 Max and the upcoming M2 Ultra chips.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook in front of new MacBook Airs in San Jose, California. Reuters

Apple is also reportedly working on its next M3 chips that will strengthen its position in the semiconductor industry.

The company is also expected to announce M3-powered MacBook Air and iMac devices that will be shipped to customers in the last quarter of the year.

New accessibility features

Apple has previewed various new accessibility features that it is expected to roll out during the annual conference next week.

These include detection mode for users with vision challenges, assistive access to give a customised experience while on a call or on the FaceTime app and live speech that will allow users to type a message and then have it spoken on phone.

Commonly used phrases can be saved so they can easily be accessed and sent during conversations.

Other activities

Besides the announcements of new products and services, Apple engineers and designers will host various activities online – on messaging platform Slack – to help developers engage in technical discussions, get answers to their questions, and connect with each other.

How can you watch the conference?

Live streaming will be available through, the Apple Developer app on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV and YouTube.

Users can also access the on-demand playback available after the conclusion of the live stream.

Tim Cook, Apple’s chief executive, is expected to kick off the keynote at 10am Pacific Time on Monday (9pm UAE time).

Updated: June 02, 2023, 4:30 AM