Apple WWDC 2023: what to expect, including iOS 17, new Macs, VR, and more

A laptop and phone screen showing invites for the Apple WWDC 2023 conference
(Image credit: Future)

WWDC 2023, Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference, is just hours away and the rumors suggest it could be one of the most momentous (and maybe longest) ones we've seen for years.

This year, the hype machine is driven by rumors that Apple will finally reveal the Apple VR headset at WWDC 2023. But even in the unlikely event that the mixed-reality headset doesn't arrive, and the Apple xrOS platform is also absent, there will still be a lot for Apple fans to get excited about – with other announcements including a new Mac Pro and a 15-inch MacBook Air (2023) also possible.

The bread-and-butter of WWDC is software announcements across Apple's entire range, including iPhone, Macs, iPad, and Watch. Expect to see and hear a lot more about iOS 17, iPadOS 17, macOS 14, watchOS 10, and tvOS 17.

If you own any Apple tech, then, it'll definitely be worth tuning in. The keynote will start today (June 5) at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST, which works out as June 6, 3am ACT. That's the time to set a reminder for – and we'll be on the ground at Apple Park in Cupertino to cover it all as it happens. 

Our WWDC 2023 live blog is now up and running, so head over there for all the last-minute rumors ahead of the event, and all the big announcements once it gets going. We also have a full guide to how to watch the WWDC 2023 keynote.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? Apple's annual developer conference
  • When is it? June 5 - 9, 2023. The keynote is on June 5 at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST, which is June 6, 3am ACT.
  • How can I register or watch? Space for the in-person event is limited but you can request to attend on Apple's Developer site. The online version will be free for everyone to watch.

Latest WWDC 2023 news

May 31: Apple's VR headset could have 4K displays that are 50 times brighter than the Oculus Quest 2's

May 26: Apple's mixed-reality headset could be very difficult to buy this year, according to new rumors that suggest Apple might only ship 100,000 units in its first year.

May 24: Apple has sent out WWDC 2023 invites and many have gone to VR specialists, suggesting it'll have some VR or AR announcements at the event.

May 17: Apple reveals the full schedule for WWDC 2023, including another visual hint about its mixed-reality headset and the timings for its keynote presentation on June 5 (10am PT  / 1pm ET / 6pm BST / June 6, 3am ACT).

May 15: A new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has suggested that we won't be seeing MacBook Pros with new M3 chips at WWDC 2023, and that hardware will instead be coming sometime next year. We are, however, expecting to see a new 15-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip.

March 30: Rumors from reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo suggest that some delays to production of the Apple AR/VR headset have created "uncertainty" around the device appearing at WWDC 2023.

March 29: Apple announces the dates for the WWDC 2023, which will start on June 5 and run through to June 9. The keynote, which historically contains all of the big news, will take place on June 5.

WWDC 2023 dates

Apple has announced that its developer conference will take place Monday, June 5 through Friday, June 9 - so it starts today.

Apple regularly schedules its annual five-day conference for June, so it wasn't a surprise to expect to see WWDC around this time again. 

If you're mainly interested in the big announcements, the WWDC 2023 keynote will take place today at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST / June 6, 3am ACT.

Latest WWDC 2023 rumors

The hardware rumors

Likely: Apple Reality Pro

A render of the rumored Apple Reality Pro headset on a grey background

(Image credit: Ian Zelbo)

Rumors about an Apple VR headset have been growing steadily this year – and the WWDC 2023 invite appears to hint at the lenses used in some VR goggles. 

While many reliable analysts have suggested that the Apple Reality Pro headset (as it's rumored to be called) will debut at WWDC 2023, other rumors have suggested that production delays could see it miss Apple's big developer conference.

Right now, its appearance alongside a new Apple xrOS operating system at WWDC looks increasingly likely, but there's a chance it could be a developer preview ahead of a full launch later this year. Given it's been rumored for years, that would be fine by us.

Likely: Mac Pro (2023)

The Apple Mac Pro Being Shown Off At WWDC 2019

(Image credit: Brittany Hosea-Small/ AFP/ Getty Images)

Last year, hopes were high for a new Mac Pro at WWDC 2022, which is traditionally an industry conference more than a consumer product event. 

A Mac Pro, which is an industry-grade workstation costing a gajillion dollars (ok, not literally), is perfectly suited for a debut before all the developers who might reasonably be working on one or at least developing with that workstation in mind.

It's also the last major Apple product that hasn't switched over to Apple's in-house silicon, so it makes sense to finally cut ties with Intel and put out a new Mac Pro 2023 workstation PC.

Likely: 15-inch MacBook Air (2023)

A series of colorful Macbook laptops on a green background with paint splodges

(Image credit: Jon Prosser / Future)

After initially dismissing rumors about a 15-inch MacBook Air as an unlikely WWDC 2023 launch, we've started to change our mind – a larger version of our number one pick for the title of best laptop now looks on the cards, according to the latest rumors.

This speculation, picked up by MacRumors, suggests that Apple is building up stock of a new MacBook, with a 15-inch MacBook Air being the most likely candidate. It'll likely feature the same M2 chip as the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022) and, of course, a larger screen that could be ideal for those like to edit videos and photos on the go.

Of course, these are just rumors and there's a chance the new Air might not appear until later this year, but right now the rumor mill sounds convinced – so we've put it in the 'likely' column.

Likely: Apple M2 Ultra

Apple M-series chip logos against a multicolored background

(Image credit: Future)

In addition to the new Mac Pro, we expect that an M2 Ultra SoC will also be shown off at WWDC 2023. Apple has already revealed the M2, M2 Pro, and M2 Max chips, with an M2 Ultra the last remaining tier of silicon to debut.

If it's anything like the M1 Ultra, it will be two M2 Max chips interconnected to effectively double the power of that chip, which makes it appropriate for a workstation PC like the high-end Mac Studio. The latter device uses the M1 Ultra, but it's not clear that this kind of chip is powerful enough for the kind of thing that industrial users need.

The 2019 Mac Pro had a max capacity of 1.5TB of memory. The M-series chips use unified memory and if the M2 Ultra is two M2 Max chips fused together, then its max unified memory would only be 256GB. That's not nearly enough to edit a major Hollywood film or score an orchestral piece with hundreds of samples, all of which require a lot of memory.

Still, if the M2 Ultra is going to appear, WWDC 2023 makes the most sense.

Possible: A new iMac

iMac (24-inch, 2021) shown on top of a desk

(Image credit: Future)

Finally, on the computing side, there really is just the iMac.

The iMac (24-inch) debuted two years ago powered by the then-new M1 chip, so it's definitely due for an upgrade. Its bold color options definitely made it a hit, especially with me, but that color trend seems to have all but vanished ever since.

We would love to see a purple iMac (M2), but this one is less likely than a Mac Pro in our book.

The software rumors

iOS 17

An iPhone on a red background

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple will almost certainly be introducing iOS 17 at WWDC 2023, which will be the next leap in the iPhone's operating system.

It now sounds like iOS 17 could be a bigger update than we originally thought, with one analyst claiming that it'll deliver several of the “most requested features” from Apple fans.

Exactly what those are remains to be see, but expect to see some significant updates to existing iPhone staples, like CarPlay, Siri and Messages. For some deeper analysis of how you're iPhone might soon change, check out our seven wishes for iOS 17 guide.

macOS 14

Stage Manager in macOS Ventura showing Safari and Reminders windows next to each other.

macOS 13 Ventura (above) arrived last year with a new Stage Manager tool. (Image credit: Future)

Every year for the last decade, Apple has announced a new version of the software that powers its Macs – and we expect it to be a similar story at WWDC 2023.

While macOS often lags behind iOS when it comes to new features, that does mean we have some hints of what might be coming to Apple's desktop OS. This could include more versatile desktop widgets that are allowed to break free from the Notification Center, or maybe even a version of the Dynamic Island for Apple laptops.

It's still early days for macOS 14 rumors, but we're expecting to hear more as we get closer to WWDC 2023 and the operating system's likely full release date in October or November 2023.


Spacetop computer used in public

The Sightful Spacetop (above) gives us a glimpse of how the Apple AR/VR headset could work us a virtual Mac display. (Image credit: Sightful)

You can't have an Apple mixed-reality headset without a brand new operating system to power it – and the rumors suggest Apple has settled on the name 'xrOS' for its next big software platform.

The arrival of a new Apple OS would be a huge deal and WWDC 2023 is a good place as any to introduce it, given it'll be packed to the rafters with excited app developers. The xrOS platform will likely be designed to take advantage of the huge array of chips, cameras and sensors that Apple's apparently packed into the Reality Pro (the rumored name for its headset).

Expect to see familiar apps (like Freeform, FaceTime, Apple TV Plus and more) reinvented for a mixed-reality experience.

John Loeffler
Components Editor

John (He/Him) is the Components Editor here at TechRadar and he is also a programmer, gamer, activist, and Brooklyn College alum currently living in Brooklyn, NY. 

Named by the CTA as a CES 2020 Media Trailblazer for his science and technology reporting, John specializes in all areas of computer science, including industry news, hardware reviews, PC gaming, as well as general science writing and the social impact of the tech industry.

You can find him online on Twitter at @thisdotjohn

Currently playing: Deep Rock Galactic, Destiny 2

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