It’s that time of the year, folks! The time when everyone descends on Apple’s invitation graphic for the upcoming Worldwide Developer’s Conference (WWDC) to look for clues as to what we’re going to see.

I’m not falling for that trick, though. Absolutely not. We all know that the invite means absolutely nothing. It’s the marketing and PR teams just having a bit of fun with us.

Because of course it is.

They know what they’re doing.

Nope, I’m not going to offer my thoughts on those concentric circles that are glistening with Apple’s six colours and which have been curiously carved into the shape of what looks suspiciously like… no I’m not doing it!

Instead, I’m going to give you my thoughts on what I think we’ll see at WWDC23 and what….

Oh, go on then.

Dissecting the invite

It looks like something VR headset-related, doesn’t it?

Although, that wasn’t my initial thought, funnily enough. When I first saw the invite, I saw a top-down view of the Steve Jobs Theatre audience seating area. Although given that this event remains online-only and the only in-person element is probably going to take place outside in Apple Park’s garden for a mass keynote viewing, maybe I’ve been thrown completely off the scent.

As has been the case with virtually every other Apple event invite we’ve seen over the last few years, this one is probably another example of the marketing team having a bit of fun. Although I genuinely think there’s a VR reference thrown in there, given the weight of the rumours for that new device.

Despite this, a lot of me hopes that this invite hints at the return of the Mac Pro in trash can form, albeit emblazoned with those six colours. Imagine that.

Anyway, this brings me to my real predictions for June’s biggie.

The Mac Pro

It’s time.

Trash can jokes aside, the Apple silicon-based Mac Pro is massively overdue. We were promised a full transition to Apple silicon in around two years, and that window of opportunity closed towards the end of 2022.

The only remaining Intel Mac is Apple’s most powerful (although it can no longer hold onto that claim, ironically). With the current batch of M-series Macs performing so far beyond their pay grades, I’m still very curious to see what this new Mac Pro will be capable of and who on earth it will be aimed at.

It’s a dead cert for WWDC23, this one.

New MacBook Airs

I think it’s very likely we’re going to see a new version of the MacBook Air at WWDC – in two guises.

The first will be an update to the existing 13-inch version, which will result in our first glimpse at what the new M3 chip is capable of. If it feels too early for the M2’s replacement, remember that, by the time WWDC comes around, the M2 MacBook Air will be nearly a year old. That M2 chip is also, clearly, some kind of stopgap while production for the 3 nanometer-based M3 ramps up. We must be nearing that point.

The second appearance of the MacBook Air at WWDC will probably be in a brand-new 15-inch guise. This would make sense; complete with a powerful new M3 chip and that larger display, it’d be a great device for developers – particularly those who may not have the budget for a MacBook Pro (an audience at which Apple seems to be increasingly aiming WWDC).

I’m excited about this. The M2 MacBook Air is already crying out for a refresh, and the idea of a bigger version is genuinely exciting.

All the OS’s (obvs)

It wouldn’t be WWDC without the latest versions of macOS, iOS, iPadOS, watchOS, and tvOS.

Is that all of them? I think so.

Last year, I revealed that I couldn’t think of anything in particular that I wanted from the big two (macOS and iOS). That remains the case this year; despite continued grumbles about the instability of Apple’s OS’s, my personal experience with the Mac and iPhone is flawless.

The same goes for watchOS and tvOS – they’re both brilliant. The latter, in particular, has revolutionised our living room, and my Apple Watch Ultra still knocks all of the competition of the water in terms of fluidity and features.

What does that leave us with? Ah, yes – the iPad.

As has been the case for the last three years, my eyes are going to be firmly on iPadOS at WWDC this year. More specifically, the introduction of some Apple-branded pro apps that really put those M1 and M2 chips to the task.

Surely it’s time?

Mixed reality

Silly pontifications about the invite graphic aside, I think it’s pretty much nailed on that we’re going to see Apple’s mixed reality hardware and the corresponding operating system at WWDC this year. Although, I’d expect a preview rather than a full launch.

I am fascinated by this. It feels way too early for Apple to be jumping into what has remained a nascent, awkward, your-mum-doesn’t-know-about-it form of tech for many years. If the rumours are correct, this is going to result in an astronomically expensive device from Apple with limited appeal, function, and utility. It’s not even going to be particularly profitable for them, according to Mark Gurman.

But it is going to be a godsend for people like myself. Trust me – we need something new to talk about. As you can see from my tempered expectations for operating system updates, everything Apple currently sells is so polished. You can only say so much about the iPhone, Mac, and Apple Watch.

Whatever new reality Apple is teeing up to show us in June, I’m ready for it.

Final thought

There are plenty of things we won’t see at WWDC. The more I think about it, the more I doubt we’ll see an iMac update until later this year, and if you’re hoping for a new Mac Studio, I think you’ll be sorely disappointed – that ship has sailed.

The high point of this year’s keynote is going to be the mixed reality stuff. It’s the thing that’ll grab the headlines for days, weeks, and months afterwards. Apple knows that which is what makes this a very exciting year for WWDC.

Strap yourselves in… or, strap that thing to your face – whatever, just get ready for quite a wild ride.

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