WWDC 2023 Highlights and Thoughts

Let's see how many items on my wishlist were addressed, along with my personal highlights from the monumental keynote.

WWDC 2023 Highlights and Thoughts
Source: Apple

While WWDC is still ongoing, it has been a few days since the massive keynote was presented on Monday. Let's see how many items on my wishlist were addressed and my personal highlights of the conference.

update on my wishlist

iPad desktop features

There has been no official communication regarding the enabling of virtualization in iPadOS… HOWEVER! I asked a friend who attended WWDC to inquire with the Apple engineers about any details on this topic. The engineer's response was a "No Comment." Could this mean that Apple is working on something in this realm? 🤔

I would think if Apple wasn’t working on this feature a clear “No” would’ve been given. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

The same display configuration is present on iPadOS 17, but after installing the developer beta on my iPad, I noticed that the picture isn't as stretched as it was in older iPadOS versions. I still wish I could update the screen refresh rate.

Apple also improved Stage Manager to have more preset app size configurations — it feels so much better. Nevertheless, I still wish I had the flexibility of the macOS window manager.

mobile stuff

There was no word on any sideloading capabilities. In hindsight, it was kind of silly to expect Apple to announce this as a feature when they most likely want to keep this info on the down low.

macOS stuff

There was o word on Vulkan coming to the Mac :( Apple seems fully committed to the future of Metal. BUT! Apple released the “Game Porting Toolkit” to help game developers with porting their Windows games to macOS.

Image of the Game Porting Toolkit Logo
Apple's version of Proton for macOS (Source: Apple)

While Vulkan support would’ve lowered the expense to build a Mac game, I think this toolkit is a step in a positive direction. Ideally, this framework should provide prospective Mac developers with tools and a step-by-step guide to port their games over to the platform.

Apple released the source code and tools for the toolkit earlier today (June 6) and it looks pretty spicy. There is a tool that is built upon the work of Crossover and Wine to provide a high-performance translation layer to test how your Windows run on a Mac + some tools to see where hiccups are occurring in your code.

Bring your game to Mac, Part 1: Make a game plan - WWDC23 - Videos - Apple Developer
Bring modern, high-end games to Mac and iPad with the powerful features of Metal and Apple silicon. Discover the game porting toolkit and…

The Apple team demonstrated running a Windows build of The Medium on macOS and it looks reaaaally similar to how Valve’s Proton can run Windows games on Linux.

In the developer Slack for WWDC, I asked the Apple team if they had any plans to open up this tool to allow end-users to run their own Windows games without all the debug information. Unfortunately, they made it clear that this framework is designed for the game developers, not for consumers to use.

highlights from the keynote

iOS, iPadOS, macOS

As expected, the operating systems had some smaller feature releases along with a slew of quality-of-life updates. Across all the operating systems, there is a new transformer-based auto-correct implementation, which should improve the quality of its suggestions.

A welcome change. is the ability to add widgets to the desktop on macOS (I love this). Another widget upgrade is that you can now interact with widgets on all platforms without having to open the application. This means you can now play your music, or check a to-do item without having to open the app!

Picture of the new Journal App announced at WWDC 2023
The new Journal app also looks pretty intriguing – I can't wait to check this out in the fall! (Source: Apple)

There were also some welcome changes when it came to safety and security, namely Check-in and the explicit image screener, which didn’t get any screen time in the keynote.

Apple Music

FINALLY Apple Music will be gaining collaborative playlists this fall. When I switched from Spotify to Apple Music last year this was the biggest feature I was missing.

Apple also showed off this cool SharePlay integration with Apple Music when CarPlay is active— I can’t wait to try this out.


Image of the Spacial UI of visionOS
Meta wishes they could have a UI this sleek (Source: Apple)

And of course, the new Apple Vision Pro was finally announced to the public. No joke, I got chills when I heard Tim Cook say “One More Thing” during the keynote 🙃

As I predicted in my pre-WWDC post, the price range for this device is out-of-reach for 90% of consumers. But I think that's okay. After all, this is a first-generation device that packs in impressive specs—there really isn’t any other device like this in the market.

I’ve seen some reactions to the device where people are comparing it to the Oculus Quest 3, or the XREAL Air, but I think those comparisons are a little unfair. Both those devices are designed as mobile-first experiences with clear compromises made by the developers. As presented, the Apple Vision Pro is not held back by any cost-cutting measures, and it should be more comparable to a desktop XR experience, especially with that M2 chip inside.

I’m also having a kick reading all the posts on the virtual reality subreddits where people are throwing a tantrum over the device and how “it's going to be DOA because they didn’t show any games for it”. People… we are talking about Apple here, did you really think they were going to cater their next-generation XR device towards the average gamer?

Picture of the Pebble Steel
I still miss my Pebble Steel :( Source

As a die-hard Pebble user, I remember when Apple first announced the Apple Watch. I burst out laughing when the battery life was only quoted for a day at most— and so did most of the internet. Now, after several iterations, I can’t think of any other smartwatch I would want other than an Apple Watch.

I believe the Apple Vision Pro will follow a similar growth path.

The Apple Vision Pro is a clear signal that Apple is heavily investing in the XR space, and I can’t wait to see what is to come in the next 3-4 years. Hopefully, more models will come out, like a base model or SE version, that will bring the cost down.

If you want to hear more about my thoughts on the Apple Vision Pro, let me know. I might make a separate blog post to discuss all my thoughts on it!