Apple to focus on mixed-reality headset in 2023

Bloomberg (Mark Gurman):

Apple Inc., after seven years of development, is nearly ready to launch its first mixed-reality headset. But the focus on this new product will lead to an otherwise muted 2023.

Up until fairly recently, Apple had aimed to introduce the headset in January 2023 and ship it later this year. Now the company is aiming to unveil it this spring ahead of the annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, I’m told.

Apple has already shared the device with a small number of high-profile software developers for testing, letting them get started on third-party apps. 

If Mark Gurman is on the money, then 2023 is shaping up to be a relatively quiet year for most Apple product categories. Aside from the mixed reality headset, which has been rumoured for many years.

If Gurman’s sources are correct, it sounds like Apple is still having issues with developer tooling for the headset. Given the importance of getting developers on board, hopefully the company can resolve these issues shortly. The last thing we want is another development experience reminiscent of developing for Apple Watch, which can be frustrating to say the least.

With so much of the company’s efforts spent on getting the mixed-reality headset out the door, Mark is predicting a quiet year for most other product lines. The iPhone may see a number of changes in including USB-C and a switch to a titanium body. While the Mac lineup will see minor spec bumps across the line and a Mac Pro that resembles the existing Intel hardware.

One benefit of a quieter year for the other product lines is the chance for Apple to pause and ship versions of iOS, macOS, watchOS and tvOS that focus on stability, reliability and performance. So expect much of the focus for WWDC this year to be on the headset and the new ‘reality OS’, and less so on splashy iOS & macOS features.

iCloud apps can now be transferred between developers

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In a short, but game-changing post to the Apple developer news site, Apple has confirmed apps that use iCloud can now be transferred between accounts.

Apps that use iCloud can now be transferred to another developer in the Apple Developer Program.

Apple Developer News

Until now, after enabling the iCloud entitlement and shipping the app in production developers were unable to transfer the app to another developer account. This meant that in the event that an app was sold, the entire developer account would need to be transferred to the new owner.

It’s still unclear why this restriction was in place to begin with and what’s changed now to allow Apple to offer this feature. But Apple does go on to note the following:

If multiple apps on your account share a CloudKit container, the transfer of one app will disable the other apps’ ability to read or store data using the transferred CloudKit container. Additionally, the transferor will no longer have access to user data for the transferred app via the iCloud dashboard. Any app updates will disable the app’s ability to read or store data using the transferred CloudKit container.

Apple shares more details about WWDC22 ‘special event’

As excitement builds towards WWDC 2022, Apple has today shared more details about what to expect at the ‘special event’ at the Apple Park campus:

We’re hosting a special all-day experience at Apple Park on June 6 to kick off WWDC22. Gather with others in the developer community to watch the keynote and State of the Union videos alongside Apple engineers and experts, explore the all-new Developer Center, and so much more.

Apple Developer site

Submissions are open from May 9 at 9:00 a.m. PT to May 11 at 9:00 a.m. PT, with successful developers notified by May 12 at 6:00 p.m. PT.

It’s worth noting that the Developer Center referred to here is a new building on Apple Park. This first came to light last year as part of the Apple vs Epic trial. It isn’t referring to the virtual Developer Center that hosts the developer documentation, downloads and account management.

The Developer Center could be a great place to show off some new hardware, especially if it’s designed to be a similar setup like that of the old Compatibility Labs. With new VR and even AR hardware rumoured in the coming years, it seems like it’ll be a popular place to visit.

There’s still no word on where the keynote and State of the Union address will be held on campus. Potential locations include indoors at the Steve Jobs theatre, or even in the center of the ring at the rainbow stage.

Surprisingly Apple also won’t be requiring attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. However if selected you will need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 3 days prior.