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2023 was a relatively iterative year for Apple product releases, but there were still many notable announcements and surprises throughout the year. Apple previewed its upcoming Vision Pro headset, the full-sized HomePod made a comeback, the iPhone finally switched to USB-C, leather accessories were discontinued, and much more.

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Below, we recap some of the most noteworthy Apple news stories of 2023, in no particular order.

Behold the Vision Pro

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After several years of rumors about Apple planning an augmented reality/virtual reality headset, the company officially unveiled the Vision Pro in June. Apple says the headset will be available in the U.S. starting in early 2024, with pricing set at a staggering $3,499.

Vision Pro will allow you to interact with apps as if they are floating in the air. The headset is powered by an all-new operating system called visionOS, and it can be controlled with your eyes and hands. It has an Apple Watch-like Digital Crown for switching between virtual reality and augmented reality, and it is powered by an external battery pack.

Read our Vision Pro roundup for more details about the headset.

The Return of the HomePod

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The full-sized HomePod made a comeback this year, as Apple announced a new model in January.

The second-generation HomePod features a virtually identical design as the full-sized model that was discontinued in 2021. However, it has two fewer tweeters and two fewer microphones compared to the original model, and it has an added sensor that can measure temperature and humidity in indoor environments. Many early reviews of the latest HomePod said it has very similar sound quality as the original model.

In the U.S., the HomePod is priced at $299, with white and midnight color options available.

iPhone Goes USB-C — Finally!

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It finally happened. After years of hopes and rumors, all iPhone 15 models are equipped with a USB-C port instead of Lightning.

While the USB-C port on iPhones is completely standard, only the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max support USB 3.2 data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The lower-end iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are limited to USB 2.0 data transfer speeds of up to 480 Mbps, which is equal to Lightning speeds on previous iPhones.

All iPhone 15 models can charge an Apple Watch, AirPods case, and other small accessories connected to the USB-C port, and support DisplayPort for up to 4K HDR video mirroring and video output to an external display or TV.

Apple still sells a handful of devices and accessories with Lightning ports, all of which will likely be updated with USB-C or discontinued in the future.

Green Bubble Dreams

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In November, Apple announced that it will support the cross-platform messaging standard RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting "later next year." Based on that timeframe, RCS support will likely be added as part of iOS 18.

RCS support should result in the following improvements to the default messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices:
  • Higher-resolution photos and videos
  • Audio messages
  • Typing indicators
  • Read receipts
  • Wi-Fi messaging between iPhones and Android devices
  • Improved group chats, including the ability for iPhone users to leave a conversation that includes Android users
  • Improved encryption compared to SMS
These modern features are already available for iPhone-to-iPhone conversations with blue bubbles, via iMessage, and many of the features are also available in third-party messaging apps, such as WhatsApp and Telegram. RCS support on the iPhone will extend the features to green bubbles in the Messages app.

Google had been urging Apple to adopt RCS for a few years.

All the Apple Wallet News

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2023 was a big year for the Apple Wallet app on the iPhone, as several new features launched, including the Apple Card savings account, Apple Pay Later financing option, and more. However, it wasn't all good news on this front, as it was reported that the Apple Card's financial partner Goldman Sachs will be out in the next year or so.

M3 Trio

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During its Halloween-themed "Scary Fast" event in October, Apple announced the M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max chips for the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro all at once, rather than holding the Pro and Max chips for a later time.

Apple updated the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chips, and there is als... Click here to read rest of article

Article Link: Apple in 2023: The Biggest News Stories and Surprises of the Year
 
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DeepWebinar

macrumors 6502
Aug 9, 2020
282
658
what i would personally add to the list is how hilarious it was when the telehealth website i do my therapy sessions through had to add a warning about doing hand gestures in the new macos update because balloons or fireworks will randomly fly across the screen at wildly inappropriate times.
 

I7guy

macrumors Nehalem
Nov 30, 2013
33,826
23,320
Gotta be in it to win it
Have to thank the EU for helping to prop up the value of apple stock. Along with my I15PM..I bought a new charger, 2m usb-c cable and a dongle so I can charge my phone wherever there is a lightning connection. But I am enjoying the new iphone 15 and the features that were crammed into ios 17 is very good. That said ios 17.3 should be one of the biggest changes to ios security in quite a while with "Stolen Device Protection".

Until then, guard that passcode.
 

svish

macrumors G3
Nov 25, 2017
8,991
24,003
Was originally not expecting M3 to launch this year. 15" MacBook Air is a great product from Apple this year. Also happy to have better zoom on 15 Pro Max.
 

coffeemilktea

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2022
636
2,428
I'm surprised the green-bubble/RCS/iMessage "news" got so much attention... not only do so many people use third-party messaging apps, but even people who use their phone's default texting app usually either don't care at all or have just gotten used to it.

(except Google, who can't help but try to force their latest ideas about "messaging" on everyone🤪)
 

msackey

macrumors 68020
Oct 8, 2020
2,484
2,894
I think the biggest news about Apple, to me, is the most recent debacle with the ITC ban which is ongoing. That has been the most surprising in the way it has unfolded and continues.
 

gatorvet96

macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2016
142
400
I think the "Finewoven" controversy was a bit overblown. I got one on day one and it has zero scratches from day to day use. I don't think it looks as good as the leather, but certainly not a complete failure that everyone is reporting about.
 
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