Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

If iOS 17 is a letdown, you can blame this one Apple device

Apple is going all out on developing the operating system for its secret mixed-reality headset. In fact, that ongoing effort could mean Apple’s other systems miss out on exciting new features this year, including iOS 17 and macOS 14.

According to a new report from journalist Mark Gurman, Apple has reassigned engineers to the headset’s operating system, dubbed xrOS, and away from other projects. That might be bad news if you were hoping for major software updates to the next iPhone, iPad, and Mac models.

A rendering of the potential Apple headset made by The Information.
A rendering of the potential Apple headset made by The Information.

Indeed, Gurman believes this newfound focus on xrOS “has also cost [Apple] some new features in iOS 17 and iPadOS 17.” While Gurman has not elaborated on what those missing features are, it seems clear that we shouldn’t expect anything particularly groundbreaking from this year’s software updates.

Fortunately, the impact does not seem to extend to the upcoming hardware, which Gurman labels “impressive.” He believes the Dynamic Island will come to every iPhone 15 model, as will USB-C. The Pro versions, meanwhile, will get titanium frames and haptic volume buttons.

Still, Gurman labels 2023 “the year of Apple’s mixed-reality headset and not much else.” If you’re excited about the headset, that might not be so bad, but anyone looking forward to trying out new features in iOS and macOS could be a little disappointed.

Sports scores for an NBA game displayed in an iPhone 14 Pro's Dynamic Island.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

When Gurman said “not much else,” he wasn’t joking. The reporter doesn’t expect any major changes to the Apple Watch, AirPods range, HomePod, Apple TV, or the entire iPad line-up. There will be some new Macs, including a new 15-inch MacBook Air, two new MacBook Pros, and a refreshed Mac Pro, although the latter looks like it could be set for disappointment.

Rumors surrounding Apple’s mixed-reality headset have picked up steam recently. Just last week, we learned from reliable tipster Ming-Chi Kuo that the device has apparently been delayed until the spring, back from its previous January unveiling date. Gurman agrees with that analysis, saying in Power On that Apple will introduce the headset to consumers in the spring, help developers get on board at its Worldwide Developers Conference in June, then ship the product in the fall.

Apple’s mixed reality headset already looks like it is going to be a truly blockbuster device. But will it come at the expense of Apple’s other software platforms? We certainly hope not.

Editors' Recommendations

Alex Blake
In ancient times, people like Alex would have been shunned for their nerdy ways and strange opinions on cheese. Today, he…
Your iPhone could steal this Pixel Tablet feature when it gets iOS 17
iPhone 14 Pro with always on display no wallpaper or notifications

With iOS 17 coming in hot for its expected June reveal during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, iPhone owners are anxious to hear about any big features coming with the update. According to Bloomberg, a major change is coming in the form of a complete interface overhaul for locked devices that effectively turns your iPhone into a smart display.

The new interface will supposedly display a plethora of information like the weather, push notifications, upcoming significant calendar dates, and more. Per the report, this new interface displays automatically when your iPhone is locked and laying horizontally with its screen facing up.

Read more
Apple’s Reality Pro headset may launch sooner than anyone expected
A woman reaching out while wearing a VR headset.

Apple’s mixed-reality headset is probably the company’s worst-kept secret at this point, and multiple rumors have claimed it will launch at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June. What’s less clear is when the device will actually go on sale, but a fresh report might have just leaked this top-secret detail.

The information comes from Taiwan’s Economic Daily News (machine translation), which has just released a report on the Reality Pro headset. In that report, the outlet claims Apple is in a “final sprint” to get the product ready, suggesting it is almost ready to ship.

Read more
iOS 17 could come with these 6 exciting changes
Someone holding the iPhone 14 Pro Max.

As we get closer and closer to Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), where we expect the unveiling of the company's  mixed reality headset, the rumors about iOS 17 continue to pile up every day too.

According to a Weibo post from the same user who revealed that the iPhone 14 would come in a yellow color, iOS 17 may bring six big new features. Some of these changes involve the Control Center, lock screen, Apple Music, and App Library.

Read more