5 things Apple c̶o̶p̶i̶e̶d̶ invented at WWDC 2023

Apple presenting at WWDC 2023
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple's WWDC was today. Over one million people watched the event live on YouTube, and millions worldwide followed along as Apple unveiled iOS 17, macOS 14, the new Mac Studio, the new MacBook Air, and Apple Vision Pro VR. But what's an Apple event without people trolling about Apple "inventing" everything it announced?

Apple has a track record of holding off on new tech and then rolling it out on stage as if it's a new idea. It's a tradition at this point. Another tradition is tech journalists and enthusiasts taking the opportunity to make fun of Apple. Is it genuine criticism? Maybe a little. Is it a hint of jealousy? Maybe.

In any event, here are five things Apple announced at WWDC that will look familiar to anyone that's followed tech over the past few years.

Apple invents Mixed Reality

Microsoft Office and Teams on Apple Vision Pro VR headset

Apple's new mixed reality headset will support editing Microsoft Office documents and using Microsoft Teams. (Image credit: Apple)

The most significant announcement of the day, even among other noteworthy news, was Apple unveiling Apple Vision Pro VR. The device is a mixed-reality headset that can toggle into a virtual-reality headset with the twist of a crown.

While wearing the headset, people can watch movies, sit at a virtual desktop, and even edit documents in it. Can you imagine? Editing Microsoft Word documents in a mixed reality headset and having a massive TV on your face? #Future

Apple invents Progressive Web Apps

YouTube as a Progressive Web App on Windows 11

Installing web apps onto your computer was merely a pipe dream until Apple came along. (Image credit: Future)

What if every website you visited could be installed as an app on your computer? What if an operating system integrated some web apps alongside your other applications? You'd get up-to-date versions of your favorite services without requiring app updates. You'd have the same experience across all your devices, regardless of which OS you ran. Developers wouldn't have to make apps for each operating system, freeing up time and resources to improve your app experience.

Apple has answered your questions, and your prayers, with support for progressive web apps on W̶i̶n̶d̶o̶w̶s̶ ̶X̶P̶ macOS 14 Sonoma.

Apple invents interactive widgets

Windows 11

Windows 11 is in shambles after seeing desktop widgets on macOS Sonoma. (Image credit: Microsoft)

Sometimes you want to glance at information without having to open an app. The ever-clever Apple has figured out a way to do just that. macOS Sonoma supports widgets on the desktop, which came to Windows 11 when it was first announced (a future update will let you pin them to the desktop). You can interact with the widgets or browse them for info. Desktop widgets. What a time to be alive.

Apple invents Windows XP wallpaper

macOS Sonoma being announced

Apple unveiled some original artwork with macOS Sonoma. (Image credit: Apple)

When Apple unveiled macOS Sonoma, I was overcome with emotion. The grass-like green graphic. The rolling curves, almost like hills below a top as blue as the sky. I was in bliss. It's truly amazing how Apple continues to create awe-inspiring art while making the best technology.

If you had any doubt that the macOS Sonoma wallpaper was inspired by the Bliss wallpaper of Windows XP, I'd like to point out that the famous Bliss image was taken in Sonoma County, California.

Bring it all together, and you have a graphic that looks like the Windows XP wallpaper, interactive widgets on the desktop, and the fact that the new macOS version is named after where the Windows XP wallpaper image was taken. That's a bit on the nose Apple.

Apple invents Windows Game Mode

Everyone knows all the cool gamers use macOS. In addition to Windows and Linux being too mainstream, they lack the raw power of the Mac Pro with the mighty M2. While macOS handles the five games it supports like a champ, sometimes you may want to focus your system resources on gaming. In comes Game mode, the revolutionary idea from Apple.

When you enable game mode, your computer prioritizes whatever title you play. This results in better frame rates and reduced latency on accessories like Xbox controllers.

If only Microsoft had been watching WWDC...

Game Mode on Windows

(Image credit: Future)
Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.