Apple rumored to be announcing major Siri updates at WWDC 2023

Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference for this year – WWDC 2023 – gets underway tomorrow, June 5. We've already heard plenty of rumors about what to expect, and it would seem that Apple's digital assistant Siri is in line for some major updates too.

According to well-known Apple tipster Mark Gurman (via MacRumors), there's a possibility that Apple will announce that the “hey Siri” phrase used to trigger Siri on iPhones and other devices is being shortened to simply “Siri”.

While this might not sound major from a user perspective, it has apparently required a significant amount of engineering work: accurately recognizing a single word rather than two words is a lot trickier, and Apple's AI engines have been updated to cope.

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Gurman first suggested this update was on the way back in November, though at the time it wasn't clear exactly when “hey Siri” would become simply “Siri”. Deeper Siri integrations with third-party apps and a better understanding of context have also been rumored.

At the moment, Google Assistant still requires a “hey Google” wake up command, though you can disable it for certain quick commands, and there has been talk of further changes here. As for Amazon Alexa, just an “Alexa” command is enough to get started.

We're expecting a whole host of software and hardware announcements at WWDC 2023 this year, including all the news about iOS 17 and a big reveal for the Apple VR headset – and of course you'll be able to read all about it here on TechRadar.

Analysis: expect yet more AI

Amidst the flurry of generative AI updates we've had in recent months, it's easy to forget that digital assistants like Siri have been around for many years now, with AI models leveraged to recognize and interpret voice commands from users.

At Google I/O 2023, Google seemed keen to remind everyone that it has a lot of artificial intelligence tools to show off, and the company has since been busy pushing more AI into more of its products – such as Google Messages.

We can probably expect the same from Apple at WWDC 2023: a look back at the AI that it's already been using, and a look forward to new innovations on the way. Siri, based on tech Apple acquired in 2010, is likely to play a big part in those new innovations.

AI is a hot topic at the moment, and we know that Apple isn't going to want to miss out or fall behind, whether that's with Siri or any of its other software: Google, OpenAI, Microsoft and others have set the pace, and Apple needs to catch up.

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What is xrOS? The Apple VR headset’s rumored software explained

The Apple VR headset is getting close to its rumored arrival at WWDC 2023 on June 5 – and the mixed-reality wearable is expected be launched alongside an exciting new operating system, likely called xrOS.

What is xrOS? We may now be approaching iOS 17, iPadOS 16 and macOS 13 Ventura on Apple's other tech, but the Apple VR headset – rumored to be called the Apple Reality One – is expected to debut the first version of a new operating system that'll likely get regular updates just like its equivalents on iPhone, iPad and Mac.

The latest leaks suggest that Apple has settled on the xrOS name for its AR/VR headset, but a lot of questions remain. For example, what new things might xrOS allow developers (and us) to do in mixed reality compared to the likes of iOS? And will xrOS run ports of existing Apple apps like Freeform?

Here's everything we know so far about xrOS and the kinds of things it could allow Apple's mixed-reality headset to do in both augmented and virtual reality.

xrOS release date

It looks likely that Apple will launch its new xrOS operating system, alongside its new AR/VR headset, at WWDC 2023 on June 5. If you're looking to tune in, the event's keynote is scheduled to kick off at 10am PT / 1pm ET / 6pm BST (or 3am ACT on June 6).

This doesn't necessarily mean that a final version of xrOS will be released on that day. A likely scenario is that Apple will launch an xrOS developer kit to allow software makers to develop apps and experiences for the new headset. 

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While not a typical Apple approach, this is something it has done previously for the Apple TV and other products. A full version of xrOS 1.0 could then follow when the headset hits shelves in late 2023.

The software's name now at least looks set in stone. As spotted by Parker Ortolani on Twitter on May 16, Apple trademarked the 'xrOS' name in its traditional 'SF Pro' typeface in New Zealand, via a shell company. 

We'd previously seen reports from Bloomberg  that 'xrOS' would be the name for Apple's mixed-reality operating system, but the timing of this discovery (and the font used) bolster the rumors that it'll be revealed at WWDC 2023.

Apple Glasses

(Image credit: Future)

A report from Apple leaker Mark Gurman on December 1, 2022, suggested that Apple had “recently changed the name of the operating system to “xrOS” from “realityOS,” and that the name stands for “extended reality”. This term covers both augmented reality (which overlays information on the real world) and virtual reality, a more sealed experience that we're familiar with on the likes of the Meta Quest 2.

While xrOS is expected to have an iOS-like familiarity – with apps, widgets and a homescreen – the fact that the Apple AR/VR headset will apparently run both AR and VR experiences, and also use gesture inputs, explains why a new operating system has been created and will likely be previewed for developers at WWDC.

What is xrOS?

Apple's xrOS platform could take advantage of the AR/VR headset's unique hardware, which includes an array of chips, cameras and sensors. It's different from ARKit, the software that lets your iPhone or iPad run AR apps. Apple's xrOS is also expected to lean heavily on the design language seen on the iPhone, in order to help  fans feel at home.

According to Bloomberg's Gurman, xrOS “will have many of the same features as an iPhone and iPad but in a 3D environment”. This means we can expect an iOS-like interface, complete with re-arrangeable apps, customizable widgets and a homescreen. Apple is apparently also creating an App Store for the headset.

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Stock apps on the AR/VR headset will apparently include Apple's Safari, Photos, Mail, Messages and Calendar apps, plus Apple TV Plus, Apple Music and Podcasts. App developers will also be able to take advantage of its health-tracking potential.

Gurman says that the headset experience will feel familiar to Apple fans – when you put it on, he claims that “the main interface will be nearly identical to that of the iPhone and iPad, featuring a home screen with a grid of icons that can be reorganized”. 

But how will you type when wearing the Apple Reality Pro (as it's rumored to be called)? After all, there probably won't be any controllers.

Spacetop computer used in public

The Sightful Spacetop (above) gives us a glimpse of how the Apple AR/VR headset could work us a virtual Mac display. (Image credit: Sightful)

Instead, you'll apparently be able to type using a keyboard on an iPhone, Mac or iPad. There's also the slightly less appealing prospect of using the Siri voice assistant. Apple is rumored to be creating a system that lets you type in mid-air, but Gurman claims that this feature “is unlikely to be ready for the initial launch”.

It's possible that you'll be able to connect the headset to a Mac, with the headset serving as the Mac's display. We've recently seen a glimpse of how this might work with the Spacetop (above), a laptop that connects to some NReal AR glasses to give you a massive 100-inch virtual display.

What apps will run on xrOS?

We've already mentioned that Apple's AR/VR headset will likely run some optimized versions of existing stock apps, including Safari, Photos, Mail, Messages, Contacts, Reminders, Maps and Calendar. 

But given that those apps aren't exactly crying out for a reinvention in AR or VR, they're likely to be sideshows to some of the more exciting offerings from both Apple and third-party developers. 

So what might those be? Here are some of the most interesting possibilities, based on the latest rumors and what we've seen on the likes of the Meta Quest Pro

1. Apple Fitness Plus

An AR fitness experience on the Litesport app

Apps like Litesport (above) give us a glimpse of AR fitness experiences that could arrive of Apple’s headset. (Image credit: Litesport)

Assuming the Apple AR/VR headset is light and practical enough for workouts – which is something we can't say for the Apple AirPods Max headphones – then it definitely has some AR fitness potential.

According to a report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman on April 18, Apple is planning to tap that potential with “a version of its Fitness+ service for the headset, which will let users exercise while watching an instructor in VR”.

Of course, VR fitness experiences are nothing new, and we've certainly enjoyed some of the best Oculus Quest fitness games. An added AR component could make them even more powerful and motivating, with targets added to your real-world view.

2. Apple Freeform

The Freeform app on an iPad on an orange background

(Image credit: Apple)

We called Apple's Freeform, which gives you a blank canvas to brainstorm ideas with others, “one of its best software releases in years”. And it could be taken to the next level with a version of AR or VR.

Sure enough, Bloomberg's aforementioned report claims that “Apple is developing a version of its Freeform collaboration app for the headset”, which it apparently “sees as a major selling point for the product”.

Okay, work-themed AR/VR work experiences might not sound thrilling and we certainly had misgivings after working for a whole week in VR with the Meta Quest Pro. But mixed-reality whiteboards also sound potentially fun, particularly if we get to play around with them in work time.

3. Apple TV Plus

A basketball team scoring in a NextVR stream

(Image credit: NextVR)

Because Apple's headset will have a VR flipside to its AR mode, it has huge potential for letting us watch TV and video on giant virtual screens, or in entirely new ways. This means that Apple TV Plus will also likely be pre-installed in xrOS.  

Another claim from that Bloomberg report on April 18 was that “one selling point for the headset will be viewing sports in an immersive way”. This makes sense, given Apple already has deals for Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer on Apple TV Plus

And while they're only rumors, Apple has also considered bidding for Premier League soccer rights in the UK. Well, it'd be cheaper than a season ticket for Manchester United.

4. FaceTime

Joining a call through FaceTime links in macOS 12 Monterey

(Image credit: Apple)

While we haven't been blown away by our experiences with VR meetings in Horizon Workrooms on the Meta Quest, the Apple mixed-reality headset will apparently deliver a next-gen version of FaceTime – and the Reality Pro's hardware could take the whole experience up a notch,

With an earlier report from The Information suggesting that Apple's headset will have at least 12 cameras (possibly 14) to track your eyes, face, hands and body, it should do a decent job of creating a 3D version of you in virtual meeting rooms.

We still haven't really seen a major real-world benefit to VR video meets, even if you can do them from a virtual beach. But we're looking forward to trying it out, while crossing our virtual fingers that it works more consistently than today's non-VR FaceTime.

5. Adobe Substance 3D Modeler 

Adobe has already released some compelling demos, plus some beta software called Substance 3D Modeler (above), showing the potential of its creative apps in VR headsets. Will that software's list of compatible headsets soon include the Apple Reality Pro? It certainly seems possible.

The software effectively lets you design 3D objects using virtual clay in a VR playground. Quite how this would work with Apple's headset on xrOS isn't clear, given it's rumored to lack any kind of physical controllers. 

These kinds of design tools feel like a shoo-in for Apple's headset, given many of its users are already happy to shell out thousands on high-end Macs and MacBooks to use that kind of software in a 2D environment.

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Windows 12 – five features we want to see from Microsoft’s rumored upgrade

There's been much speculation that Microsoft is already hard at work on the successor to Windows 11, likely to be called Windows 12.

Some of us at TechRadar are all for a swift follow-up to Windows 11, and would like to see Microsoft matching the regular update schedules of macOS and other operating systems.

So what improvements and new features might Windows 12 bring with it? Users have been peppering Microsoft with feature requests, with some of these wishes set to be granted in upcoming updates to Windows 11, tentatively called Sun Valley 2.

The TechRadar computing team has come up with its own wish list of five features we'd like to see in a Windows 12 release, no matter how unlikely some of them may be.

Windows 12 release date rumors

This is still very early days for Windows 11 – we're not even at the one-year anniversary of the update having been announced. However, going on past releases, we'd expect to see Windows 12 arrive in late 2025, just as support for Windows 10 is ending.

Windows 12 supported devices

When Microsoft announced availability for Windows 11, the main requirement was for machines to have a hardware feature called TPM enabled, which is a security feature that can be found on most motherboards.

While the same requirement will most likely be requested by Microsoft again, it may be at a point where almost every PC has TPM enabled anyway.

Other than that, it will likely have similar requirements to Windows 11:

  • 64-bit processor
  • 1Ghz clock speed
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 64GB drive
  • UEFI, Secure Boot capable
  • TPM 2.0 (Trusted Platform Module)
  • A display larger than 9-inches with HD Resolution (1366×768)
  • DirectX 12 compatible graphics / WDDM 2.x 
  • Internet connection

What we want to see

We don't know much about Windows 12 yet, or whether the rumored upgrade will even become a reality, but we do have a good idea of what we want from it, with the following features topping our list.

1. Merge Skype and Teams into MSN Messenger 12

MSN Messenger in Windows 11

(Image credit: TechRadar)

It's no secret that Microsoft's efforts on video calling and collaboration through messaging apps have been less than stellar in recent years. In a time when people needed to communicate remotely more, it was Zoom that took the lead and Skype was bafflingly left by the wayside.

While there have been some new features brought to both Teams and Skype, there's still an air of confusion as to which one you should use. If you need to take part in a job interview that's on Teams, for example, chances are you'll quickly need to install the app and make sure it works.

Instead, let's see them both retire and mark a fresh start for Windows 12, with the return of MSN Messenger to do the job these two apps have limped on with.

Not only to see the return of nudges, winks, and classic sounds if users want, but powerful features to make it go toe-to-toe with Zoom, Google Meets, and FaceTime. Perhaps have integration with Slack, so if a video meeting is needed, it can prompt in a channel and with one button, MSN Messenger will launch with the required invitees.

Microsoft needs to reboot how it perceives itself for messaging apps, and the return of MSN Messenger could be a great start to that.

2. Live Wallpaper

Wallpaper Engine app, available on Steam.

(Image credit: Wallpaper Engine)

A request by TechRadar's Senior Computing Editor Matt Hanson, and an intriguing one at that. There have been similar features in iPhones and Android phones for some years, with animations moving across these devices. But for PC and Mac, they've been relegated to third-party apps, such as Wallpaper Engine, to be able to have animated wallpapers with the ability to display information from your PC.

To have something similar from Microsoft for Windows 12 could further push its efforts in themes, something that's seen improvements in Windows 11, thanks to its dark themes.

Having a dedicated section for wallpapers where you can place static bytes of information on the desktop that works with an animated live wallpaper, could appeal to all kinds of users.

Microsoft could also bring back previous wallpapers, such as the hillside of Windows XP but have it animated, alongside some clouds displaying battery status or the weather.

This can update the desktop substantially and make it much more up to date, without having to rely on widgets or a taskbar to showcase changes.

3. Dedicated Podcast app

Apple Podcasts

(Image credit: Primakov / Shutterstock)

While it's been great to see the return of Windows Media Player from Microsoft, having additional features such as podcasts feels irrelevant for what Media Player is for.

macOS has had its own podcast app since Big Sur in 2019, but if you wanted to use a similar app on Windows, it's not clear where to start, as Microsoft doesn't offer a dedicated podcast app.

This is why Windows 12 should include a dedicated podcast app that could also be used on other platforms, such as iOS and Android, so your subscriptions could sync across all your devices.

Podcasts are a great way of listening to interviews or the latest news that involve your interests, and managing them all in a first-party app would be great for Windows users. It's something that could really help spur the company's effort to make content available on almost every device.

4. Dedicated Streaming app

Game Streaming

(Image credit: Razer)

A storming idea by our resident Computing writer Jess Weatherbed, as there is yet to be an integrated option in Windows to stream what you're playing.

For years there have been apps such as OBS and Twitch that offer ways to stream what you're playing or watching with others. However, these apps have always required extra effort to make sure that you're streaming to viewers in good quality, with low latency.

Then there's the additional aspect of the peripherals that streamers use to help show them in a better light, or Stream Decks to easily control their setups with shortcut keys.

It can be overwhelming to manage multiple apps just to control all of these, which is why Windows 12 could benefit from having one app that can manage your streams and the peripherals.

Microsoft has been pushing gaming in Windows 11 since its announcement in June 2021, with a redesigned Xbox app and HDR support. But countless gamers also stream these games through Windows, so there's a big opportunity here.

Having one app to control, say, ring lights and the streams for viewers is appealing, shifting the heavy lifting to one app. It could automate streams based on the schedule and the games being played, alongside different lighting scenarios for the different times of the day.

This could encourage more gamers to see Windows as a service, as the CEO of Microsoft Satya Nadella has been stating since the release of Windows 10 in 2015, while also making Windows 12 an enticing prospect for streamers to earn more followers and income for their careers.

5. Companion app for Android

Samsung DeX

(Image credit: Samsung)

A suggestion by our Editor-in-Chief at TechRadar Pro, Desire Athow – this can be an expansion of Your Phone, Microsoft's effort to sync your phone to Windows. But when you open this new app in Windows 12, it has a layout reminiscent of Windows Phone and its tile layout that can enable a desktop experience from your phone.

This would be similar to Samsung DeX, where you can transform your S22 or Tab S22 Ultra into a desktop once it's connected to a peripheral.

This new app would go beyond DeX and Microsoft's Your Phone efforts. When you connect to a monitor, it becomes a fully-fledged Windows 12 desktop, showcasing everything from your main PC. And when you click on an icon, it downloads the content from the cloud and displays it in its native resolution.

It would be an innovative extension of the cloud, where you can access your files wherever you are. Here, you're carrying your desktop with you and all you need to do is to connect your smartphone to a monitor, either with touchscreen features or a keyboard and mouse.

This would also further Nadella's plans again, similar to the streaming feature, of seeing Windows as a service. Having your PC in an app is an enticing thought, and could help for those situations when you have a short window of opportunity to do some work with a spare monitor, keyboard, and mouse somewhere.

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Safari may be getting a better dark mode in rumored update for iOS 15

Safari in iOS 15 looks to be getting its own dark mode function, alongside better features for your privacy involving cookies.

Apple's web browser works off an engine called WebKit, similar to how Google's Chrome browser is powered by an engine called Chromium.

But as WebKit is an open-source project hosted on GitHub, which allows any developer to add their programming to the engine, there have been some new features uncovered that may see an appearance in iOS 15.4, or iOS 16.

While there may be a rumored March event coming, it does raise the question of whether more regular updates should appear to Apple's apps, instead of waiting for a major iOS update every year.

Analysis: More regular updates for Safari are very welcome

Safari on iPadOS 15 Beta

(Image credit: Apple)

In the last few years, since iOS 13, Apple has made a concerted effort to roll out more features to its software across multiple releases, instead of aiming to have all of them arrive in one big release alongside the latest iPhone.

iOS 13.4 was a great example where mouse support was brought to the iPad line, alongside the Magic Keyboard peripheral which included a trackpad.

But Safari has had a rough ride recently, with its new design at WWDC 2021 criticized by users, then rolled back significantly once iOS 15 and macOS Monterey were released in September 2021.

There's currently a design that is halfway between what was shown in 2021, and what every Apple user has had since Safari 1.0 in 2007 with the original iPhone.

However, new features such as a custom dark mode and more privacy options could give more faith to users of Apple's web browser that the company isn't focusing on a new look that just wasn't needed or asked for. Instead, there are features coming up that's going to benefit their privacy, and how the browser will look in a different shade of dark.

For that, at least, is a sign that Apple is not only listening to what its users want in software, but also bringing the features out for .1 releases, way before the rumored WWDC event happens in June this year once again and we most likely hear about what the company has in store for its next major software updates.

Via 9To5Mac

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What can we expect from Apple’s rumored AR/VR headset in 2022?

Every few years, an Apple product that's not confirmed by the company, builds momentum in rumor and speculation until it’s impossible to avoid.

The iPad had it when it was rumored to be called the iSlate in 2009, while the Apple Watch was thought to be a next-generation iPod nano around 2013. The Apple headset that’s going to introduce VR and AR to its customers is the latest in these rumors of what could be launching next from Apple.

Augmented and Virtual Reality has seen huge improvements in recent years, with companies such as Oculus and Valve refining the experience and offering storefronts where you can play a variety of VR games.

But Apple has a chance to redesign its ecosystem to adapt to VR and AR in interesting ways that have not been attempted before.

A VR iTrooper

Apple VR

(Image credit: Future)

It’s not clear whether this rumored headset will both feature AR or VR features, or whether there are two headsets that will cater to each instead. But Apple has a way of adapting its apps into other devices while not compromising on features, while making them unique to the device in question.

With many operating systems ending with ‘OS’, we suspect that rOS, to stand for reality could be a good candidate for the software that the headset will run on, as it works for both VR and AR.

In previous years Apple lays down the groundwork for what’s coming, such as the iPhone for the iPad, or 3D Touch appearing in the Apple Watch and then seeing it debut in the iPhone. With this in mind, Siri could be a big hint towards what it’s planning for the headset.

Earlier this month, an Apple Music Voice Plan was released, where you can control your music only by Siri for $ 4.99 / £4.99 / AU$ 4.99 a month.

This plan could be a great fit for the headset, as you don’t need to use anything tangible to navigate your music, only through Siri. Browsing the App Store or choosing another app to use through Siri could be an intuitive way to use the headset without having to use controllers similar to the Meta Quest 2.

Spatial Audio, a feature in Apple Music again where you can turn your head and the sound will feel as though it's coming from one specific place, could also work well for the headset.

But when it comes to games, this is where the controllers would be a must and an inspiration for developers.

A VR App Store

Apps in VR are only beginning to diverge from giving short experiences like Beat Saber, to communication and accessibility such as what META is announcing for the metaverse and avatars. Seeing FaceTime VR or AppleTV+ VR is a tantalizing thought, but developers could transform the apps they already have available, into being made into a native VR headset app.

Apps like CARROT and TikTok could benefit from what the headset may offer, especially if widgets also make their debut.

What about AR?

Then there’s the aspect of AR. Augmented Reality allows you to have certain bits of digital information in a normal lens. Imagine a pair of glasses that has a section of the lens where it shows live information, such as a widget or push notifications.

This is something we’re already seeing in some apps, especially the Measure app. Others such as IKEA can allow you to place furniture in the camera’s viewfinder on the iPhone, to see if it fits your room.

There’s no reason why this headset could have both by switching modes. Seeing live widgets in a corner of a lens as you walk around your house is a tempting prospect, as it saves you from checking your phone from your pocket, or glancing at your Apple Watch.

WWDC in 2022 could showcase what developers could do with the headset, and with Apple’s Silicon chips showcasing how much power they can achieve with far less power consumption than an Intel and AMD CPU, we could see the first-generation headset feature impressive battery life for an app store that could show what AR and VR could do in the Apple eco-system.

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Switch Pro: developers tell us what they want from the rumored Switch upgrade

While it hasn't been officially announced by Nintendo, we've been hearing plenty of rumors that suggest the company will release a third variant of the Switch this year. However, unlike the Switch Lite – which was very much focused on expanding the market at the lower end of the spectrum thanks to its more affordable price – the mooted "Switch Pro" will improve on the base console in new and meaningful ways, offering a more premium experience.

We're sure Switch owners have plenty of hopes and dreams for an upgraded Switch, but what about the people who will create software for this enhanced system? What new features would they like to see which would make their jobs easier, or allow them to take their titles to the next level? 

We spoke to a bunch of Nintendo Switch developers to ask them exactly what they'd like to see in the rumored Switch Pro.

More powerful hardware

When it comes to the most requested feature from a development standpoint, "more power" is perhaps the most obvious option. 

"I’d love to see a model that has a 1080p screen and the necessary processing power to run Switch docked performance in portable mode," says Thomas Kern of FDG Entertainment, the company responsible for bringing the likes of Oceanhorn and Monster Boy to Nintendo's console. 

"It would also be good to see improved hardware to boost framerate just enough to keep existing Switch titles, such as Witcher 3, running at 30fps – or even 60fps – without frame drops. I think technically that’s feasible."

Joel Kinnunen, vice president of Trine studio Frozenbyte, has similar hopes. "Devs always want 'bigger, faster, better', so a beefier CPU and GPU would be nice."

“Devs always want ‘bigger, faster, better’, so a beefier CPU and GPU would be nice.”

Joel Kinnunen – Frozenbyte

Andres Bordeu, founder and game designer at Rock of Ages studio ACE Team, would also see increased power as the biggest benefit of a new Switch console. 

“We probably differ from many independent developers since our projects, while still indie in nature, also aim to deliver incredible visuals powered by the latest tech and we invest a lot of time in research and development. In the indie community, we consider ourselves power users of Unreal Engine 4, which is used to build many Switch games, so a more capable GPU is something that definitely enables studios like ours to bring their creations to Nintendo’s platform.” 

Philip Barclay of The Messenger developer Sabotage concurs. “As developers and huge fans of the Nintendo Switch console, one of the things that would be great for a 'Pro' version would be to support additional hardware rendering techniques for larger resolutions. If the Pro version ups the GPU, we could start to see even more amazing content in Switch games.”

 Omar Cornut, Technical Director of Wonderboy: The Dragon's Trap developer Lizardcube, is more cautious and warns against hoping for more powerful hardware. "I have to say I love my Switch and I wouldn't want to change it too much; it's a perfect fit for the games we are making. More powerful hardware is convenient, but it also creates a tendency to drive the average game budget higher in order to be competitive, and this has knock-on effects on developers' ability to experiment. 

"That said, technical progress is unstoppable; as a player, I wish for the extra power to allow for more Switch games to hit steadier and higher frame-rates across the entire lifetime of the console. A few more gigabytes of RAM and CPU cores would also facilitate porting of cross-platform projects."

Better screen

The 720p display on the Switch is hardly what you'd call cutting edge, so it should come as no surprise to learn that developers are keen to see that improve as well – although reports that suggest it could come with a 4K panel are frowned upon; Kern doesn't expect to see 4K on the new system himself, saying: "I don’t expect anything 4K, and I personally wouldn’t want 4K on Switch." 

Cornut feels that boosting the Switch's resolution could result in an awkward balancing act. "When higher resolutions are available, the tendency is to sacrifice frame-rate. I would much rather have a console where most games are 1080p in stable 60 FPS rather than added support for 4K when docked, which would lead us down the line to more games aiming at 20-30 FPS."

Improved controls

More power under the hood and an improved screen seem to be obvious picks, but some developers want to see other elements of the Switch hardware get the upgrade treatment. 

"As the developers of a racing game, we'd be really happy to see support for analogue triggers on the Switch's Joy-Con," says Edwin Smith of Feral Interactive, which ported GRID to the Switch with impressive results. 

Cyrille Lagarigue, of Streets of Rage 4 developer Guard Crush Games, would also like to see the control setup expand with the Switch Pro. 

"Personally, I'd like Nintendo to take advantage of the ingenious way the Joy-Con slide on the side of the Switch to propose more Joy-Con variants, for bigger hands, or maybe a left Joy-Con with a D-Pad and no joystick for 2D games! Having a Switch Pro would be a great opportunity to add this kind of devices; Pro means more choice!"

Faster internal storage

As we know from the hype surrounding the PS5 and Xbox Series X, the topic of memory speed is going to be a key one in the next-gen war – and Lizardcube's Omar Cornut would love to see some kind of improvement in this area for Switch, too. 

"I hope for the internal storage to become a little faster as well as maybe raising the minimum specs of supported SD cards. We have to be considerate of loading data both from internal storage or from a variety of SD – some fast, some slow – and aiming for lowest common denominator can create lots of constraints on game design; for games with large streamed worlds, for example." 

Faster RAM would potentially allow for more immersive titles on Switch Pro, which would allow it to maintain some degree of parity with Sony and Microsoft's upcoming systems.

Wireless audio

The topic of wireless audio also cropped up when we spoke to Switch developers, with many citing the lack of Bluetooth audio support as being a real negative to the current console. The console lacks a microphone, too, which means that Switch players are missing out when it comes to online multiplayer.

"I’d like to see an aptX low latency Bluetooth chip implemented that supports Bluetooth headphones," says Kern. 

Dotemu's Fabien Borel – who is currently hard at work on Windjammers 2 – couldn't agree more, and adds another wish for the Switch Pro. "I think everybody will appreciate the possibility of support of Bluetooth devices such as headphones – and having some kind of achievement system, without it being mandatory for game companies, which is awkward!"

We'll leave the final word for Jérôme Fait of Young Souls developer 1P2P:

"We would be happy if the new one brings better specs, a sharper and brighter screen and maybe better Joy-Con with an official cross D-pad; a 5G connexion or better WiFi and Netflix, and if it could print money [laughs] – but I think that the Switch is perfect as it is."

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