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The year 2023 is shaping up to be massive for the Mac. Apple began the transition to Apple Silicon processors in the Mac last year with a new Mac mini, a new 13-inch MacBook Pro, and a new MacBook Air. Things are expected to gain more traction this year, with the rumor mill currently suggesting the first iMac redesign in a decade, new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, and much more.

Here’s everything we expect from the Mac lineup and the Apple Silicon transition this year…

Apple has acknowledged that it will take approximately two years to transition the entire Mac lineup to Apple Silicon chips. The new Mac mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro are simply the first three Apple Silicon Macs available. We expect the following Macs to be slowly introduced over the next two years until the transition is complete.

New iMac

One of the most anticipated Macs to make the transition to Apple Silicon is the iMac. The iMac received its most recent internal upgrade in August, but that update simply included new Intel processors inside, with the external design remaining unchanged.

In fact, the iMac is long overdue for an industrial redesign. The external chassis was last revised in 2012, when Apple debuted a new iMac casing that tapers down to 5mm thickness on the sides. But this design feature can only be seen from the side, and looking head-on, the iMac has remained unchanged for a decade.

Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported several times that Apple will release a redesigned iMac with a 24-inch display sometime in 2023. Most recently, Bloomberg reported that Apple has two new iMacs in store for this year to replace the existing 21.5-inch and 27-inch models with a design similar to the Pro Display XDR.

“The iMac redesign will be one of the biggest visual updates to any Apple product this year,” the report says, while citing people familiar with Apple’s road map. This will include removing the “chin area” from the bottom, as well as a flat back rather than the current curved design. Apple is reportedly planning two versions to replace the existing 21.5- and 27-inch models “later this year.”

Past reports have indicated that Apple is developing a 24-inch iMac, which would theoretically serve as a replacement to the 21.5-inch model. Bloomberg doesn’t specifically mention the screen sizes of the new iMac design, instead only saying that there will be two versions to “replace” the existing 21.5-inch and 27-inch options.

New MacBook Pros

A version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro is already available with Apple Silicon inside, but it’s rather limited: two Thunderbolt ports, a maximum of 16GB of unified memory, and a maximum of 2TB of SSD storage. We expect Apple to transition its higher-end MacBook Pros next, and there’s a lot to look forward to.

First, multiple reports have suggested that Apple has a redesigned 14-inch MacBook Pro on the way. Kuo has said that this will be released in Q2 or Q3 2023. In November, Kuo doubled down on this claim and reported that MacBooks with “all-new form factors and industrial designs” are coming in the second half of 2023.

Specifically, Kuo says that Apple has a new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro lineup slated for this year. The design changes will include squared-off sides in both the top and bottom halves of the machine, similar to the flat design of the iPad Pro and adopted in the iPhone 12 series.

The biggest design change of all, however, is that the Touch Bar will reportedly be entirely removed, with Apple reverting to a physical row of function keys instead. This comes five years after Apple first introduced the Touch Bar in 2023, touting it as the future of Mac input method.

Kuo also says that the new MacBook Pro will include the return of MagSafe for charging, similar to the technology used in pre-2023 MacBooks. The analyst adds that the 2023 MacBook Pros will also include more built-in IO ports that mean most users will not need to purchase additional dongles.

Read more:

New Mac Pro

The Mac Pro is one of the more mysterious products in Apple’s lineup and it’s unclear where it sits on the Apple Silicon roadmap. Most recently, Bloomberg reported that Apple has a new Mac Pro in the works that would be around half the size of the current Mac Pro design.

Interestingly, Bloomberg says that the smaller Mac Pro could “invoke nostalgia for the Power Mac G4 Cube.” It would be powered by Apple Silicon on the inside.

The Mac Pro is harder to predict because it features an incredibly modular design, allowing users to mix and match components and upgrade individual parts. It’s unclear how Apple Silicon will factor into this design. It’s also unclear if the new Mac Pro will come in 2023, or somewhere else down the road map.

Mac mini

The current M1 Mac mini suffers from similar limitations to the 13-inch MacBook Pro and maxes out at 16GB of memory and 2TB, and there are only two Thunderbolt ports on the back and no 10Gb ethernet. This is actually a downgrade compared to the previous-generation Intel Mac mini, which Apple continues to sell today.

It’s possible that Apple has a new Mac mini in line with four Thunderbolt ports and other higher-end specifications, but we’ll have to wait to find out for sure.

More Intel Macs?

Finally, it’s unclear if Apple has any plans to release any additional Macs using Intel processors. At WWDC last year, Apple said that it still had more Intel Macs in the pipeline, but technically that has been proven true already with the new iMacs introduced in August.

In response to a recent report from Ming-Chi Kuo, reliable Twitter leaker L0vetodream said that the redesigned form factor was “not only for Silicon,” but this message is rather cryptic and unclear. It could be referring to Apple keeping the Intel Mac Pro around because of its high level of customization.

In fact, Bloomberg reports that in addition to the half-sized Mac Pro, Apple is also planning a version with the same design as the current Mac Pro that could continue using Intel processors for now.

Wrap-up: Apple Silicon in 2023

It’s clear that 2023 is shaping up to be a major year for the Mac, ranging from the 14-inch MacBook Pro all the way to a completely redesigned iMac lineup for the first time in a decade. It’s not a guarantee that all of this new hardware will be released this year, but as it stands right now, we’ve got quite a bit in store for 2023.

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What To Expect From The Next Ipad Pro Refresh: 5G, Mini

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Even though Apple just refreshed the iPad Pro in March, many people are already asking about what to expect from the next revision. The next-generation iPad Pro is rumored to pack 5G, mini-LED display technology, and much more. Read on as we recap all of the rumors.

The 2023 iPad Pro update

Apple updated the iPad Pro in March, focusing primarily on an upgraded camera system and the new Magic Keyboard — which also works with the 2023 iPad Pro. The new 2023 iPad Pro camera includes the new LiDAR Scanner alongside a 12MP Wide camera, as well as a 10MP Ultra Wide camera.

Internally, the 2023 iPad Pro packs the A12Z Bionic processor and 6GB of RAM. In many respects, this year’s iPad Pro update is an iterative refresh on the 2023 iPad Pro. For 2023, however, we expect a much more drastic overhaul.


One of the biggest changes coming with the next-generation iPad Pro refresh is mini LED display technology. mini LED is expected to bring a variety of improvements, including display quality enhancements and longer battery life.

Instead of one large backlight that spans the entire screen, a mini LED display is made up of many smaller dimming zones that can be turned on and off individually. This allows for black content areas to be truly black because the screen components are simply turned off completely in that region.

Reports have said that Apple is interested in adopting mini LED screen panels because they offer a rich wide color gamut, high contrast ratios, high dynamic range, and localized dimming. mini LED is also believed to result in thinner panels that are more power-efficient. Meanwhile, OLED displays have issues with burn-in, color shifting, and high production costs. mini LED aims to solve these problems while offering similar contrast levels.

For the iPad, this is particularly notable. Whereas the iPhone transitioned to OLED starting with the iPhone X, the iPad Pro still uses an LED-backlit display.

You can read more about what Apple’s switch to mini LED will mean for users in our full roundup here. The iPad Pro won’t be the only Apple device to switch to mini LED, with reports suggesting other iPad models will follow suit, alongside the Mac lineup.

We expect other flagship features of the iPad Pro display to remain the same: 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants, True Tone for color temperature adjustments, ProMotion for 120Hz refresh rates, and Liquid Retina quality.

Connectivity: 5G iPad Pro

Much like the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro coming later this year, the next-generation iPad Pro will also bring 5G connectivity for the first time. Details here are a bit unclear, but the iPad Pro rollout is likely to be similar to the iPhone 12.

This means that the iPad Pro is likely to include support for both versions of 5G: sub-6 GHz 5G and mmWave 5G. As we’ve explained before, mmWave is the technology with more impressive gigabit-like speeds, but its range is much smaller. Meanwhile, sub-6GHz 5G rollouts in the United States typically achieve speeds in the 100-150 Mbps range, but with a much wider range.

Apple is still expected to use modems from Qualcomm for its initial rollout of 5G. Apple is in the process of developing its own in-house 5G modems, but those aren’t expected to be ready until at least 2023. With that being said, Apple is likely to switch away from Qualcomm modems gradually, and the switchover could start with the iPad Pro. It’s just a question of when that switchover begins.


Finally, the next iPad Pro refresh will also bring a more dramatic performance upgrade. The most recent 2023 iPad Pro features the A12Z Bionic processor, which is technically the same as the A12X Bionic processor, but with an additional GPU core enabled.

Apple’s next iPad Pro update is expected to feature the upcoming A14 processor, manufactured with a 5-nanometer processor. According to a recent supply chain report, Apple’s partner TSMC is on schedule to start the production of the A14 processor using a new 5-nanometer process in Q2. It will come to the iPhone 12 later this year, then the new iPad Pro in 2023.

What kind of performance should you expect? Early estimates suggest that the A14 in the iPhone 12 could be as powerful as the 15-inch MacBook Pro. The iPad Pro variant of the A14 is likely to be even more powerful.

These improvements are due mainly to the 5nm manufacturing process. You can read more details on the A14’s expected performance here. All of the newest 2023 iPad Pro models also pack 6GB of RAM for the first time, and it’s unclear if Apple has plans to increase RAM amounts with the next-generation.

Release and pricing

Whether or not the addition of features such as 5G and mini-LED correlates with an increase in price remains to be seen. Technologies such as 5G are notoriously expensive and battery intensive, so it’s certainly possible that Apple uses this as a reason to increase pricing. Currently, the iPad Pro starts at $799 for the 11-inch and $999 for the 12.9-inch.

As for a release date, reports had originally suggested that the next iPad Pro revision would be released later this year, marking a rare occurrence of Apple releasing two product refreshes in the same year. More recent reports have said that supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 have forced Apple to delay the release until 2023.

With that in mind, additional delays and changes are not of the question. Apple’s hardware development and supply chain testing are in flux right now because of COVID-19, and it’s possible that the next iPad Pro revision is delayed even far. Ultimately, this means that the 2023 iPad Pro introduced in March will be the only update this year, but that a new model with more drastic changes is likely the way for 2023.

Should you wait or buy now?

If you’re a first-time iPad Pro buyer, the 2023 iPad Pro is an excellent purchase and you won’t be disappointed in the slightest. We also regularly see deals on refurbished 2023 iPad Pro models, which might be an option to consider if you want to jump into the iPad Pro ecosystem immediately, but without breaking the bank.

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Android Developers: What To Expect From I/O 2023

Day 1 12:00PM-1:00PM

The keynote is followed by a couple of sandbox talks at 12:30. The Android developer focused talks include:

Notifications, Interruptions and Volumes: Coming Attractions – Android L changed the way notifications are presented to the user, and added new APIs. This is a must see if your app will notify/alert the user at all.

Anyone can do it! Easy ways to evaluate your App’s Accessibility. Do you ensure your app is usable and accessible to users with any form or combination of physical disabilities?

Smarter approaches to app testing. Every Android developer faces the problem of how to test on as wide a range of devices as possible for the least cost. This is a sandbox talk, so do not expect any ground breaking techniques, however, fingers crossed.

Most sandbox talks are available twice over the course of the event. If a sandbox talk you are interested in clashes with another session, visit the I/O events page to find the backup session.


We have two heavy hitters within this time slot, and both are live streamed as well:

What’s new in Android. The description for this session is extremely chill, “This session will highlight the most exciting new developer features of the Android platform.” Do we get to see Android M here? Set your calendars, alarms, reminders etc.

Google Cloud Messaging 3.0. While not for only Android, GCM is a free way to send data to your app on Android devices, utilizing the same services used by Google for its own apps (Hangouts, Google+).

Other sandbox talks of interest in this time period include:

Gaming on Android TV (1:00PM-1:30PM)

Promote your mobile app in minutes (1:00PM-1:30PM)

Mobile app quality leaps to the cloud (1:00PM-1:30PM). This talk discusses how to run hundreds of tests in parallel on a wide range of Android and iOS devices using Google Cloud.


Without skipping a beat, there are two more live streamed sessions of massive importance to Android developers:

What’s New in Android Development Tools. What’s new in Android Studio would be the more appropriate title. If you haven’t switched over from Eclipse/ADT to Android Studio, well, goodluck.

Smarter monetization with AdMob and Analytics. Even if you do not monetize with Admob, you might want to check this out, and compare against what your ad network and analytics network provide.

Another interesting sandbox is:

What’s new in the Google Play Developer Console (2:00PM-2:30PM)


There are three simultaneous live streamed sessions in this time slot:

Material Now. Hosted by Matias Duarte, whose team designed Android Lollipop and came up with Material Design. He also led the design teams of Android versions from Honeycomb through KitKat.

Growing games with Google. This session encompasses phones, PCs, consoles and browser based games, but should be quite useful for Android game developers even if their games aren’t cross platform.

Making apps context aware: OPPOrtunities, tools, lessons and the future. This session discusses how to make effective use of mobile devices sensing capabilities (GPS, Bluetooth, accelerometers, etc).

Day 2


Helping Moonshots Survive Contact with the Real World This session is hosted by Dr ASTRO Teller of Google labs, and discusses the challenges faced when taking an idea/innovation out of the lab, and into the real world.

Grow your app via new word-of-mouth tools from Google (11:30AM-12:00AM)



Android Wear: Your app and the always-on screen. Even if your app has no Android Wear component currently, understanding the constraints faced when developing for Android Wear can help you decide how/what features of your app can be served through a Wear device.

Real-time analytics for mobile and IoT (2:30PM-3:00PM)


Reach more gamers by going local (3:30PM-4:00PM). Tailored for game developers, this session focuses on using Google Play Games to engage and connect with players.


Speechless at I/O. If you have no idea what Speechless is, check out this What is Speechless? video on YouTube. After so many serious, technical sessions, unwind to this. Or go watch cute kitten videos for a while.

Android Developer Newsletter

What Does Gen Z Expect In The Workplace?

Generation Z comprises people born between 1997 and 2002. Some of these people are already in the workforce, while others may enter it as late as 2025.

Studies show that Gen Z employees want jobs that pay them fairly, provide space for mental health, and prioritize a caring onboarding process. 

To cater to Gen Z workplace demands, you should consider launching a diversity training program, sending welcome packages to new employees, and offering employee health and wellness programs.

This article is for business owners, managers, and recruiters interested in attracting and accommodating Gen Z employees and job seekers.

As Generation Z continues to enter the workforce, you might wonder what makes this latest influx of workers different. According to the Pew Research Center, Generation Z comprises people born between 1997 and 2002, so they grew up with the internet and strong social values that inform their workplace demands. 

To better understand the group, the Great Place to Work Institute polled 32,000 Gen Zers from more than 350 businesses. Let’s explore some of the survey’s key findings on what Gen Zers want from their employers.

What Gen Z seeks in the workplace

The Great Place to Work study found five key elements that Gen Zers want from their employers.

Fair pay

According to the study, Gen Z workers expect better pay. Of the 32,000 respondents, 69% felt they received fair wages. Although this is a majority of the Gen Z respondents, it’s seven points lower than other generations’ pay satisfaction.

Great Place to Work notes that this demand could stem from COVID-era wage losses. The study cites an ADP statistic saying that Gen Z lost 11% of its jobs to the pandemic. This figure is 4.3% greater than the national average and the corresponding numbers for other generations.

Did You Know?

Workers with a bachelor’s degree and less than five years of work experience typically make $47,000 per year, according to a survey by Clever Real Estate. For employees working 40 hours per week, that’s $22.60 per hour, well above the federal minimum wage.

Diverse teams

Gen Z is at least 8% more racially diverse than any prior generation. According to the survey, 47% of Gen Zers identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC), which is nearly twice the 25% rate for baby boomers. The researchers noted that this generational diversity might stem from a peak in immigration around 2005. 

Gen Z is diverse in more ways than race – it’s also the generation with the most LGBTQ people. A February 2023 Gallup survey found that 15.9% of Gen Zers identify as LGBTQ. [Related article: How to Support an LGBTQ Employee Coming Out in the Workplace]

Unsurprisingly, Great Place to Work found that Gen Z demands diverse workplaces as a result.


To create a culture of inclusion in the workplace, design a diversity and inclusion training program to address potential biases and prejudice within your organization.

Meaningful work

Millennials might have largely brought the concept of “meaningful work” into the conversation, but Gen Zers seem even less satisfied with the meaning of their work. In the Great Place to Work survey, Gen Z employees said their work had “special meaning” 8% less than other generations did. Similarly, Gen Zers said they felt like they were making a difference at work 7% less than other generations did. [Related article: The New Role of Millennial Leaders]

A focus on mental health 

According to the study, Gen Zers are 7% less likely than other generations to describe their work environments as psychologically or emotionally healthy. They were also 7% less likely to say that they could take enough time off from work. As Great Place to Work notes, the American Psychological Association has found Gen Z to be the most stressed generation. The APA believes this trend correlates with the many sociopolitical crises the generation may face.

A more intentional onboarding process

Remote work rates hovered around 45% in the latter half of 2023. That means Gen Zers may enter the workforce without ever entering an office and making friends with co-workers in person. Great Place to Work notes that, based on its findings, Gen Zers need a “warm and thoughtful welcome” when they start new jobs. The researchers concluded that such actions are key to keeping Gen Z employees – and new hires of any age – engaged and motivated. [Follow this employee hiring checklist for a successful onboarding process.]


To keep remote workers engaged, host virtual meetings and casual hangouts, foster personal connections, and make sure your employees feel heard and valued.

How to cater to Gen Z’s workplace needs

Alongside its findings, the Great Place to Work survey offers some actionable tips.

Prioritize diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). If you’ve paid any attention to business news in recent years, you’ve seen DEI initiatives becoming increasingly common. You can encourage DEI without hiring staff to work exclusively on these initiatives. Instead, try incorporating diversity training and inclusive communication into your operations.

Pay well above the minimum wage. Gen Z is one of the main groups leading the call for higher minimum wages, so low pay won’t do. You need to offer salaries that show Gen Z employees you’re truly investing in them. You don’t need to break the bank on payroll, but you should pay them salaries you might associate with employees a few years older. [Learn how to determine salaries for your employees.]

Offer employee wellness and health programs. Though often associated with diets and gym membership, employee wellness and health programs can address mental health concerns for Gen Z employees. So can mental health days, regular employee one-on-ones or check-ins, and other ways to gauge your employees’ mental health. You should also encourage your employees to take the necessary steps to lower their workplace stress levels.

Seek employee feedback. With employee feedback, you can adjust your operations to meet Gen Z standards. If you consistently hear from employees that they’re overworked, hire more staff to handle the excess tasks. If you find that summer Fridays would help boost morale in the warmer months, implement those. You can’t know if you don’t ask, so encourage your employees to give you feedback.

Make the right first impression. A “swag bag” can make a great first impression on new employees. Include merchandise branded with your logo alongside essential work materials like a copy of your employee handbook. Personalized welcome notes from the whole team can be the cherry on top. When your employees know you have their back, they’re more likely to have yours. 

Key Takeaway

Managing Gen Z in the workplace means embracing a company culture where everyone’s contributions and voices are valued. You can show appreciation for your employees by prioritizing diversity and inclusion, fair pay, mental health, employee feedback, and a welcoming onboarding process.

What To Expect From The Rumored Airpods 3 And Airpods Pro 2 Updates

Following the introduction of AirPods Max in December, Apple reportedly has updates on the way for the rest of its AirPods lineup in 2023. This year, we expect Apple to introduce a new version of its incredibly popular AirPods and AirPods Pro, bringing major changes to both of them. Here’s everything we know so far.

Update February 22, 2023:

AirPods 3

The second-generation AirPods were initially released in March 2023, bringing “Hey Siri” support and Qi wireless charging. The overall design and form factor of AirPods has stayed the same since their original release in December 2023, so they are overdue for some sort of visual redesign.

If AirPods and AirPods Pro feature a similar design, what differentiates them and helps Apple justify the higher-price of AirPods Pro? According to Bloomberg, the AirPods would lack higher-end AirPods Pro features like noise cancellation and transparency mode.

Recently-leaked images from 52audio also claim to offer our first real-world look at the redesigned AirPods 3. Here we can see the smaller stem, in-ear design, and redesigned battery case.

As far as a release, both Kuo and Bloomberg expect Apple to release AirPods 3 sometime in 2023. Pricing information is unclear, but at least one report has suggested that AirPods 3 will cost roughly 20% less than AirPods Pro, which indicates a $199 price point.

Apple currently sells AirPods with wired charging case for $159 and AirPods with wireless charging case for $199.

AirPods Pro 2

Meanwhile, Apple is also reportedly planning a new version of AirPods Pro in 2023, again with a completely new design. This time, Apple is reportedly planning to make AirPods Pro look quite a bit like some of the competitors on the market from Amazon and Samsung.

Bloomberg has reported that the second-gen AirPods Pro will feature a “more compact” design that removes the stem that current sticks out from the bottom of the AirPods Pro. “A design in testing has a more rounded shape that fills more of a user’s a ear,” the report explained, likening the design to offerings from Samsung and Amazon.

For those unfamiliar, the Amazon Echo buds feature a stem-less design that is completely round and rests inside the user’s ear.

Amazon Echo Buds

These changes, however, are not guaranteed. Apple is said to have faced challenges removing the AirPods Pro stem while also still including features like transparency mode, the H1 chip, and noise cancellations. As such, Apple might settle on a less ambitious redesign of the AirPods Pro.

Another change to expect with AirPods Pro in 2023 is a redesigned charging case. The redesigned AirPods Pro charging case will reportedly remain 21mm thick, while it will be 46mm tall and 54mm wide. For comparison’s sake, the current AirPods Pro charging case measures in at 45.2mm tall and 60.6mm wide.

One possibility here is that Apple is adjusting the design of the AirPods Pro charging case to include support for MagSafe. Currently, AirPods Pro can be charged on the MagSafe puck, but the charging case does not magnetically attach to it. Apple would also have to redesign the charging case if it plans to change the form factor of the earbuds themselves.

AirPods Pro 2 are expected to be priced at the same $249 price point as the current AirPods Pro, and reports have suggested a release could come as soon as April.

9to5Mac’s Take

Apple’s decision to redesign the form factor of AirPods is likely to be controversial. There are many people who actively prefer the AirPods design over the in-ear fit of AirPods Pro. In fact, a poll of 9to5Mac readers last month indicated that 42% of readers prefer the AirPods design compared to 53% who prefer the AirPods Pro.

Apple’s decision to include different ear tip sizes in the box with AirPods will likely make them appeal to a broader set of users who otherwise wouldn’t like the “universal” design.

On the other hand, the redesigned AirPods Pro certainly sound intriguing, but again, design changes to headphones and earbuds are always bound to be controversial. Removing the stem and going for a rounded design is a major design change for AirPods Pro.

What’s interesting is that we haven’t yet heard any details about new features for AirPods or AirPods Pro. All of the reports so far have been based on supply chain sources, which often only have insight into the physical design of products, not potential new software features.

What do you think of the AirPods 3 and AirPods Pro 2 rumors? Are you looking forward to the rumored design changes or do you prefer the current design?

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Snapdragon 8 Gen 3: What To Expect From Qualcomm’S Next Flagship Processor

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Although the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is already powering some absolutely brilliant smartphones, we can’t help but think ahead to what the next generation will have to offer. Qualcomm will undoubtedly have a new chipset to power 2024 flagship smartphones, tentatively dubbed the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3.

Of course, Qualcomm keeps the details of its upcoming chipset tightly under wraps until its official unveiling. Still, we can glean a bit about what to expect based on information and rumors currently dotted around the web.

Will there be a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 processor, and when will it arrive?

As far as we know, Qualcomm isn’t planning to bow out of the highly lucrative mobile SoC business, so a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 is undoubtedly on the cards. The rumor mill has already spotted references to the chip, which apparently bears the SM8650 model number.

Qualcomm typically announced its next-gen processor products at Snapdragon Tech Summit. The exact dates vary a little each year. Still, we can expect the event to occur in October or November 2023, when we will see the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 announced and the company’s highly anticipated Oryon CPU for PC products.

What features will the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 have?


Despite Qualcomm keeping details on its next-generation flagship processor under lock and eye, that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill churning out a few potential specifications. Combined with various industry announcements, such as new CPUs from Arm and Bluetooth standards from SIG, we can already put a few pieces of the puzzle together.

64-bit only this time

The latest Arm Cortex CPUs


Such a rumor gels with what we know about the latest Arm CPUs, which are almost certain to power the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3. Arm’s latest Cortex-X4, A720, and A520 CPUs are 64-bit only, so using these cores rules out 32-bit support. Arm IP seems likely once more, as Oryon, Qualcomm’s custom Arm-based core design, is expected to debut in laptops before being distilled down to the smartphone form factor.

Still, rumors hint at a rather intriguing 1+2+3+2 CPU setup. Apparently, this consists of one Cortex-X core (presumably the X4), two A-5XX class cores (the new A520?), and five A7XX cores split into groups of two and three.

Rather than featuring 32-bit cores, which isn’t possible in combination with the new ARMv9 CPUs, Qualcomm could implement the Cortex-A720 middle cores across two different performance points. Two cores with larger caches and clock speeds, paired with three smaller configurations would increase the SoC’s capability to scale up smoothly and down the performance/power curve. Moving to just two power-efficient cores would also be an interesting choice, and increasingly energy-economical mid-cores make large little core counts less of a necessity in modern chipsets.

What we want to see from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is a great chip, but there are a few specific improvements we’d like to see with Qualcomm’s looming announcement.

Even better-sustained performance

With the Samsung 4nm fiasco firmly in the rearview mirror, 2023 smartphones have been reasonably free from performance throttling issues. Still, we’ve seen the occasionally hot handset and brands that scale back everyday performance in pursuit of multi-day battery life. The holy grail is a chip that provides peak performance without holding back for fear of high temps or battery drain. Hopefully, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 can be that chip.

Sustained performance has been more concerning when looking at longer-term gaming performance. Our in-house gaming test shows that a hefty cooling solution is still required to lock a rock-solid 60fps over moderate play times. The higher GPU clock speed of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy doesn’t translate into a better gaming experience once you surpass the five-minute mark.

Thankfully, efficiency gains from new CPU cores and smaller 3nm manufacturing nodes mean more efficient chips are possible. Just as long as Qualcomm doesn’t get caught up chasing unsustainable peak performance.

More powerful ray tracing capabilities

Prices that won’t break the bank

There’s plenty to look forward to with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, which will power flagship smartphones launching in early 2024. Of course, Qualcomm isn’t the only company expected to unveil new silicon later this year. We’re equally excited to see what Google has in store with the Tensor G3 too.

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