Follow these steps to reveal Apple’s WWDC Easter egg surprise which lets you interact with developer Emoji in augmented reality on your iPhone and iPad.
How to reveal Apple’s WWDC Easter egg surprise
Apple has created a new augmented reality experience for those who will be following its upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference, a weeklong software-focused event that kicks off with an all-important keynote address. To start the experience, open the Apple Events webpage by pointing Safari on your iPhone or iPad to apple.com/apple-events/, then touch the WWDC22 banner (you must use an iOS or iPadOS device). Allow a few seconds for the whole thing to load.
The experience starts with a scene showing a bunch of Memoji characters gathered around a notebook (will the next MacBook Air launch at the WWDC?). Touch the desired developer Memoji to reveal their trading card. This marks the first time Apple has created an augmented reality experience with some form of interactivity.
Introducing Hair Force One
Apple’s software boss Craig Federighi is one of the WWDC presenters so it’s not surprising Apple would bother to create a trading card for his character, with “Hair Force One” hidden in code (this is a joke referring to Craig’s trademark hairstyle). Of all the Apple executives who have publicly presented in the past, Craig seems to be the most beloved character. He certainly commands an ardent fan base among not just developers but Apple fans in general (and the press.) There’s code hidden on each of the cards, not just Craig’s, and it’s written on the cards themselves.
Apple’s AR Easter eggs are a thing
These things have become a thing. Of course, this isn’t the first AR surprise from Apple to its fans. In the past, the company shared similar whimsical augmenter reality scenes ahead of major events. One of the best examples is an experience featuring a pinhole Apple logo which happens to hide an entire mountain valley inside. Apple used that one for its “California Streaming” iPhone 13 event in 2021.
How to download and edit USDZ files
If you’d like to explore more augmented reality experiences for older Apple events, simply select the desired event on the Apple Events webpage and then touch the banner at the top of the page to launch it. Instead of creating a brand new format for augmented reality scenes, Apple has partnered with Disney to use the USDZ format for 3D objects that Pixar created. Apple hosts additional examples of 3D objects that you can try out in augmented reality by visiting its AR Quick Look webpage.
You can download a 3D object to your computer, if you like, by right-clicking and selecting the option to save the file to your Downloads folder. For instance, clicking the link below will prompt Safari to download the WWDC22 Easter egg.
From there, you can open the downloaded USDZ file in Preview and interact with the object. Better yet, open this file in Apple’s Xcode development system to edit it if you like. You can do things like change light sources, physics, force fields and more, view just the object’s wireframe or the full 3D model, and so much more.
What will Apple reveal at WWDC22?
WWDC22 runs in an online form from June 6 through June 10. The entire keynote will be broadcast as a pre-taped presentation, just like developer session videos. Pre-COVID WWDCs were held in a physical form, but the last two events were held virtually as the pandemic hit. The WWDC keynote will start on June 6 at 10am PT. The show will be broadcast via Apple’s homepage, YouTube channel and the TV app. Read: How to view walking directions in augmented reality on Apple Maps
Apple will be previewing the next major releases of its operating systems whilst revealing the latest platform features, advances and developer tools. The first public beta of iOS 16 isn’t expected until sometime in July. The iPhone maker will publicly release iOS 16, iPadOS 15, tvOS 16, watchOS 9 and macOS 13 this fall. Apple could also announce some new hardware during the WWDC keynote, including the next MacBook Air. It’s unclear whether the company plans on previewing its rumored mixed-reality headset at WWDC. Read: How to remove all Twitter bookmarks at once