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The annual Apple WWDC 2022 event was held on Monday, June 6, and the company announced a lot of exciting new features and OS updates across the board, including iOS, macOS and iPadOS.
The WWDC had only a few hardware announcements, but the amount of software Apple is bringing to the table over the next year is mind-boggling and proves how dedicated the company is to progress.
The biggest reveal from the Apple WWDC 2022 event? The arrival of the M2 Macbook Air and Pro, devices that have been the subject of countless rumors over the past 14 months. We have a separate post about the upcoming Macbooks with M2 chips, but you can read more about these laptops, and all of the biggest announcements from Apple WWDC, below.
Apple’s newest operating system for iPhone features a new lock screen with more customization features and personalization options. An editor allows users to swipe left and right to try different color filters, fonts and more. Any element can be tweaked, with at least six different font options and a wide variety of colors available at launch.
Users will be able to add widgets straight to the lockscreen, as well as create multiple lock screens that can be swapped at any time or paired with certain Focus modes to match your mood. For example, you might have a picture of your family during the Personal Focus mode, or a lockscreen with relevant widgets for your Work Focus.
Notifications also appear from the bottom of the lock screen. This makes them easier to see, without dominating the view of your screen. The new Live Activities function will keep you stay up to date on things like Uber rides, sports scores and more.
Messages saw several improvements, too — the biggest of which is that users can now edit Messages after they’ve been sent. Improved dictation features allow users to swap between voice and touch for entering text, whether you’re texting someone or making a new note.
Changes to Apple Wallet mean you might soon be able to carry a digital copy of your driver’s license. Only two states currently allow users to carry a digital license, but 11 others are in the works. Wallet will also allow users to share keys can be shared with other iPhone users.
Apple Pay Later lets you split the initial cost of something into multiple payments with no added costs and is accepted everywhere Apple Pay is used.
Safety Check is a new personal safety and privacy feature. It allows users to immediately reset access to their data, location, photos and more. It stops sharing your location and resets all system privacy permissions. It locks access to messages and signs you out of iCloud on all other devices.
Apple’s latest watchOS improves upon the Apple Watch in several ways, the least of which is an even greater number of watch faces from which to choose. Users will have access to more complications and better personalization to make their watches truly their own.
The improved Workout app will track more advanced metrics to help users take their workouts even further. One way is through the ability to track Sleep Stages in the Sleep app, and the FDA-approved AFib History feature.
Workout alerts can let you know when you hit specific zones of your workout, while a new Multisport workout type lets you switch between sequences of biking, swimming and running. Runners will benefit from new metrics that include Stride Length, Ground Contact Time and Vertical Oscillation. All of these features ultimately provide greater accuracy for data tracking within watchOS 9.
The final improvement lies in the Medications experience, which helps users track and manage their various medicines in one place. Not only does it provide emergency responders an easy way to check what kind of medicines you take, but the feature also shows potential interactions with other kinds of medicine, drugs and alcohol.
Mac M2 chip
After much speculation, the M2 Chip is official.
The Mac M2 is built with more than 20 billion transistors. It has 100GB/s unified memory bandwidth — 50% more than the M1 — with as much as 24GB of unified memory on-chip. It has an 8-core CPU with four high-performance cores and four high-efficiency cores. This results in a much more powerful chip with minimal additional power draw.
The new M2 also boasts greater GPU performance — as much as 35% more than the M1.
In addition to this power, the M2 has the Secure Enclave, Media engine and more. It’s designed for greater, faster encoding and decoding. The Neural Engine allows it to perform up to 15.8 trillion operations per second.
The first Mac to receive the M2 chip will be the new Macbook Air. According to Apple, it takes everything that users have loved about previous iterations and improves upon it with an even lighter and thinner design. There are four available finishes, all with Magsafe chargers — something for which fans have clamored.
In addition, Apple has brought back the 3.5mm audio jack. The new liquid retina display is 25% brighter than before, and the 1-million-color support makes video and images more vibrant than ever before.
It has up to 18 hours of video playback and is compatible with fast-charge technology.
The M2 Chip is also coming to the 13-inch Macbook Pro. It has similar improvements to the Macbook Air, with increased battery life and performance overall.
The new Macbook Air starts at $1,119, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299. Both will be available next month.
The latest macOS is dubbed Ventura. No, not Ace Ventura — this is something more productive.
The first new feature is Stage Manager, which allows you to focus solely on the app you’re using instead of forcing you to navigate through a dozen or more open windows. When you choose another app, the current app moves to the left side of the screen. It makes it easier to move between different windows and applications, even on apps that have multiple tabs.
Spotlight is also seeing improvements. You can bring up results in Quick Look just by pressing the space bar. You can search for text inside of images, as well as starting timers and other features without ever leaving Spotlight. These same improvements are making their way to iPadOS and iOS.
Other changes let you “unsend” an email in Mail, and you can schedule emails to go out at specific times. The internal search feature provides more dynamic, organic search results, including the ability to search for synonyms of your search term.
Safari is getting an upgrade in Shared Tab Groups. This is a tool for planning; for example, if you’re planning a trip, your friends can add tabs they find to the Shared Tab Group.
Security is also getting an improvement. Ventura is implementing Passkeys, a feature that uses biometrics to create unique, individual keys that can’t be phished or leaked. Passkeys are designed to work on the web, in apps and more, and are available across all of your Apple devices.
No one thinks of the Mac as a gaming device, but thanks to the improved hardware and GPU performance of the M1 and M2 chips, many companies are taking notice. The Metal 3 GPU manager is making it possible to power graphically intensive games on macOS, with No Man’s Sky and Resident Evil Village coming to Mac later this year.
If you prefer to use a more powerful camera — like the one built into your iPhone — as a webcam, Continuity Camera makes it possible to use your iPhone camera as a webcam. If you work with your laptop docked, this is a great alternative to using a lower-end webcam.
Multiple built-in tools allow users to change the lighting, take advantage of portrait mode and more. This camera also works with Zoom and other conferencing apps. Dedicated stands will be available later this year.
Fans of tablets can celebrate because iPadOS is receiving quite a few upgrades when the new version releases later this year. Powerful collaboration tools make it easy to work on projects with others, while upcoming apps like Freeform are great for brainstorming and mindmapping.
In addition, the iPad will become an even more appealing gaming device with major titles like Divinity: Original Sin 2 making their way to the platform.
Other changes are coming that include undo/redo features across the entire system, the ability to change file extensions and much more.
Stage Manager will also make its way to iPadOS 16 with all of the features it has in macOS. This means the iPad will become an even more powerful productivity tool for on-the-go users.