Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Apple WWDC 2022 Key Announcements: iOS16, macOS Ventura, M2 Chip, and more

Pic credit: Apple
At WWDC 2022, Apple announced plenty of intriguing new products, including macOS Ventura, iOS 16, the M2 chip, a new MacBook Air, and much more.

If you weren't able to see the event live, here's a rundown of the most important announcements made by Apple.

iOS 16

This fall, the next version of the iPhone's operating system will be released, and it will include lots of new quality-of-life improvements. This includes a new lock screen with customizable fonts and colours, as well as widgets inspired by the Apple Watch and rotating photographs. Notifications will appear from the bottom of the screen to avoid concealing your photo, and Live Activities like as music playback can expand to occupy the lock screen. Set a lock screen for each of your Focus modes, and your alerts and apps will be filtered to show just the notifications and apps that are relevant to your current mode, allowing you to avoid those annoying texts and distractions.

Pic Credit: Apple
Messages has also been updated by Apple. The ability to alter and even delete texts after they've been sent is maybe the most notable feature. SharePlay has been enhanced to make sharing within FaceTime and Messages even easier. The voice-to-text dictation tool is also getting some upgrades, including the ability to switch between voice and finger input, which is made possible by the keyboard being on-screen as you dictate. Similarly, Apple's version of Google Lens, Live Text, expands to video, allowing you to pause on any frame and interact with or extract text from the film. A Multistop planning function in Apple Maps allows you to arrange up to 15 separate stops along your route.

Apple News, which now includes expanded sports coverage in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia; Apple Wallet, which now includes a new "buy now, pay later" option for large purchases; and Apple CarPlay, which will allow for custom dashboard displays on new vehicles that support it.

In terms of privacy, iOS 16 adds a new tool called Safety Check, which allows you to instantly deny access for someone who is threatening you, check out of iCloud across all devices, and limit Messages to a single, in-hand device.

Apple has updated its Home app to make it more compatible with all of your smart home's gadgets. Apple is collaborating with Matter, a forthcoming smart home standard that aims to make it easier for gadgets from different companies to communicate in your house.

The M2 Chip

Apple's new processor is based on the same proprietary hardware used in the majority of the company's new computers. Apple claims that the 8-core CPU in this second-generation chip is 18% faster than the CPU in the M1. The GPU has up to ten cores, and Apple claims that it performs 25% better than its predecessor. The M2, like the M1, comes with a 16-core Neural Engine. The M2's Neural Engine can process up to 15.8 trillion operations per second, according to Apple, which is more than 40 percent faster than the M1.

Apple claims that the M2 processor can handle up to 24GB of memory and can give up to 2x the performance of the M1 chip while consuming half the power. The new Apple M2 chip will be used in two new laptops: the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, which will be available in July 2022.

Pic Credit: Apple

macOS Ventura

Ventura is the name of Apple's new desktop operating system. The new features demonstrated at WWDC are largely focused on productivity. Stage Manager is a new tool that keeps all of your wayward apps and tabs to the side in an easily viewable sidebar, allowing for rapid moving between groups and drag-and-drop multitasking. Better Sports and web picture searches, full-window search results, and more extensive information on music and movies are all part of Spotlight searching. (Spotlight moves to the home screen on iOS.)

Mail and Safari are also getting some performance improvements. Have too many tabs open in your browser? The good news is that you can now share your Safari tab groups with others and allow them to add their own. Goodbye passwords and hello Passkeys — Safari now supports Touch ID and Face ID for logging into websites. MetalFX upscaling for quicker game rendering and an additional API for faster loading of game materials are among the enhancements to its Metal graphics API. For the first time, Resident Evil Village and No Man's Sky will be adapted to the Mac; Resident Evil Village will be released later this year.

With its new Continuity capabilities, Apple continues to work toward its aim of establishing a seamless, all-encompassing ecosystem of products. When your Mac or iPad detects that you're on a FaceTime call on your iPhone, it will offer to transfer the call to one of the larger devices. You'll also be able to use your iPhone as a wireless webcam for video calls, which will undoubtedly be useful in our Zoom-Meet-Teams. When you attach a plastic adapter to the rear of your iPhone, you may place it on top of the screen with the lens pointing at you; macOS recognises the phone and switches the camera function to utilise the phone's camera rather than the computer's webcam.

iPadOS 16

Apple introduced a number of changes that make its competent tablet seem a little more laptop-like, continuing the inexorable convergence of the iPad and MacBook.

In split-screen mode, a new screen scaling feature allows iPad users to modify the pixel density of windows, fitting more information into the sliver of screen that each app takes up. Most importantly, Stage Manager will be available on the iPad. iPad users will be able to organise and combine windows together for improved workflows, just like in macOS Ventura. It's the same as on a computer.

Pic Credit: Apple
Multiple users can collaborate live in video conferences while editing documents thanks to new collaboration tools in iPadOS 16. Freeform, a collaborative whiteboard app for iPad, Mac, and iPhone, will be released soon. There are also new collaborative gaming capabilities, such as the SharePlay option, which allows players to play games together while simultaneously sharing video. Reference Mode, a color-grading mode intended at producing more realistic colour representation on the screen, is one of the features aimed at artists.

The iPad receives the same iOS 16 updates, as well as a new Weather app. In-OS collaboration enables collaborative document editing and tab groups, which can be launched from FaceTime and receive updates via Messages.

We also got a sneak peek at the Freeform app, which will be released later this year and is a virtual shared whiteboard with sketching tools for group meetings. It will be included with all platforms and will allow users to embed documents, movies, and photos.

iPadOS, like Ventura, gets the new Metal API for gaming, as well as background downloading. Activity rivers have been added to Game Center, and SharePlay (coming later this year to iOS and iPadOS) will allow collaborative play.

The interface and capabilities have been tweaked to provide iPadOS more desktop-like power. 

WatchOS 9

Pic Credit: Apple
More diverse calendars, the ability to pin apps to the top of the dock, new banner notifications, and support for Podcasts for kids with parental controls are all on the way.

In watchOS 9, the workout tracking has been improved. A new workout view displays a lot more information on the screen, including a warning if your heart rate falls below your intended level. During runs, the Apple Watch will be able to better measure arm and leg motions, providing more accurate stride statistics. Other health-related solutions are also on the way.

Sleep Stages is a new tool that tracks the quality of your sleep as you transition between light, deep, and REM sleep. You may also use the watch to track and remind you to take medications, and you can simply take a photo of the label to input medication into your profile.

The Apple Watch has also received some visual updates, such as new faces that display lunar calendars or real-time astrological alignments.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13

Apple has overhauled the Air for the first time in years, and it's all thanks to the M2 chip. Normally, a laptop introduction during a software presentation would be startling, but many predicted the long-awaited portable. The new casing design for the 2022 MacBook Air is 20% thinner than the previous model, with lower bezels around the screen and a smaller notch for the webcam at the top of the display.

There's also some exciting news: it has MagSafe. The magnetic charging adapter replaces the Thunderbolt charging that Apple has been promoting recently on the new MacBook Air. The installation of the MagSafe frees up the two Thunderbolt-USB 4 connectors as well. Apple claims that the Air has the same battery life as the M2 but performs better due to the upgraded GPU and a focus on performance per watt. It now enables rapid charging, and there's a second USB-C port on the new converter. Apple claims that the new Air can run for 18 hours on a single charge, even when playing videos nonstop. The new laptop is under 2.7 pounds and is available in four distinct colours.

The MacBook Air has a starting price of $1,199 (£1,249, AU$1,899). A new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 processor is also available. It has a 20-hour battery life and can be expanded with 24 GB of memory and a 2-TB SSD, according to Apple. The Pro starts at $1,299 (£1,349, AU$1,999) and goes up from there. They both start shipping next month, and students and educators get a $100 discount.