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WWDC 2022: Everything Apple announced at its annual developers conference
Every year, Apple holds an event focused on the developers that keep the company’s ecosystem fresh. Known as the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), it happens like clockwork in early June. For WWDC 2022, Apple launched the event on June 6, 2022.
Although WWDC focuses mostly on developers, software, and services, Apple does sometimes launch hardware at the event. This year saw a little bit of everything. Check out all the major WWDC 2022 announcements here!
iOS is the software powering iPhones around the world. For iOS 16, Apple has a few new tricks it’s introducing. Notably, a few of them are very clearly inspired by Android.
First up is the lock screen. The big focus is on personalization. You can change your lock screen’s design using swipes and taps, including filters, fonts, color accents, and more. You can also add widgets. If this all sounds familiar, it’s because Android has had this for years, although fragmented across different Android skins.
See also: Which iPhone is right for you?
Apple also introduced Live Activities, which will give developers a more elegant way to deliver lots of notifications. Instead of getting numerous notifications of sports scores as a game unfolds, Live Activities gives devs a widget devs can use to issue that information constantly, rather than sending dozens of notification pings. Notifications also are better organized on the lock screen now, which is yet another Android-inspired change.
Finally, dictation works on-device and you can bounce back and forth between normal typing and voice dictation.
Updates for Apple apps
Here are a few app updates on the way for iOS 16 as announced at WWDC 2022.
- Apple’s popular-in-the-US app iMessage now allows editing sent messages. It also supports undoing sends and marking threads as unread.
- Apple Wallet now has Apple Pay Later, which is Apple’s riff on PayPal’s Pay In Four. You can split a charge into four installments with no fees or interest.
- Apple Maps is rolling out to more countries and introducing some new features, such as multistop directions, integrations with public transport systems, and more. Most of the “new” features already exist in Google Maps, however.
- It is now easier than ever to monitor and control your kids’ phone usage through Apple’s Family Sharing center.
- Apple Photos now has an iCloud Shared Photo Library system. This allows you to share a private library of photos with up to five other people who can in turn edit and upload their own photos.
- Safety Check is a new system that allows users to quickly review and alter access they’ve given to other people. For example, if you’ve shared a password or app with someone and you no longer want them to have access, you can check that and make any changes all from one spot.
- Apple has redesigned its Home app to make it more like Google’s similar Home app.
- The Fitness app is now available to all iPhone users, even those who don’t own a connected Apple Watch.
Apple’s car-based iPhone connection tool is getting a whole lot more powerful. Apple wants CarPlay to live on all the screens in your car and work with all your vehicle’s systems. This would allow you to, for example, control the climate in your car from CarPlay rather than needing to use the physical dials in your vehicle.
Of course, car manufacturers will need to incorporate these systems with CarPlay for it to work as Apple wants it to. Apple is giving itself plenty of lead time for this, as it doesn’t expect manufacturers to roll out the next generation of CarPlay integration until late 2023.
If this all sounds familiar, it’s because Google already has this going with Android Automotive. Cars are already available on the market with these features, so Apple’s a bit behind the curve.
In watchOS 9, there are some new watch faces, including one based around the cycle of the moon and Metropolitan, which looks like a classic watch face. There are also refreshed features, such as Siri’s layout and Apple’s Podcast app.
Of course, a watchOS update wouldn’t be complete without updates to fitness and health tracking. For example, there are three new running metrics tracked in watchOS 9 which will give you a more complete look at not only your pace and speed but also your technique. There are also new features for triathletes, such as auto-tracking when you move from one type of exercise to another.
See also: How to change your Apple Watch face
Sleep tracking also gets some new tweaks with Sleep Stages. Borrowing the look and setup from Fitbit, the Sleep app will give you a more well-rounded look at how you go from one type of sleep (REM, light, etc.) to another.
The Apple Watch was a pioneer in tracking atrial fibrillation (AFib). Now, Apple will offer AFib history that will help you track and understand your AFib symptoms rather than just letting you know when it happens. Likewise, watchOS 9 also has a new Medications section to help you keep track of your meds.
It may seem like just a few months ago that Apple launched the Ultra versions of the M1 chip (because it was). Not one to lose any steam, Apple is already rolling out M2, the true follow-up to the original industry-shaking M1 chip.
Apple claims M2 features an 18% performance boost when compared to M1. It achieves this while actually consuming less power than M1, not to mention significantly less power than x86-based chips from competitors
M2 also has a 10-core GPU, two more than M1. When you combine this with all the specs and features shown above, you get a powerhouse.
But how will you give M2 a try? Well, continue on.
MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro
The first Mac with the M2 chip is the brand new MacBook Air. It doesn’t incorporate the old wedge design instead looking like a very thin MacBook Pro. In fact, it’s only 11.3mm thick and weighs just 2.7 pounds.
MagSafe is also on board, which is nice because it frees up the two Thunderbolt ports while you’re charging. Like the MacBook Pro, the MacBook Air features a controversial display notch, but the notch does have a 1080p webcam.
The first Macs with the new M2 chip will be the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.
The second Mac getting the M2 chip is the new 13-inch MacBook Pro. This looks just like the most recent MacBook Pros but shrunk down into a 13-inch form factor.
Both laptops will be available at some point in July 2022. The Air will start at $1,199 while the 13-inch Pro laptop starts at $1,299.
The flagship feature of Ventura is called Stage Manager. The purpose of this system is to help you manage your open tasks and make you more efficient and productive. When activated, Stage Manager brings the app you’re working on front and center and moves the rest of your apps to the side. Check out how it looks in the image above.
Here are some other macOS Ventura updates launched at WWDC 2022:
- Spotlight is more powerful, even having the ability to search for text within images. This makes Spotlight like Apple’s own Google.
- Mail has a bunch of new features including a more advanced search and undoing sends.
- Safari now has shared tabs so you can work on projects with your friends and family. It also will incorporate Passkeys, which is Apple’s attempt to replace the text-based password.
- FaceTime now supports Hand-Off. This will allow you to start a FaceTime call on your iPhone, for example, and seamlessly switch that call to your Mac.
- macOS Ventura allows you to use your rear iPhone camera as a webcam, without needing wires.
iPad OS 16
iPad OS 16 gets most of the updates previously discussed for macOS Ventura and iOS 16, even including Stage Manager. Apple made a few announcements for iPad OS 16 as well, but all of them are also coming to iOS 16 and macOS Ventura, so they’re not really iPad-specific features.
One of these features is Collaborations, which allows you to share live documents with collaborators. This will be advantageous for work-in-progress documents. It will make it easier than tracking various drafts that have been shared within a conversation, whether that’s in iMessage or FaceTime.
Free Form is a new collaboration tool that creates a virtual whiteboard within FaceTime calls. It allows you to replicate a meeting room with a whiteboard everyone can draw on.
Finally, iPad OS 16 is getting more desktop-like features, such as changing file extensions and better printing support. It looks like Apple is ready to blur the line even more between what the iPad does and what a MacBook can accomplish.
That’s it for Apple’s WWDC 2022 announcements! Next time, we’ll see Apple launching new iPhones in the Fall, so stay tuned!