The Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) was held early this morning. This is the platform Apple usually uses to announce changes, updates and improvements to its software. This year we were introduced to iOS 16 for iPhone, iPadOS 16 for iPads, macOS Ventura for Mac and watchOS9 for the Apple Watch.
This year, it wasn’t all software, though. Apple also introduced its new M2 chip and, subsequently an all-new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, powered by the M2.
Apple WWCD Announcements
The M2 chip is the successor to the already powerful M1 chip that Apple uses in its Macs and iPads.
Apple stated that it focused on “power-efficient performance” with the M2, aiming to increase performance capabilities while decreasing power consumption.
The M2 has 20 billion transistors, 25% more than the M1. This allows the M2 to deliver 100GB/s of memory bandwidth, a 50% increase.
Apple claims the M2 is faster and more efficient than the M1, providing 18% better performance.
M2 MacBook Pro
The new 13-inch MacBook Pro hasn’t seen many changes regarding its design. However, the battery life and performance have seen some improvements.
Thanks to the M2 chip, Apple claims the MacBook Pro boasts 20 hours of battery life.
The interior houses an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of memory.
The laptop will cost $2299, and Apple has stated it aims to release it next month.
M2 MacBook Air
Coming in four different colours, Space Gray, Starlight, Midnight and Silver, the new M2 MacBook Air boasts a larger (compared to its predecesor) 13.6″ display that reduces the size of the borders. And is 25% brighter than the previous M1 MacBook Air, with a maximum brightness of 500nits
At only 11.3mm thick and weighing only 1.2kg, the new MacBook Air boasts 25% less volume than its predecessor.
It charges via a MagSafe port, has two Thunderbolt ports, and there’s also an audio jack, which is a surprising inclusion.
With the M2 chip, Apple claims that this year’s MacBook Air will be 20% faster than the M1 MacBook Air.
The M2 MacBook air will cost $2149 in New Zealand, and Apple has stated it aims to release the laptop next month.
iOS 16 brings with it a lot of new changes. The main modifications target the lock screen.
The lock screen can now be customised with widgets, the font and colours can be changed, notifications move to the bottom of the screen so you can see the background, and you can shuffle between backgrounds or use an animated one.
Other than the lock screen, there’s several small changes included as well:
- Focus feature added to lock screen
- Can now edit iMessage messages
- SharePlay now available on iMessage
- Live Text improvements
- Apple Pay vendor improvements
- A new shared iCloud library feature was announced that lets you share photos more easily with friends
- CarPlay has been improved to allow users to control air conditioning, radio and more
iPadOS 16 is an upgrade that focuses on what Apple calls “pro” users. By this, it means iPad users who like to open several apps or undertake several tasks, all at the same time.
Stage Manager is a new feature that allows iPad users to overlay apps and change window sizes. It means you can open apps side by side.
The update also introduces collaboration features. Two users can now collaborate on iPads by allowing messaging via FaceTime calls. The users can also see which tabs their collaborators are looking at in the tabs bar.
During this announcement, Apple also revealed Freeform, a new app that acts as a collaborative whiteboard that allows people to simultaneously work on the same document.
macOS Ventura didn’t introduce much. The most interesting new feature announced is the ability to pair iPhones with the Mac and use it as a webcam.
Stage Manager was also announced for Mac, allowing users to organise windows into groups and toggle through them more easily.
The Spotlight search bar has been improved with more results, and new functions have also been added, like being able to start a timer.
Passkeys have also been introduced, allowing users to create a password alternative utilising TouchID.
The most significant update here is sleep tracking. WatchOS 9 finally introduces sleep-tracking features to the Apple Watch so users can see how long and how well they’re sleeping in each stage of their sleep cycle.
The workout app is also being improved to include heart rate zones and new running metrics are coming which will measure how efficiently users run.
You’ll now be able to track medication and supplements via the Health app, allowing you to create schedules, lists and reminders for taking medication.
There’s also a new Siri interface along with new watch faces.