It’s WWDC keynote time! Each year Apple kicks off its Worldwide Developer Conference with a few hours of back-to-back-to-back announcements, generally covering things from iOS to watchOS to — sometimes! — new hardware.
Didn’t have time to tune in? We get it! We’ve wrapped up all of the biggest news in an easy-to-skim digest.
- The lock screen is getting an overhaul. It’ll allow for more customization, plus support for widgets — including widgets for third-party apps. Notifications will now “roll in” from the bottom of the screen, while a “Live Activities” API will let developers update notifications in real time (think sports score tracking.) Read more about the new lockscreen here >>
- You’ll be able to edit or “unsend” recent messages in iMessage — or mark a thread as unread.
- SharePlay (which lets you, for example, watch a streamed movie in sync with a friend) will now work in iMessage, not just over FaceTime.
- Live Text will be able to translate and replace text it detects in a photo, allowing you to more easily read through something like a menu in a language you don’t know. You can read more about that here >>
- Apple is getting into buy now, pay later; Apple Pay Later will let you split an Apple Pay purchase over four payments with zero interest; Apple says it’ll work anywhere Apple Pay works.
- Apple’s big Maps overhaul is coming to a bunch of new places this year, including “France, Switzerland, New Zealand, Belgium, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands.” It’s also getting improved multistop route support.
- Apple News will now let you follow news specifically focused on your favorite sports/teams.
- If you use Family Sharing to limit your kids’ iPad screen time, said kids will now be able to request more time via iMessage.
- You can now have a shared library with your family; when taking a photo, you can toggle whether a photo goes into the shared library or just your personal library.
- Apple says it has reimagined the Home app “from the ground up.” All of your various devices in different rooms are brought into one screen, including a side-scrolling view of all of your HomeKit-enabled cameras.
- CarPlay is also getting a massive overhaul — Apple is basically looking to take over your car’s entire instrument cluster. It’ll support things like speed readouts, fuel gauges, AC control, etc; what works where, of course, will depend on what the car maker allows. Apple says to expect more news here “late next year.”
- Shareplay will now have deeper support for games, allowing you to more easily start matches/battles directly with friends.
- iPadOS will get a new desktop-style window management feature called “Stage Manager” that lets you run multiple windowed/overlapping apps on screen simultaneously. Read more about iPadOS 16 here >>
- Four new watch faces: Astronomy, Lunar, “Play time,” and “Metropolitan.”
- New “banner” notifications will keep you updated without always taking over the whole screen.
- Apple Watch will be able to track a few new running metrics, including vertical oscillation (“how much you move up and down” while running), stride length and ground contact time.
- The Fitness app on iOS will now be enabled even for those who don’t have an Apple Watch, so everyone can close those rings.
- Sleep tracking will use the heart-rate monitor and accelerometer to determine how much time you spent in four different sleep stages (Awake/REM/Core/Deep) while trying to catch some Zzz’s.
- Apple Watch will be able to track your “A-fib history” to help doctors monitor heart arrhythmia and determine if treatment is helping.
Apple shook up the industry with the introduction of its bespoke M1 chipset, which combined ridiculous performance with wild power efficiency — it’s remarkably fast, yet somehow your laptop’s battery will still last all day.
Now it’s back with the aptly named M2. Apple says the M2 CPU is 18% faster than that of the M1, while the GPU is 35% faster.
New MacBook Airs and Pros! They’re ditching the Air’s signature cheese-wedge shape, opting for a more standard flat design — albeit one that comes in at just 11.3 mm thick.
With everyone video calling more than ever, Apple took the time to call out the MacBook Air’s built-in camera, promising twice the resolution (at 1080p) and much improved low-light performance.
Its got a 13.6″ liquid retina display, TouchID built into the keyboard and MagSafe support. Apple says it’ll offer a slim charger with 2 USB-C ports and that the new MacBook Airs will support fast-charging to get the battery to 50% with 30 minutes of charging. It starts at $1,199, shipping “next month.” Read more about the new M2 MacBook Air here >>
Not to be left out, the 13″ MacBook Pro is getting the M2 treatment as well, with Apple promising CPU gains of up to 40% over the MacBook Pro M1. The Pro will start at $1,299, also shipping “next month.” Read more about the new M2 MacBook Pro here >>
The next major release of macOS will be called “macOS Ventura.” Here’s what Apple highlighted for Ventura:
- “Stage Manager” mentioned above is coming to macOS as well, pitched as a way to focus on one or two apps at a time. You can “group” running apps together; tapping into a group will minimize other apps, while putting the selected group front and center.
- Spotlight is getting a bit of an overhaul; it’ll be able to pull rich results into a new scrolling view and allow you to do things like quickly preview a found file without actually opening it.
- The Mail app is getting support for undo send, scheduled send and timed reminders. Search within Mail is getting smarter, automatically correcting for typos and knowing how to search for synonyms. Read more about the new Mail app here >>
- Safari will now be able to use “passkeys” instead of passwords — a system built along with Google and Microsoft to allow you to log in to websites and apps with biometrics (like fingerprint sensors or facial recognition) without any text-based passwords in the mix. Read more about Passkeys here >>
- Apple’s game-development focused API Metal is learning some new tricks, including upscaling and faster resource loading.
- Continuity Camera: Your iPhone’s camera is almost certainly much better than the one built into your laptop — so Apple is going to let you use your iPhone’s Camera for video calls on macOS. Clamping the iPhone onto your laptop looks a little goofy, but the impact on quality is probably worth it for important calls. There’s also a wild “desk view” feature that uses the iPhone’s wide angle lens, combined with some tricky image manipulation, to capture what you’re doing on your desk in a simulated overhead view. Read more here >>