Apple’s 2022 World Wide Developer Conference, better known as WWDC, was held in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. We got an absolute slew of new features during the WWDC presentation (which went for just shy of two hours).
With all of the announcements made, we thought we should wrap everything up in a neat little package. So without further ado….
What is WWDC?
WWDC is what it says on the tin: a conference for Apple developers. This covers iOS (iPhone), macOS (MacBooks), watchOS (the Apple Watch range) and iPadOS (all of its iPads). It’s basically a place for Apple to smother developers in all of the new features they can expect to build upon. It’s also a place where Apple gives us all a glimpse at what’s coming from the software side of things.
WWDC itself runs from June 6 through June 10 (June 7 through June 11 in Australia) and it’s all virtual. Apple’s keynote is already over, it took place on June 7 at 3:00 am AEST. If you were sleeping peacefully at 3:00 am, you can always go back and re-watch the stream via Apple’s website and the official Apple YouTube channel.
What was announced at WWDC 2022?
The absolute kitchen sink. We’re not kidding. Let’s start with iOS 16.
iOS 16 is one of the biggest software upgrades to hit the iPhone. iOS 16 gives the Lock Screen its biggest update ever, including the ability to customise the colour/theme of the screen. And widgets. It also brings a better way to organise notifications and a way to pair your Lock Screen with Focus themes. You can now edit or recall recently sent messages, recover recently deleted messages and mark conversations as unread. Obviously, this is only for iMessage, with Apple giving us yet another reason to keep with its walled garden.
Family sharing is also a part of the new iOS experience. Parents can set up an account for a child with parental controls already in place, which will restrict certain apps, movies, books and music from being accessed by your kid. For large families and friend pods storing photos into iCloud, you can enable a Shared Photo Library in iOS 16. It will create a separate iCloud library for up to six people to contribute to with their photos.
Live Text is getting even more great and creepy. Users can pause a video on any frame and interact with text. You can also now touch and hold on the subject of an image to lift it away from the background and place it in apps like messages. Dictation offers a new on-device experience that allows you to move between voice and touch. With iOS 16, Siri adds the ability to run shortcuts as soon as an app is downloaded without requiring upfront setup. Apple also unveiled a new feature coming to iOS 16 designed chiefly to help people sever ties with their abusive partners who may be tracking their locations or secretly reading their messages. It’s dubbed Safety Check.
Apple will also be rolling out a new feature for Pay called “Apple Pay Later,” which, just as it sounds, allows iPhone users to buy products and pay for them later. iOS 16 is also trying to get you to use Mail. Users can now schedule emails and you can also cancel delivery of a message before it reaches a recipient’s inbox (you’ll have to be quick, though!). Doing something Gmail has done for many years, Mail will now also detect if you forgot to include an important part of the message, such as an attachment. The notoriously bad Maps app gets an iOS 16 update called “Multi-Stop Routing”, and Sydney is coming to Apple’s City Experience, too.
Although not just an iPhone feature, Apple News is also getting an iOS 16 refresh. Apple News introduces a new My Sports section. It’s only coming to a handful of markets, and Australia is one of them. With iOS 16, the Apple Watch’s Fitness app, which has long been exclusively available only on the wearable, is also finally coming to iOS and the iPhone, taking advantage of the smartphone’s motion-sensing tech to track metrics and performance (as long as an athlete is wearing or carrying the device on their person). We dive into watchOS 9 in a second.
Accessibility updates, including Door Detection, are also coming to iOS 16.
- Read more about what’s new with iOS 16 over here.
Many of the software updates coming to Apple’s popular wearable are designed to take better advantage of the larger screens introduced in recent models, but they also include improvements to the Apple Watch’s already impressive health and fitness tracking capabilities.
The most obvious reason to upgrade to the latest version of watchOS year after year is the introduction of new watch faces to breathe new life into your wearable, given they can still only come from Apple itself. For watchOS 9, four new watch faces are en route.
We also get improved workout metrics for runners. It didn’t take long for Apple to realise that fitness tracking would be the Apple Watch’s bread and butter, even if it was the killer app for wearables since their earliest debut. For watchOS 9, the Apple Watch will leverage its accelerometer and gyroscope to track a runner’s form, stride length, and ground contact time and it introduces the ability to specify heart rate zones, as well as distance and time intervals, with vibrating haptic feedback and voice alerts let users know they’ve hit a target and need to switch things up.
The Apple Watch’s Fitness app, which has long been exclusively available only on the wearable, is also finally coming to iOS and the iPhone, taking advantage of the smartphone’s motion-sensing tech to track metrics and performance (as long as an athlete is wearing or carrying the device on their person).
We’ll get more detailed sleep tracking, as well as medication reminders and alerts for bad drug interactions. How American. You can also create new calendar events right on your watch. A new Week view makes it easier to see what meetings or other responsibilities sit between you and a relaxing weekend.
- Read more about what’s new with watchOS 9 over here.
WWDC 2022 brought with it upgrades to the Apple iPad. iPadOS 16 isn’t an entirely different operating system from iOS for the iPhone, though it’s infused with features specific to the larger screens and accessories that accommodate the tablet lineup. Still, it’s getting many of the same abilities as the iPhone once the software update goes live.
For instance, the Home app will get an all-new design language on iPadOS 16, just as it will in iOS 16. The iPad is also getting the Weather app, which has been a long time coming for tablet users who want to blame it on the rain. iPadOS 16 will also have access to iCloud’s Shared Photo Library, the Live Text and Visual Look Up upgrades, and the ability to Handoff in FaceTime, so you can start a call on one device and then switch it out for another.
But during WWDC 2022, Apple really emphasised the iPadOS 16’s multitasking features. iPad’s Stage Manager sounds like it’s a tool for your local community theatre troupe. But in reality, it’s a powerful multitasking tool for the tablet device, and arguably, it brings it one step closer to emulating the laptop experience. Apple has also tuned iPadOS 16 for multi-person collaboration. If you’re coordinating with Apple Messages, you can now share content from Files, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Notes, Reminders, Safari, and any other compatible third-party apps right within the messaging app.
- Read more about what’s new with iPadOS 16 over here.
A massive reveal for 2022 at WWDC was all-new Apple Silicon, the M2 chip. Following in the footsteps of the M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M1 Ultra, Apple has today started the next generation of Apple Silicon for the Mac, introducing M2. Apple reckons this thing takes the performance and capabilities of M1 even further.
M2 is built using an enhanced, second-generation 5nm chip that features over 20 billion transistors – 25 per cent more than M1. It delivers 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth (50 per cent more than M1). For M2, Apple has enabled up to 24GB of unified memory, up from 16GB but short of the 32GB you find on some ultra-portable PCs. The M2 chip delivers a 10 per cent greater multi-core CPU performance over M2, and compared to the latest 10-core PC laptop chip, and the M2 delivers nearly two times faster performance at the same power level (CPU performance is 18 per cent greater than M1).
- Read more about the M2 chip over here.
New MacBook Air and MacBook Pro
Apple of course unveiled the new MacBook Air, powered by M2 chip. The latest version of Apple’s entry-level laptop is redesigned with a larger display, a new processor, fresh colour options and — for better or worse — a notch
The 13-inch MacBook Pro also gets the M2 chip. The 13-inch MacBook Pro also supports up to 24GB of unified memory — along with 50 per cent more memory bandwidth. You can expect up to 20 hours of battery life from the new MacBook Pro. It’s got an otherwise unchanged design, and as I’m typing from the 2021 MacBook Pro, I can only imagine the boost the M2 will give this already super powerful beast.
- Read more about the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro over here.
macOS 13 (or, macOS Ventura)
macOS Ventura, coming later this year, will also take full advantage of M2, delivering new features including Stage Manager, and powerful new capabilities with Continuity Camera and Handoff coming to FaceTime. macOS Ventura also includes big updates to Safari, Mail, Messages, Spotlight and more.
- Read more about macOS Ventura over here.
There you have it. Everything Apple announced at WWDC 2022.
This article has been updated since it was first published.
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