Everything you need to know about the new Apple M2 laptops and WWDC 2022

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At its WWDC 2022 keynote presentation on Monday, June 6, Apple unveiled its next-generation M2 chipset, which will power a new wave of Mac laptops and desktops. The new chip promises performance improvements over the M1, Apple’s original first-party processor, which we’ll get to see in a redesigned MacBook Air and an updated version of the 13-inch MacBook Pro coming in July.

As expected, hardware was secondary at WWDC , because Apple also announced new operating systems for its many devices. Coming this fall, the various software updates included iOS 16 for iPhones, macOS Ventura, iPad OS 16, and watchOS 9. Despite the fact that there is a lot of overlap, each system will have its own unique features. These include customization features for the iPhone lock screen, macOS Ventura, iPad OS , and watchOS 9. It was a packed event. Here are some highlights.

M2 Apple Silicon

Everything you need to know about the new Apple M2 laptops and WWDC 2022
The Apple M2 chip will power the next wave of Mac computers.

Apple unveils next-generation M series chip

Apple’s new M2 chip was unveiled. It promises big performance improvements over current M1 Macs, and even greater gains over older Intel-based Macs. The new M2 chip is constructed using a second-generation 5-nanometer process, and consists of over 20 billion transistors–25-percent more than the original M1. The additional transistors result in an 18-percent faster CPU, 35 percent faster GPU, and a 40-percent faster Neural Engine.

The M2 is an 8 core processor with four high performance cores and four efficient cores. It features 50 percent more memory bandwidth than the M1 and up to 24GB of fast unified memory.

The graphics department at the M2 has received an even greater boost. The new 10-core GPU is bigger than the 8-core design of the M1. That allows it to hit 25-percent higher graphics performance benchmarks than an M1 at the same power level, and up to 35-percent higher performance at max power. The M2 also introduces an updated media engine that supports 8K H.264 and HEVC video, allowing you to play multiple streams of 4K and 8K video.

M2 will most likely be found in all Apple’s computers and some iPads over the next few decades. The new wave begins in July, when Apple launches the first two M2 laptops, including the newly designed MacBook Air, which ditches the line’s signature tapered “wedge” design for the first time since the original Air launched in 2008.

Everything you need to know about the new Apple M2 laptops and WWDC 2022

MacBook Air gets a big redesign

The 2022 MacBook Air is the signature machine showcasing the M2 chip at launch. The new MacBook Air will deliver exceptional performance in a slimmer package, but a more evenly shaped one. The new MacBook Air is 11.3mm thick, weighs 2.7 pounds, and features an all-aluminum unibody enclosure. According to Apple, that’s a 20-percent reduction in “overall volume” from the current M1 MacBook Air. It should not surprise that the port configuration is unchanged with the smaller body. There are two Thunderbolt ports, a 3.5mm audiojack and support for high-impedance headphones. That means no HDMI port or SD card reader, so you’ll have to rely on a USB hub for additional connectivity.

That said, the new Air will feature a slightly larger 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display–up from 13.3 inches on the M1 Air–with a notably enhanced top brightness of 500 nits. Like the newer MacBook Pro, the new MacBook Air features a display notch, which makes room for a long-awaited 1080p FaceTime HD camera. The MacBook Air will come in four colors including Starlight and Midnight, and will have the same MagSafe as the MacBook Pro.

Everything you need to know about the new Apple M2 laptops and WWDC 2022

There’s also a “new” 13-inch MacBook Pro

Speaking of the MacBook Pro, Apple will also bring the M2 to the entry-level 13-inch form factor, which offers a big performance bump, but not the extra ports and improvements found in last year’s outstanding M1 Pro and M1 Max redesigns. This one is for Touch Bar lovers. )

While the design is the same, users will notice an improvement in performance when using graphic intensive apps. This is due to the active cooling system. For example, editing RAW images in Affinity Photo can be up to 40-percent faster thanks to the M2’s 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU. The 13-inch MacBook Pro also promises up to 20 hours of battery life for video playback.

Those looking for a redesign can find it in the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, which feature more powerful specs (and heftier prices) in addition to M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. By keeping the 13-inch MacBook Pro around, Apple is offering a much more affordable entry into the pro category, while continuing to ditch Intel for its in-house silicon.

The MacBook Air with M2 chip will start at $1,199, while the 13-inch MacBook Pro with M2 will start at $1,299. Apple did not reveal a launch date for the MacBook Air, but it did confirm that it will be available in July.

iOS 16

WWDC 2022 News
The iPhone lock screen is getting a huge glow up in iOS 16.

Apple brings widgets and customization to the lock screen

In iOS 16, Apple has redesigned the lock screen to bring you more information at a glance. You can customize what you see before unlocking your iPhone. This includes adding widgets such as your calendar, current forecast, and Apple Watch-style activity rings. You can also change the font color and the color of the time and add filters to the entire screen. Apple claims you can create multiple lock screen, which you can swipe through, much like changing the watch faces on your Apple Watch. The new Photo Shuffle feature allows you to choose a set photos that will automatically change throughout your day.

A “Live Activities” feature will also be displayed on the lock screen. This is a combination of a widget and a notification that updates events frequently. If you are a sports fan, you will see a notification for the latest score or other updates on your lock screen. Developers can create custom Live Activity so that you can check the status and shipment status without leaving your lock screen.

WWDC 2022 News
You will now be able to edit text in Messages, even after sending it.

Messages will get an edit function

Messages will also get some new features that users have requested. You can edit, cancel, mark as unread, and mark messages with an “undo” feature. The edit function will allow you to edit typos, while undo will let you unsend a message after sending for up to 15 minutes after sending a given message. These new features give you more editing power, and texting should feel more like using chat apps such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

WWDC 2022 News
Apple’s new vision for CarPlay includes deep integration into the vehicles’ systems.

Apple Wallet, CarPlay, and more

There are a ton of miscellaneous new features coming to iOS 16, including changes to Focus, a shared photo library for shared iCloud accounts, SharePlay for Messages, and Live Text support in videos.

Apple Wallet now offers a “pay later” function that allows users to split up Apple Pay purchases into four equal installments over a period of time without interest charges. Apple Wallet will track your orders once you have placed an order. You can also receive detailed information about the journey of your package to your door.

CarPlay will receive its final major update, setting the stage to integrate dashboard systems into new cars. You will be able to change the temperature, control the radio, and see more vehicle data including current speed, fuel level, economy, and fuel economy. Though iOS 16 will include some of this CarPlay functionality, Apple said automakers like Ford, Volvo, and Jaguar won’t announce new vehicles that support the system until late 2023.

watchOS 9

WWDC 2022 News
WatchOS adds new watch faces as well as deeper tracking for exercise and sleep.

Apple Watch adds new health features

Apple has also revealed watchOS 9, which includes four new watch faces, workout updates and deeper integration with Apple Fitness . WatchOS 9 will give you more insight into your running performance if you are a runner. You can track your stride length and ground contact time. This will give you valuable information whether you are a casual runner, or a marathon runner.

Apple also will add an FDA-cleared history feature for atrial fibrillation. This will give those with AFib deeper insight into their condition. This information is intended to help people make lifestyle changes that could potentially improve their condition.

WatchOS 9 also offers deeper insights into your sleep. The Apple Watch’s accelerometer, heart rate sensor and accelerometer can be used to detect REM, Core, and Deep sleep. This will give you better insight into your sleep quality.

Perhaps the most important addition to watchOS 9 is the ability manage and track your medications, vitamins and supplements. This feature allows you to create a medication list, set up reminders and schedules, and view information about your medication through the Health app. You can also be notified if there are any potential interactions between medications you already take.

iPadOS 16

WWDC 2022 News
With Stage Manager, iPadOS 16 will enable a more laptop-like workflow on tablets.

The iPad introduces multitasking upgrades (and a weather app)

The most important feature in iPadOS is Stage Manager, which organizes apps and windows in a pane on left side of display. The default arrangement of apps and windows is in order by recency. However, you can group apps together to make it easier to find them. For example, if you need Safari to plan a meal, or Notes to organize your notes. You can now open apps in overlapping windows and resize to bring them closer to the macOS experience.

Stage manager also supports external display support up to 6K resolution. This will allow users to run four apps simultaneously on their iPad Pro and four apps on the external screen. These features are only available on iPad Pro and 2022 iPad Air with an M1 chip.

WWDC 2022 News
Freeform, a new app, is a scalable collaborative whiteboard for project planning.

Collaborate with the new FreeForm app

Additionally, iPadOS 16 will introduce Freeform, a collaboration app that offers a scalable whiteboard, so there are no limits on the page size or layout. You can see what others have posted and even jump on FaceTime to share your ideas. Figma’s FigJam app is similar to the new Freeform app.

Other additions coming to iPadOS 16 include Apple’s Weather app and “Reference Mode,” a color calibration tool for creatives that allows the iPad Pro and Liquid Retina XDR display to match the color requirements in workflows like review and approve, color grading, and compositing. This will ensure that photo editors can make consistent and accurate edits across all projects. The iPad Pro is now even more powerful for creatives.

macOS Ventura

WWDC 2022 News
Continuity Camera, a new feature in macOS Ventura, lets you use your iPhone as a webcam. Apple

Expanded continuity comes to Mac

Ventura is the next major update to macOS. It offers one of today’s most exciting features. Continuity Camera allows users to transform their iPhone into a webcam. Your iPhone will be recognized by Macs when it is nearby, and can be used for video conferencing. Modern iPhone camera features such as Center Stage, which automatically adjusts your camera’s framing so that you are in the center of the image, and Portrait mode (which blurs the background) will be available to you.

Ventura brings updates to some core Apple apps, such as Safari. Ventura will allow you to share tab groups with family and friends, and you can even start FaceTime calls right from the page that you’re currently browsing. Meanwhile, Mail is introducing more robust search features and the ability to schedule emails and undo send for up to 10 seconds after hitting send.

WWDC 2022 News
Spotlight will present you with more information than ever without ever opening your web browser.

Spotlight gets more powerful

Apple has updated Spotlight to provide more information for searches. You can also type in a musician to get information about their background, birth date, and where they live. Spotlight allows you to set timers, create new documents, and run shortcuts.

Final thoughts on WWDC 2022

We rarely expect major hardware announcements at WWDC, so color us pleasantly surprised that we got to hear about some new Macs at WWDC 2022. These are just promises until we have the chance to test the M2Macs later in the summer. We are eager to test all the new features that Apple’s devices will offer as they roll out in beta before their widespread launch in the fall.

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