This story is part of WWDC 2022, CNET’s complete coverage from and about Apple’s annual developers conference.
Apple’s annual developer conference, WWDC, is where the company shows off the next versions of its operating systems and occasionally notable new hardware to run them on.
Why it matters
Knowing what’s coming for Apple’s popular product lines is essential when deciding whether to buy now or wait for the next model.
As usual, Apple’s WWDC 2022 was jam-packed with something for everyone, from Apple’s flagship iPhone operating system, iOS 16, and its latest chip, the M2, to the newest hardware that puts it all in (or on) your hands — in this case, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13. High-profile new features include Safety Check intended to help people in danger of domestic violence.
Want a play-by-play, detailed summary? Check out our archived live blog.
Watch Everything Announced at Apple’s WWDC 2022 Event
The latest version of the iPhone’s operating system focuses on customization. That includes an updated lock screen with user-selectable fonts and colors, Apple Watch-style widgets, rotating photos and more. Notifications will also roll in from the bottom of the screen to keep them from obscuring your photo, and Live Activities like music playback can expand to fill the lock screen.
Messages will allow editing, undoing sends and marking unread. SharePlay improves for easier sharing within FaceTime and Messages. Dictation blends with text and touch on the fly to use any input type at any time. Similarly, Live Text (Apple’s answer to Google Lens) expands to video, letting you pause on any frame and interact or grab text from video.
Apple says it will be able to smartly extract images from a background and automatically paste them into apps like Messages.
Changes to Wallet include more partners for wireless keys, such as car manufacturers, tap-to-pay on iPhone for contactless payments and Apple Pay Later, which splits the cost across four payments.
You’ll also see cycling, Look Around high-resolution imagery and expanded details for landmarks and especially detailed coverage for specific cities. Transit card balances, too.
Apple News is getting expanded sports coverage in the US, UK, Canada and Australia. TV Plus gets Family Sharing for up to five members, with parental controls for apps, movies, books and music. Photos also improves sharing — new shared libraries via iCloud let you collaborate — and offers rules and automatic sharing based on proximity.
On the privacy front, iOS 16 introduces a new feature called Safety Check, which can help you quickly revoke access for someone threatening you, sign out of iCloud on all devices and limit Messages to a single, in-hand device.
CarPlay is redesigned to unify car and iPhone screens, including powering your entire instrument cluster.
The Fitness app comes to the iPhone from the Watch, as well.
If you use Apple’s Spatial Audio, you’ll be able to use the depth camera to customize it.
Apple Updates Privacy Controls in iOS 16
Apple Reveals New MacBook Air Powered by M2 Chip
MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13
For the first time in ages, Apple has redesigned the Air with the M2 chip in mind. It’s still an aluminum unibody, but now it’s uniformly thin at 11mm and weighs 2.7 pounds. Plus, new colors! MagSafe returns, leaving your two Thunderbolt ports available, and it retains an audio jack. The display finally gets an upgrade to a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina, with 500 nits max brightness and P3 gamut. A 1080p webcam brings it up to parity with its siblings, along with a quad-speaker system (with Spatial Audio support) and three-mic array.
The improved GPU in the M2 and a concentration on performance per watt, Apple claims it delivers the same battery life and better performance. It finally supports fast charging and the new adapter has a second USB-C port.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro also gets the M2 chip, with better performance thanks to an active cooling system. It hasn’t been redesigned, though.
MacBook Air starts at $1,199 ($1,099 for education). MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 ($1,199 for education). They both start shipping next month.
Apple’s keeping the M1 MacBook around as well, offering a sub-$1,000 computer ($999, or $899 for education).
Apple Introduces New MacOS Ventura
Window management with grouping improves in Stage Manager, which also includes drag-and-drop multitasking. Better Spotlight searching incorporates sports and web image search, full window search results and more detailed info on music, movies and so on. (In iOS, Spotlight moves to the home screen.)
Search within Mail adds instant suggestions and synonyms, also on mobile. It naturally receives the same updates as iOS for Messages. Safari launches Shared Tab Groups so you can send friends and family your latest shopping picks. Goodbye passwords and hello Passkeys — Touch ID and Face ID come to Safari for logging into sites. Also on iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, naturally.
Improvements in its Metal graphics API include MetalFX upscaling for faster game rendering and added API for faster loading of game assets. Apple called out Resident Evil Village and No Man’s Sky getting ported to the Mac for the first time. RE Village is coming later this year.
Handoff comes to FaceTime so you can jump from device to device, and Continuity Camera finally lets you use your iPhone camera as your webcam. It will support a split view for straight ahead and desktop views.
Continuity Cam Turns Your iPhone Into Your Mac’s Webcam
New faces are on the way, including more diverse calendars, the ability to pin apps at the top of the dock, new banner notifications and support for Podcasts for kids with parental controls.
For working out, it gets a lot more detailed on your running metrics — for instance, tracking how you move up or down to track your form. A new multisport workout manages to switch between swimming, cycling and running for the appropriate workout and tracking data.
Sleep Stages uses the accelerometer and heart rate sensor to track what sleep state you’re in and time them. The Watch will be able to track atrial fibrillation history, once it receives FDA clearance. Tracking medications in the Health app becomes a little more granular and lets you schedule reminders, so it sounds like a typical full-featured medication app.
See the New Apple Wallet for iOS 16
The iPad gets the same updates as iOS 16 as well as a new Weather app. In-OS collaboration allows for shared document editing and tab groups, launchable from FaceTime, with update notifications via Messages.
We also got a sneak peek of the Freeform app, coming later this year, a virtual shared whiteboard with drawing tools for group meetings. It supports embedding documents, videos and images, and will be included with all platforms.
Like Ventura, for gaming iPadOS gets the new Metal API update, plus it gets background downloading. Game Center adds Activity rivers, and SharePlay (coming later this year, as well as to iOS and iPadOS) will allow for group play.
There are also a bunch of tweaks to the interface and capabilities to give it more desktop-like power. It also adds reference color (Reference Mode) for consistent color matching across devices (personal yay!).
On M1-based iPads, you’ll be able to increase the display’s pixel density to fit more on the screen and use virtual memory. And it gets Stage Manager like Ventura, for a far better multiwindow task-switching experience. When you connect to an external display, it takes better advantage of the second screen via Stage Manager and makes it a little more seamless to use touch and Apple Pencil with a Mac.
Apple’s Finally Making the iPad More Like a Computer. Here’s How