The first day of WWDC is like Christmas morning for those deeply embedded in the Apple ecosystem. This year provided many changes those same Apple fans have been requesting for years, such as a new iPhone lock screen and multiple windows on iPads. It also provided a few things that were expected, such as the new M2 chip. In other words, there were no surprises but still some excitement.
iOS 16/iPadOS 16
The iPhone lock screen has been much the same since the launch of the first iPhone, but now it’s receiving radical changes. You’ll be able to move photos around, change the color and typeface, and add widgets that act like Apple Watch complications.
Additionally, notifications are getting tweaked and will fan out at the bottom instead of spanning the length of your phone and covering everything up. Live Activities allows for live update notifications, such as sports scores or Uber arrivals. Again reflecting on Apple Watch, you can have several lock screens, including one with animated weather conditions.
Another big iOS 16 change is Messages. You can edit sent messages, mark them as unread, and use SharePlay. Mail is receiving requested changes, such as scheduled emails and unsend. Visual Look Up allows you to extract the subject of a photo and place it in another app, such as Messages. There are also changes to Photos, Safari, Maps, Siri, Fitness, and more.
Perhaps the most requested changes for the iPad have been multiple windows and external monitor support, and now iPadOS 16 is receiving both, along with the same changes as iOS 16.
Stage Manager allows iPad Pros and iPad Airs that have the M1 chip new multitasking options. Instead of being forced to work with side-by-side and slide over, additional windows will open to the left, and you can move amongst them with up to four overlapping windows at a time. Additionally, with full external monitor support, you can get an extra workspace from another display, meaning four more live windows.
iPadOS 16 also picks up the much-requested Weather app as well as a whiteboard app, Freeform. The latter will work great with new collaboration features, and desktop-class apps will bring powerful options.
M2 and New MacBooks
As expected, Apple followed up the very successful M1 chip with the M2. Johnny Srouji, senior vice president of Hardware Technologies, explained, “With our relentless focus on power-efficient performance, M2 delivers a faster CPU, GPU, and Neural Engine. And along with higher memory bandwidth and new capabilities like ProRes acceleration, M2 continues the tremendous pace of innovation in Apple silicon for the Mac.”
This, of course, is included in two new MacBooks. One of these is the new MacBook Air. It features a larger Liquid Retina display, MagSafe charging, and up to 20 hours of battery life. It has two Thunderbolt ports, a Magic Keyboard with a Touch ID function key row, and a Force Touch keypad.
M2 is also on the MacBook Pro 13″. Not much information was released about it, but it has a more powerful workflow, thanks to the same 20 hours of battery life as the Air. It makes video editing up to six times faster.
To go along with the new MacBooks is macOS Ventura. Just like iPad OS 16, Ventura is also picking up Stage Manager for multitasking with multiple windows. It’s also introducing Continuity Camera that allows you to use your iPhone as a webcam. FaceTime picks up Handoff so that you can start chatting on your phone, then finish it on your new MacBook Air. Mail picks up some of the same changes as iOS 16.
… And More
If all of these weren’t enough, there are also changes to watchOS 9 and CarPlay. In watchOS 9, the Workout app has been enhanced with Custom Workouts that now include a multi-sport workout. And it now works via AirPlay on TVs without Apple TV. You can also manage your medications.
CarPlay picks up multiple screens, just like the iOS lock screen. You’ll also have access to car controls through CarPlay, such as the radio and climate. Additionally, CarPlay will show vehicle data, such as speed, fuel, etc., while also getting Weather and Music info on the dashboard.
The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13″ will be available next month, while you won’t see the iPhone lock screen or anything else until fall, unless you do the public betas, which will also be available next month. Again, these aren’t revolutionary changes, as you can already make Android lock screen customizations, but Apple users, including myself, will eat them up.
Image credit: Apple
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